Preparing the F-35 LIGHTNING II for missions in today’s complex electromagnetic spectrum environment requires an equally advanced test environment. Northrop Grumman’s multispectral testing solution, recently delivered to the US Navy at Point Mugu, CA,  recreates the most accurate mission-like conditions in the laboratory and on the range: it is the most sophisticated test environment the company has ever created.

The environment consists of Combat Electromagnetic Environment Simulator (CEESIM), Signal Measurement System (SMS) and other stimulators, all under control of the Synchroniser Controller System (SCS).

At the heart of the environment is the CEESIM, which simulates multiple, simultaneous RF emitters as well as static and dynamic platform attributes to faithfully model true-to-war conditions. CEESIM’s Advanced Pulse Generation high-speed direct digital synthesiser technology is used to generate realistic EW mission scenarios. The SMS provides wide bandwidth signal measurement, recording and analysis capability, which is used to validate the test environment and evaluate the system under test performance. The SCS provides the tools to programme an integrated multispectral test scenario, including threat radars, communications signals, radar and EO/IR signatures. It also manages scenario execution by all the simulators to ensure a coherent multispectral test environment.

Keeping the F-35’s systems ready requires a fully integrated test environment like we have developed with CEESIM, SMS and SCS,” explained Northrop Grumman Mission Systems’ Director, Land & Avionics C4ISR division, Joe Downie. “These systems work together to provide the environment complexity and density, measurement and analysis capability, and test control capability necessary to evaluate the F-35 in a realistic mission scenario.”


The CEESIM, SMS and SCS systems delivered to the USN for the F-35 provide RF simulation, measurement and synchronisation of multiple, simultaneous emitters to faithfully simulate true-to-war conditions. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

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