The Philadelphia branch of the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock division is working with the L-3 Communications Power Systems Group (PSG), builder of static automatic bus transfer switches (SABTs) in use aboard many Navy surface ships, to identify potential upgrades. Carderock acts as the in-service engineering agent for the switches.
The solid-state software-programmable SABT continuously monitors power flow to shipboard systems, including mission-critical weapons and sensors. When the switch detects an interruption in power it shifts the system at near-real-time speed-about 4 milliseconds-to an auxiliary power source, thereby avoiding system shutdown and loss of critical data.
The new 280-pound switches were introduced in the late 199Os to replace older electro-mechanical switches, built primarily by ASCO Inc., that operate at significantly slower speeds-in a range of 50 to 70 milliseconds-but still are widely used throughout the fleet.