Full Authority Digital Control systems are the premier control system. The applications are limitless (motorcycles to power plants and everything in between). Over the past 15 years, the US Navy has worked successfully with Woodward Governor Co. to develop and implement FADC LOCOPs for use in a number of applications including DDG and CG class ships gas turbine generators. The FADC LOCOPs provide closed loop control features as did the old analog control systems. But the FADC LOCOPs add the ease and speed of control improvements via software change, constant data monitoring/recording and network connectivity. The network connectivity advantage is still early in development; however this key feature of the control system opens up many doors. Distance support can be taken to an entirely new level via the network. Imagine a setup where if the control detects an abnormality…an email containing control system data gets sent to the blackberry of the In Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) so immediate action can be taken to maintain system reliability and reduce overall system cost. This future can help save money and avoid expensive catastrophic failure via condition based maintenance. In this future, it is possible that eventually the ISEA suggestions can be prompted right back to the FADC LOCOP so the sailors onboard can communicate with the ISEA via the FADC LOCOP. Essentially, every ship could have the ISEA (or an ISEA representative)onboard 24 hours a day seven days a week via FADC LOCOP communicating over a network. The system is not this evolved yet. However, several Navy Programs are working in conjunction towards a similar future including DDG Modernization and Integrated Condition Assessment System (ICAS) via Maintenance Engineering Library Server (MELS) and Integrated Performance Analysis Reports (IPAR). FADC LOCOPs are the foundation upon which these improvements rely to be implemented…thus the premier control system.

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