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Uss Tanglewire: An Experiment In Networking For An Embedded Computer Applications Class

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.710.1 - 5.710.10



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Paper Authors

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Kenneth A. Knowles

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Carl E. Wick

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2520

USS Tanglewire: An experiment in networking for an embedded computer applications class

C. E. Wick, K. A. Knowles United States Naval Academy


Small embedded microprocessors are used routinely as controllers in many types of consumer, industrial and military electronic devices. In many cases more than one of these small computers are used in a product to affect distributed control, or to localize specific system functions. This tends to modularize the system and helps to make it more reliable, survivable, configurable and upgradable. Networks provide the “glue” that connect each of the localized modules together into a functioning whole. We believe that students who take courses in microprocessor embedded control should have some exposure to network-connected control systems, and if possible they should also have experience in their implementation. This paper describes a project that we undertook at the U.S. Naval Academy in our computer engineering track where our students used an I2C network and PIC16C84 microprocessors to construct a model distributed shipboard damage control system.

1. Introduction

The Weapons and Systems Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy offers an ABET accredited Systems Engineering degree to about one hundred students annually. As part of their studies our students may concentrate in two or more areas as tracks during their senior year. Included in the tracks offered to our students is one that offers specialized studies in computer engineering. In this track our students take a course in digital fundamentals, followed by a course in embedded microprocessor applications. In this second course we introduce microprocessor architecture, assembly language, and apply embedded microprocessors to various applications with a focus on their use in controls. For the past several years we have used PIC16C71 and PIC16C84 microcontrollers as the target for these applications because of their speed, versatility, and ease of programming. An in-house simulation and programming system, PICSIM, has been used successfully to teach the architecture of the processors, assembly language programming, and debugging techniques. The laboratory and final exam projects for this course vary from year to year, but have historically been examples of stand- alone microprocessor based systems.

In order to appeal to the professional aspirations of our student population we began a study of potential microprocessor based projects that could be seen to directly relate to their chosen careers. A particularly fertile area was seen to be in the use of networked embedded computers in modern weapons systems. Among current military projects in the area is on-going research

Knowles, K. A., & Wick, C. E. (2000, June), Uss Tanglewire: An Experiment In Networking For An Embedded Computer Applications Class Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8827

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