MathWorks Strengthens Position as Emerging Standard With $10M Order
The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, CA has awarded MathWorks Inc. of Natick, MA a $10 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for MathWorks Software products. This includes MatLab, Simulink, and MathWorks toolboxes, plus maintenance, training, and consultation.
MatLab and Simulink provide a flexible software environment for model-based design, interpreting test data, simulating high-fidelity behavioral dynamics, and generating safety-critical flight computer code. The products also promote agility and communication along the supply chain, by providing a common software environment for sharing data, designs, and specifications across organizations.
MathWorks Inc.’s key products appear to be moving toward a status as a mainstream or even a default choice in the US aerospace and defense sector, and the China Lake contract is simply the latest illustration of the position it is building…
While MathWorks has a number of aerospace and defense clients, the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake stands among a “critical core” of clients whose participation makes a big difference to the software’s success in this sector.
Located in the Mojave Desert 150 miles NE of Los Angeles, China Lake is where the Navy and Marine Corps have developed or tested nearly every significant airborne weapon system in the past five decades. Work on the China Lake contract will be performed in Natick, MA and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA is the contracting activity (N68936-06-D-0007).
Using MathWorks means that China Lake will share the same toolset with the U.S. Air Force’s Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility (GWEF), which chose MathWorks tools to design and run real-time simulations for testing and evaluating air armament systems.
MathWorks is also currently in use by the US DoD’s three major propulsion test centers – Arnold Engineering evelopment Center (AEDC), the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Patuxent River. Their experience is illustrative in explaining the gradual migration of many military and aerospace & defense customers to this software.
The Air Force and Navy needed a proven set of analysis tools that enabled rapid evaluation of post-flight data to ensure the safety and on-time schedule of test flights, so they could quickly determine whether they could fly the next day. The test centers undertook an extensive evaluation program, then standardized on MathWorks’ MATLAB.
This shifted them from a variety of manual analysis techniques, evaluation criteria, software tools, and programming languages, where each team developed their own tools for each project. The result had been duplicated efforts, low levels of reuse, and slow project ramp up times, and great difficulty in combining results into a single, coherent evaluation. The result of the change was a 67% reduction in development time and noticeable cost savings.
The gradual coalescence around MathWorks stand-alone and distributed platforms had even larger implications for MathWorks itself. As the major US military test facilities move toward MathWorks as their standard for modeling and data evaluation, interoperability advantages will draw more and more military contractors toward MathWorks as a default or “safe” industry platform choice.
- MathWorks – Aerospace & Defense Industry Homepage
- MathWorks Case Study – Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility Replaces Missile Testing System with xPC Target
- MathWorks Case Study – U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy Accelerate Test Data Analysis by Standardizing on MATLAB
- GlobalSecurity.org – China Lake
- Reviews and summations re: some modeling and simulation tools