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January 2019, Volume 21 – Number 1 •


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

An Advance look at Tech Trends –

The VITA Technical Media Brief

Addressing the need for Reducing Size and Power in a Phased Array Radar Systems The Challenges of the DoD’s Millimeter-wave Initiative for Connector Development

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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL

COTS (kots), n. 1. Commercial off-the-shelf. Terminology popularized in 1994 within U.S. DoD by SECDEF Wm. Perry’s “Perry Memo” that changed military industry purchasing and design guidelines, making Mil-Specs acceptable only by waiver. COTS is generally defined for technology, goods and services as: a) using commercial business practices and specifications, b) not developed under government funding, c) offered for sale to the general market, d) still must meet the program ORD. 2. Commercial business practices include the accepted practice of customer-paid minor modification to standard COTS products to meet the customer’s unique requirements. —Ant. When applied to the procurement of electronics for he U.S. Military, COTS is a procurement philosophy and does not imply commercial, office environment or any other durability grade. E.g., rad-hard components designed and offered for sale to the general market are COTS if they were developed by the company and not under government funding.


Custom MMIC Advanced MMICs Aid in Reducing Size and Power in Phased Array Radar Systems

Dr. Charles Trantanella, Chief Scientist.

DEPARTMENTS 06 Publisher’s Note

VITA Tech Trends for 2019


The Inside Track


DoD’s Millimeter-wave Initiative Poses Big Challenges for Connectors More Dan Birch, Product Line Manager, RF Interconnects, L-Com


Editor’s Choice for January

COVER Pictured is Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Krieter watches the surroundings from a UH-1Y Venom during live-fire training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Nov. 9, 2018.

COTS Journal | January 2019


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing



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COTS Journal | January 2019


John Reardon, Publisher

VITA Tech Trends for 2019 Each year VITA hosts our Editors to join them to be introduced and briefed on the latest from their membership. In doing our homework for this year’s conference, we thought you might find these companies of interest. The companies range in size from under $10 million in sales to over $4 billion in sales. In doing our research this year, what we found to be interesting is that each of the companies were committed to being the best in their respective areas of interest. Now this may not sound like a big deal – you might even say that this is every company’s goals. The difference we felt was that these companies were not just giving being the best lip service – their commitment really shined through. We also sensed a renewed excitement about the market and the potential for market growth. COTS Journal of course is focused on the defense market and for many of these companies – defense is a subset of their interest. But this review left us very excited about what these companies have to say and the potential for their technologies to reflected in our pages in future issues.

Profile Abaco features a wide variety of products and services in support of open architectures. With over 30 years experience and a work force of nearly 700 people, Abaco’s emphasis on the customer’s needs has resulted in dynamic growth with a sustained investment in product development. The company features a number of high performance compute platforms with an array of communications designed for harsh, front line environments. Emphasizing the need for US built systems in the wake of the controversy surrounding Chinese built mother- boards has lead Abaco to believe they are on the right track for 2019. Recent design wins using FPGA’s and GPU’s in to airborne applications will further sustain Abaco’s position as a leader in the high performance arena.

The following companies on the next six pages are just some of the trends for 2019. Featured Companies Abaco Systems Leadership: Rich Sorelle, President & CEO Prior to joining Abaco, Rich Sorelle spent his entire career in the defense industry with extended spells at Grumman Corporation and most recently with Exelis, where he headed up the Electronic Systems division that specializes in technologies for the warfighter. Mr. Sorelle’s role at Abaco is to ensure the company executes on its commitments to its people, its investors and, most importantly, its customers.


COTS Journal | January 2019

Abaco has won significant orders from a major US prime contractor for its 3U Xilinx® Zynq® Ultrascale+™ MPSoC Processors with 1553 interface modules. They will be deployed over the next seven years within the central processing module of an advanced, next generation airborne radar system designed to deliver enhanced warfighter survivability.

Aitech Rugged Group, Inc. Leadership: Moshe Tal, CEO Mr. Tal has over 25 years of product design and digital signal processing and holds an Electronic Engineering degree from Tel Aviv University. Mr. Tal’s leadership has significantly contributed to dynamic growth and advancements in technology. The company has grown 3x to nearly $30 million in annual sales. Prior to Aitech, Mr. Tal was Vice President of AudioCodes. This was the result of the company he co-founded, Ai-Logic being acquired. Profile Aitech has a history that dates back to 1983 with a long list of high profile projects. The company has achieved a number of “firsts” in regards to performance, ruggedization and thermal management. The leadership of the company is composed of individuals who have taken an active role in the development and execution of open standards through continued support of VITA and other standards groups. Today Aitech offers a full range of rugged and space-qualified modules and systems. The ability to address some of the harshest and demanding environments with high performance systems allows for Aitech to address many applications that are out of reach of others. The company has employed a COTS Lifecycle Program that assures a minimum 12-year support program for obsolescence management.

Aitech’s new C877 provides one of the most powerful combinations of data processing and cyber security available in a 3U VPX single board computer (SBC). Based on independent research and data analysis, it was specifically designed for rugged, high reliability, mission-critical environments that need high levels of data security and peak processing performance.

Amphenol Leadership: R. Adam Norwitt, President CEO Mr. Norwitt has grown through the ranks of Amphenol having served in numerous Group and General Manager roles over the past 2+ decades. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School and proceeded in getting his MBA from INSEAD after doing his undergraduate work at Georgetown University. Overseeing 70 thousand employees, Mr. Norwitt’s leadership has lead to a 9% average increase to sales over the last 10 years. This is quite a feat if you consider the turbulent times the last 10 years represents. Profile Aphenol is committed to sustaining their role as the world leader in design; manufacturing and supplier of high performance interconnect systems for harsh environment military applications. Amphenol has lead in superior performance and reliability under conditions of stress and in hostile environments such as vibration, pressure, humidity, nuclear radiation and rapid and severe temperature changes. Amphenol’s contribution continues to address the performance needs of faster and faster applications and processors. This dedication to circuit boards and back planes continues to be an integral part of advancing the needs of the modern war fighter. The array of interconnects available through Amphenol is wide and varied with the number of application segments in the tens of thousands.

Media and protocol conversion is an important capability enabling system connectivity from commercial off-the-shelf Switches, processors, and I/O boards. This new line of VPX media conversion Products provides the sweet spot of conversion from both backplane and Base-T connections, as well as backplane and high-end fiber connections.

Artesyn Leadership: Jay Geldmacher, CEO Mr. Geldmacher assume the role of CEO of Artesyn Embedded Technologies in November of 2013 after the company spun of from Emerson Network Power. Having served in numerous senior roles throughout his career, Mr. Geldmacher holds and has held Board seats on numerous public companies along with non-profits. Currently, Artesyn is held by the private equity firm – The Platinum Group and has nearly 15,000 employees. Profile Known primarily for the power conversion products, after buying the Motorola Computer Group and Force Computers, Artesyn gained dominance in the Module, systems business. The company addresses a wide array of applications from patient monitoring to Positive Train Control. Their slogan of “From Edge to Core” defines the company’s mission as a leading supplier of ATCA, VME, PCI and Computer-on-module. Today Artesyn offers a breath and width of products to address almost any high performance embedded application and has been a leader in the OCP (Open Compute Platform) from its early days. Artesyn’s knowledge of emerging technologies and experience with application specific concerns as witnessed by their numerous design wins has gained the company a reputation of meeting the customer’s requirements and thus reducing the risk and time delays. Artesyn Embedded Technologies today announced that it has collaborated with China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation Limited (CRSC Wanquan), a leading rail integrator, for the development of rail signaling solutions based on Artesyn’s ControlSafe™ Platform.

COTS Journal | January 2019


Behlman Electronics Leadership: Ron Storm, President Prior to joining Belhman more than 20 years ago, Mr. Storm served in numerous roles related to sales and marketing for such companies as Leader Instruments, Analogic Corporation, and Temco Instruments. Replacing Mr. Tublisky in 2012 as President of the Orbit International subsidiary, Behlman Electronics, Mr. Storm has lead the company to offer some of the most advance power solutions in the market. Profile Behlman’s products include AC power supplies, frequency converters, inverters, DC-DC, AC-DC, DC-AC, and uninterruptible power supplies. Located in New York, Behlman has brought technologies in commercially available power products to the market to address the riggers of harsh environment. This joining has afforded Behlman a leading role in addressing harsh environments with solutions that are both efficient and cost effective. Behlman continues to experience dynamic growth after winning a contract worth nearly $22 million for a weapons systems test platform in 2017-18 with the US Government. Recently Behlman introduced their DCR2U series product to address Critical Mission power requirements for both commercial and military airport applications.

Powered from 3-Phase aircraft power, the DCR2U provides up to 4000 Watts DC to meet ML-STD 704F input power Requirements.

Concurrent Technologies Leadership: Jane Annear, Commercial Director Ms. Annear has risen through the ranks at Concurrent Technologies and was appointed to the role of Commercial Director in 1989. She has lead the company in Sales and Marketing for numerous years and has assumed other responsibilities in support of her colleague, Glenn Fawcett who is on medical leave. Profile Concurrent Technologies is focused on delivering open standard modules of the highest quality for more than two decades. The com8

COTS Journal | January 2019

pany has expertise in a wide array of open standards and software tools to deliver “off the shelf ” and semi-custom solutions to the embedded space. Concurrent addresses market needs to delivered tailor made solutions that meet the individual concerns of each vertical they address. Producing all their Board level products in house the company has gained significant expertise in design, testing, life cycle management and the ability to avoid counterfeit components. Concurrent’s products are used by many of the world’s leading integrators within the Defense, Security, Aerospace, Telecommunications, Transportation, Medical and Industrial markets and are designed to be operated in a range of temperatures and environments from commercial to extreme rugged.

edge to achieve the demanding performance levels required for todays applications. The company continues to achieve what they proudly refer to as “first-of-a-kind” and “mustnot-fail” applications. The wide width of products and experience bring forth a compendium of knowledge that conveys a strategic confidence to the end users.

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense segment provides our nation, and several international defense forces, with vital aerospace, ground and naval defense systems and support.

Concurrent launches PP B7x/msd, a 6U CompactPCI® computer board based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E-2176M. This 6-core processor provides a performance improvement over the 4 and 2-core processor variants used on the previous generation 6U boards.

Curtiss Wright Leadership: David C. Adams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Adams, having more than 3 decades in experience in the aerospace, defense and electronics technology markets, was appointed to his role as CEO in January of 2015. His primary responsibility is to expand global opportunities for the company’s diversified business operations and products. Mr Adams oversee three major business units – Flow Control, Controls, and Surface Technologies. Profile In 2014 the company transitioned to a new structure realigning the business under the “One Curtiss Wright” vision. The result was a more strategically aligned company comprised of Commercial/Industrial, Defense and Power segments. With more that 8 decades of history and portfolio of products to match, the company is able to draw on a wealth of knowl-

Elma Electronic Leadership: Shan Morgan, President Mr. Morgan took over as President in the first quarter of 2014. He had risen through the ranks at Elma after starting with the company in 1989. He held numerous Sales and Marketing roles and was hand picked by Fred Ruegg to be his successor in the role as President. Under Mr. Morgan’s leadership the company has grown significantly to be the premiere manufactures mechanical enclosures for the embedded computing space. Profile Elma Electronics is a leader in mechanical enclosures with an emphasis on custom and semi custom products for an array of vertical applications. Elma has created a balance between the finely crafted products during their days as a Swiss company, to a high reactive customer-driven company reacting the real-time needs of today’s leading OEMs. Able to deliver an integrated system as a single source has allowed Elma to move up the integration design chain and offer clients fully laden system that meet their environmental and performance needs. Custom and semi-custom solutions are offered in array of open standard configurations. Systems that

are “all-in-ones” including displays and keyboards to front end edge systems that meet or exceed environmental standards. Elma

Electronic has a proud history of providing mission critical equipment for some of the most demanding defense programs across the world.

GDCA Leadership: Ethan Plotkin, President and CEO Mr. Plotkin took over the CEO role from his father after gaining experience in several leadership roles at Accenture. His first goal was to expand the service offered by GDCA beyond the reproduction of end-of-life modules to include supply chain and obsolescence management. Profile GDCA offers an array of more than 3000 products from leading embedded company throughout the embedded space. This “who’s who” of partners and the array of products offered tells the history of the embedded space for over three decades. GDCA has a special talent – in some ways like a forensic accountant – to be able to make available products first sold decades ago. From a Partner prospective, the reassurance in knowing that clients can service systems beyond their normal lifespan brings comfort in knowing that they are not contributing to their premature obsolescence. This couple with the ever intensifying need to get slow moving inventory off-the-shelf has position GDCA in a unique an uncontested position within the embedded space.

We were faced with an obsolescence issue on our Programmable System Control Unit when our existing vendor was no longer able to manufacture this Viper809 CCA. Rockwell Collins.

Green Hills Software Leadership: Dan O’Dowd, CEO and Founder Mr. O’Dowd, founded Green Hills Software in 1982 and has been its President and Chief Executive Officers since its inception. Mr. O’Dowd is a pioneer in developing real-time operating systems and software tools. Prior to starting Green Hills, he held numerous senior roles at National Semiconductor. Profile Green Hills Software is the worldwide leader in embedded safety and security. Green Hills Software’s technology and services have been chosen by prominent companies in over 50 countries to build their electronic products for everything from MP3 players to jumbo jets. Green Hills INTEGRITY has many firsts such as certifications for use in defense, autonomous vehicles and numerous other HPC oriented applications. Known for advancements in security, Green Hills Integrity has been chosen for severe, mission critical applications where others have dared not go. Recently Qualcomm had joined up with Green Hills to develop an advance platform for the next generation automotive cockpit.

Qualcomm and Green Hills Software partner to deliver advanced platforms for next-gen automotive cockpits.

Interface Concepts Leadership: Bruno Rolland, Chef d’enterprise In 1984 will working on his thesis on system modeling, Mr. Rolland found himself to be fascinated with the idea of architecting systems to address the embedded market. Fiercely independent and driven, he drove the company to win a number of key design wins and took the company international. Profile Interface Concept SA designs, develops, and

manufactures electronic embedded solutions to defense, aeronautics, transportation, and telecommunication industries. It offers PowerPC, PowerQUICC, Intel Pentium, and DSP single board computers; fast and gigabit Ethernet switches and IP routers; and open multi-serial communication platforms. The company’s products also include communication boards; 2D/3D graphics graphic/ video, storage, communication, and carrier I/O boards; and VPX gigabit Ethernet switches and VPX FPGA processor boards. In addition, it offers product and custom subsystem integration services; and products marketing and repair support services.

The ComEth 4590 a Dual Domain Ethernet Switch, supports the latest VITA 65 Open VPX Slot and Module profiles that align with the Sensor Open System Architecture (SOSA) snap shot two. It has been specifically tailored to meet current high speed Ethernet network data rates required by MOSA standards in development by the DoD.

Kontron Leadership: Hannes Niederhauser, CEO/ Chairman of the Management Board After studying electrical engineering at Graz University of Technology, where worked as a developer of Microchips, Mr. Niederhauser joined Kontron as CEO and a major Shareholder. He built the company to one of the largest provider of Embedded products in the world. After a short departure from the company where took on a role at S & T, he returned to Kontron to guide the company towards offering a more complete solution composed of both software and hardware. Profile Kontron is a global leader in embedded computing technology (ECT). As a part of technology group S&T, Kontron offers a combined portfolio of secure hardware, middleware and services for Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 applications. With its standard products and tailor-made solutions based on highly reliable state-of-the-art embedded COTS Journal | January 2019


technologies, Kontron provides secure and innovative applications for a variety of industries. As a result, customers benefit from accelerated time-to-market, reduced total cost of ownership, product longevity and the best fully integrated applications overall.

Kontron Announces First Customer Shipments of its New I/O Intensive VX305C-40G 3U VPX Single Board Computer.

Mercury Systems Leadership: Mark Aslett, President and Chief Executive Officer Mr, Aslett brings in-depth experience that spans the technology industry, across a variety of markets that include telecommunications, data networking, security, defense, and life sciences. Within these areas, Mr. Aslett has held strategic-level positions in or has been responsible for engineering, operations, marketing, business development, portfolio management, and general executive management. Prior to joining Mercury, Mr. Aslett was President and Chief Executive Officer of Enterasys, and held various positions with Marconi and its affiliated companies. Mr. Aslett has also held positions at GEC Plessey Telecommunications, and other telecommunications-related technology firms. Profile Mercury Systems has built a next generation business model puts them in a unique position within the defense industrial base and in particular within defense electronics. Today within the DoD and the industrial base that supports it, challenges have taken center stage around the need for procurement reform, the more rapid and timely adoption of open systems based architectures, and the need to be nimble and responsive in the face of continued uncertainty at home and instability abroad. Mercury Systems has adopted a next genera-

tion business model that is believed to address these pressing issues, while at the same time leveraging a 30-year commitment to innovation. Mercury Systems has worked on over 300 programs, including Aegis, Patriot, SEWIP, Gorgon Stare and Predator/Reaper.

SEWIP, a spiral-block development program, provides an immediate improvement to the legacy surface ship Electronic Warfare (EW) detection and countermeasures system, the AN/SLQ-32.

Pentek Leadership: Roger Hosking, Vice President Mr. Hosking has lead the charge at Pentek for nearly 32 years. After receiving his under graduate degree in Physics from Allegheny College, he went on to receive his Masters in electrical Engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York. Profile Pentek boasts a product line that now exceeds 700 different high performance boards and systems. They range from the many small form factor products to an array of high-speed data recorders. Talon, a Pentek trade name has become synomous for high speed storage while their Jade product line continues to reflect their talents associated with FPGA performance data acquisition. Pentek takes a comprehensive view by considering all prospectives in design and building solutions for the largest OEMs in the world. They aggressively apply the most modern techniques in areas such as life cycle management, shock and vibration, bonded inventory and many others to affirm that Pentek meets the needs of the most demanding applications.

Pentek, Inc., NeXtRAD is a dual-band, dual-polarization, multistatic radar system under development at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in collaboration with University College London (UCL). The primary mission of the system is to collect multistatic data of small radar cross-section maritime targets embedded in sea clutter.

Pixus Leadership: Jacques Houde, President Mr. Houde is a veteran in the embedded enclosure market having participated for close to two decades in various roles. In 2010, Pixus and Rittal signed a joint venture to address the needs of the US market and ATCA market. Mr. Houde continues his leadership, with advancements in the superior cooling, advanced backplane design and strong signal processing. Profile The company has established itself with a wide range of OpenVPX, MicroTCA, and AdvanceTCA solutions being used by leading OEMs around the world. Known for their fit and finish, Pixus has an array of cases, subracks, rackmount and rugged systems. All of which are subject to a complete thermal, EMC, Acoustic noise, shock and vibrations along with other application specific testing to affirm confidence in knowing their enclosures can stand up to the most rigorous applications.

From chassis platforms, to backplanes, to boards, Pixus offers a virtually unlimited array of high quality embedded computing solutions.

COTS Journal | January 2019


Reflex Photonics Leadership: Noel Dube, CEOt Noël Dubé has been working as President and CEO of Reflex Photonics since October 2013. Noël was formerly one of the founders and member on the board of directors of R/D Tech Inc. were he held the positon of VP Sales and Business Development. Profile Founded in 2002, Reflex Photonics is an advanced developer of rugged high-speed transceiver modules and embedded optical products for aerospace, defense, avionics, telecom, and data centers. Reflex Photonics competency centers include Research & Development, Technology and Product Design, Manufacturing and Direct Sales. The company addresses the growing market demand for high-speed interconnects in high performance embedded computers. Their products enable equipment developers to design smaller, lower cost, and lower


COTS Journal | January 2019

powered systems resulting in higher fidelity and faster connectivity.

people and as a result has been able to retain a very talented group that continues to advance the company as a leader is product development and customer service. Having been awarded Fortune Top 15 Best US Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production, the company is committed to best practices in managing their future.

Reflex Photonics launches a new and unique 24-lane Optical Generator and Switch to support optical system designers.

Samtec Leadership: John Shine, CEO Profile Samtec was founded in 1976 in New Albany, IN. With now over 5900 employees and selling connectors in 125 countries the company has achieved revenue in excess of $700 million US. The company continues to emphasize the

TI and Samtec Demo 56 Gbps PAM4 over Backplane at DesignCon 2018.



L3 Awarded Comprehensive F-16 Pilot Training Contract Valued at $350 Million L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) has been selected as the prime contractor for the F-16 Simulators Training Program (STP) by the U.S. Air Force. Valued at $350 million, the F-16 STP contract consolidates the previous F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC), F-16 Weapons and Tactics Trainer (WTT) Advanced Sustainment, and F-16 Training System (TS) programs into a single, unified program.

own countries,” added Lenny Genna, President of L3 Link Training & Simulation. “We are proud to build on our long-standing partnership with the Air Force and look forward to being a key provider of F-16 training systems and services for many years to come.” Since 1986, L3 has provided the U.S. Air

Force with state-of-the-art, high-fidelity F-16 training systems at both domestic and overseas locations. The company simultaneously ensures that the training systems remain concurrent with the fielded aircraft configurations to ensure the highest-quality training. L3’s training systems support maintainers and aircrews across the globe.

“For more than four decades L3 has proudly developed pilots and expert technicians in support of U.S. Air Force F-16 weapons system operations,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “This award demonstrates our ability to deliver comprehensive, world-class training solutions that support total air readiness.” Now in a prime contractor role, L3 was the incumbent on two of the three predecessor programs to the F-16 STP, including the F-16 MTC and F-16 TS. The company was awarded the F-16 MTC in 2008 through a competitive procurement. “By combining three different programs, F-16 STP will enable the U.S. Air Force to provide a more cost-effective approach to maintaining concurrency for the warfighter,” said Mike Swanger, Program Manager, F-16 Simulators, U.S. Air Force. “Our international allies will have the opportunity to benefit from our expertise in their

$23 Million awarded Bell Boeing in support of flight testing and evaluation of the V-22 Bell-Boeing JPO, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded $23,325,145 for cost-plus- fixedfee delivery order N0001918F5004 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-17-G-0002) in support of the V-22. This order provides support of ongoing flight test and evaluation of the V-22 test aircraft. Work will be performed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland (90 percent); and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2018. 14

COTS Journal | January 2019



B-1 Training Systems Contract Award

Aero Simulation Inc. (ASI) announced its latest contract award, the B-1 Training Systems Program. This effort involves the sustainment of 35 flight and maintenance training devices at Dyess Air Force Base (AFB), Abilene, TX, Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, SD, Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX, Sterling, VA, and Tampa, FL. These devices are used to develop and maintain the proficiency level of aircrew and maintenance personnel on this vital asset of our U.S. Air Force. ASI team members for this important program include BGI, LLC and Rockwell Collins Simulation and Training Solutions. The B-1 Lancer, nicknamed “The Bone” is a supersonic variable-sweep wing heavy bomber. This critical component of the Air Force Global Strike Command, stationed at Dyess AFB and Ellsworth AFB can reach speeds of Mach 1.2 and,

with in-flight refueling, reach anywhere on the planet. It has a payload of 125,000 pounds and can reach altitudes of 40,000 feet. It can also fly 200 feet off the ground at 700 mph! “ASI is pleased to continue our support of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) with our third support contract. This program to provide Training System Support

B-1 Lancer

The Raytheon-built Standard Missile 3 Block IIA interceptor

radar rather than the phased-array connected to the Aegis Ashore system.

On Dec. 10, a Raytheon-built Standard Missile 3 Block IIA interceptor destroyed an intermediate-range ballistic missile target in a U.S. Missile Defense Agency test.

SM-3 destroys its targets with sheer impact. Developed by Raytheon and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, it’s the only ballistic missile interceptor that can be launched from sea or land, and it has achieved more than 30 intercepts in space.

The interceptor was fired from an Aegis Ashore combat system site in Hawaii. It was the first successful intercept by the IIA, a next-generation variant, that was launched from land and it was an “engage-on-remote” test, meaning the missile used data from a separate ANTPY 2

Center (TSSC) and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) services, as well as perform major trainer modifications for the next 7 ½ years follows our successful T-1A GBTS and T-38C ATD contracts.” said Daniel Deschnow, Vice President of Programs. “We look forward to serving the B-1 community and supporting their important national security mission.”

“This is a versatile and sophisticated missile,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “Our partnership with the Missile Defense Agency and Jap-

anese industry made these results possible.” Raytheon’s ANTPY 2 radar served as a remote sensor in the test, tracking the missile and sending it data on the incoming target. Another radar, known as AN/SPY-6(V)1, successfully tracked the ballistic missile target from launch through intercept, from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. “Because Raytheon makes both missile defense sensors and interceptors, our engineers can work collaboratively and share information,” said Bryan Rosselli, Raytheon Mission Systems and Sensors vice president. The SM-3 IIA’s larger rocket motors and bigger kinetic warhead will engage short-to-intermediate-range ballistic missile threats sooner. In an October test, the interceptor destroyed a medium Range ballistic missile target at sea. The target missile was launched from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

Standard Missile-3, shown here in this illustration, is the world’s only ballistic missile killer deployable on land or at sea.

The next-generation SM-3 will be carried by U.S. Navy and Japanese ships and will be based at the Aegis Ashore land site in Poland, once it becomes operational. The Poland site, along with an already active Aegis Ashore site in Romania, will provide missile defense protection for Europe, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

COTS Journal | January 2019




Chassis Plans is Now CP Technologies

Technologies LLC.

Combat Proven Solutions for Rugged Computer Hardware Systems, Rugged Servers and Rugged LCD Displays

CP Technologies will continue with its technology leading Combat Proven Rugged Computer Hardware Solutions but will also be providing enhanced OEM solutions along with expanded system integration solutions, Datalinks and services for our customers. This includes industrial computers, rugged rackmount computer systems, rackmount servers, rackmount and vehicle mounted LCD displays, datalink solutions as well as HPC – High Performance Computing systems for industrial and military applications.

Chassis Plans, a leading industry provider of ruggedized Computer Hardware, servers and LCD displays designed for harsh military and industrial environments, has changed its name to CP Technologies – our new website is www. As part of Chassis Plans evolution into a broader provider of technology solutions to the Defense and Industrial markets, as of January 1st of 2019, our new company name will be CP

Abaco Wins Significant Orders for High Performance FPGA Platforms for Next Generation Airborne Radar System Will help deliver improved aircrew survivability Abaco announced that the company has won significant orders from a major US prime contractor for its 3U Xilinx® Zynq® Ultrascale+™ MPSoC Processors with 1553 interface modules. They will be deployed over the next seven years within the central processing module of an advanced, next genera-

US Army Awards Harris Corporation Nearly $218 Million Contract to Provide Wideband Satellite Communications Mission Support Highlights: • Assures space superiority by providing mission-essential wideband SATCOM support • Reflects U.S. Army’s continued confidence in Harris technology and support capabilities • Leverages 30-plus years of experience supporting wideband satellite networks


COTS Journal | January 2019

Our continued growth and evolution, as well as our partnership with Israel’s Aeronautics Ltd, will enable us to better align ourselves with our

customers’ need for configuration management and revision-controlled systems and solutions that are Combat Proven to last.

tion airborne radar system designed to deliver enhanced warfighter survivability.

grade in response to evolving threats.

Total value of the program to Abaco over its lifetime is expected to be up to $36 million.

The system uses an open architecture design to deliver flexibility in deployment and the potential to simply and cost-effectively up-

The U.S. Army has awarded Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) a nearly $218 million follow-on contract to support wideband satellite operations centers and management sites that deliver critical communications to warfighters around the world. The Wideband Satellite Communications Operations and Technical Support II (WSOTS-2) contract will support global networks and operations centers at 21 sites, providing operations and maintenance, life-cycle engineering, on-site technical assistance, equipment installation, depot-level repair, logistics, cybersecurity, and training and sustainment.

“Situational awareness is one of the keys to maximizing personnel safety and security in the face of a broad array of ever-changing electronic warfare hazards, and requires the highest possible data bandwidth and processing performance,” said John Muller, Chief Growth Office at Abaco. “FPGA technology is a classic response: not only does it deliver the necessary throughput and bandwidth, but it also responds to the need to maximize flexibility, allowing the system to be rapidly and easily modified or enhanced as new requirements emerge.”

“Harris assists the Army with all facets of wideband SATCOM support, helping to keep these global communications systems performing so that warfighters are protected and get the information they need to stay connected and ensure mission success,” said Chris Forseth, vice president and general manager, Harris Space Superiority. The contract leverages Harris’ 30-plusyear legacy of providing ground systems, on-orbit assets and global communications networking to the Army and other customers, including most recently, executing the first WSOTS $160 million contract.



Groundbreaking nanosatellite imaging technology will revolutionize how we manage climate change

food production and reducing environmental load caused by agriculture, providing a way to sense water irrigation needs and optimize the

The infrared hyperspectral camera is smaller, lighter and cheaper, and able to alert us to major environmental catastrophes in near real-time A pioneering Finnish nanosatellite has now reached space equipped with the world’s smallest infrared hyperspectral camera. The photos with infrared data taken from the satellite provide new solutions for monitoring and managing the effects of climate change. The hyperspectral camera is a trailblazing innovation from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The Reaktor Hello World nanosatellite was launched into space on 29 November by the Finnish space technology startup Reaktor Space Lab.

“This new technology will allow us to react to global environmental changes in near real time. That opens up many new business opportunities as well as ways to combat climate change,” says Tuomas Tikka, CEO of Reaktor Space Lab, Reaktor’s portfolio company that specializes in building advanced nanosatellites for spacebased services. The first images were taken on 2nd of December over the Sahara desert and they were downloaded from the Reaktor Hello World during the first weeks of December. ”The image above Sahara (Figure 1) shows how the water content of an area can be determined and mapped based on infrared spectral image data,” explains Antti Näsilä, Senior Scientist at VTT and the leading technical expert for the camera development of the Reaktor Hello World nanosatellite mission.

First land images from Reaktor Hello World overlaid over image data from Google Earth. This image was taken above Sahara, near the borders of Libya, Egypt and Sudan. The fields in the upper right-hand corner of the image are part of an irrigation experiment. The reddish close-up image measures the spectral signature of water, which enables visualizing the changing moisture content in the ground. The image reveals differences of water content in the fields: the blue-green parts indicate better irrigation, whereas the yellow-orange signify drier conditions.

In the past, hyperspectral imaging – the simultaneous collection of the optical spectrum at each point in an image – was feasible only with larger, exorbitantly priced satellites. The larger satellites also came with significant restrictions: a single satellite provides new data only when passing over a specific location and produces new imagery on several-day intervals. New tiny nanosatellites, such as the Reaktor Hello World satellite, weighing only a couple of kilograms are relatively cheap and fast to build. In groups, nanosatellites can form cost-efficient constellations. With the help of the new Finnish imaging technology, nanosatellites are now able to collect critical, nearly real-time data on the state of our planet. That development has far-reaching benefits for monitoring climate change. The groundbreaking innovation comes at a pivotal time as climate change continues apace. “This particular type of imaging data makes it possible to monitor the status of carbon sink resources. It also enables optimization of

the composition of greenhouse gases.

use of fertilizers in fields,” says Anna Rissanen, Research Team Leader at VTT. Unique hyperspectral data can help predict natural disasters such as forest fires
The infrared wavelength region shown by the hyperspectral imager contains a significant amount of data. That data can be used to recognize ground targets such as fields, forests, mines or built infrastructure and analyze their features based on unique spectral fingerprints. Such features could be related to the presence of chemicals like fertilizers, biomass content or rock species, for example. Hyperspectral imagers can also monitor vegetation health and

“This type of information could prove crucial for areas fighting drought or forest fires, both of which are becoming more common with the changing climate. In the future, nanosatellite constellations could provide, for instance, concurring updates about the severity of the droughts in each neighborhood in California”, says Näsilä.

The hyperspectral imager and nanosatellite technology in detail

The infrared hyperspectral imager on board the Reaktor Hello World nanosatellite is a small, lightweight, 2D-snapshot tunable spectral imager operating in the short-wave infrared spectra (900– 1400 nm). The world’s first nanosatellite compatible hyperspectral imager built by VTT was launched on board the Aalto-1 satellite in June 2017, demonstrating hyperspectral imaging for visible and VNIR range (500 - 900 nm). Now, the technology has successfully been extended to cover also the infrared range. In the False color images of desert highland in southern Sahara. The image on the left depicts the future, the team believes that this changes of the soil type across the image while the image on the right displays changes in hyperspectral imaging technology soil moisture. The water reservoir in the upper part of the image is very well highlighted in can bring completely new solutions this image, when compared to the dark rocks. for space exploration. COTS Journal | January 2019




General Dynamic’s recent acquisition of SRA International continues to pay off

Northrop awarded contract for the development of the LITENING advance targeting pod

SRA International Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded an $11,336,940 firm-fixed-price contract for command, control, communications, and computer system afloat operations and sustainment support for capabilities aboard the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet of ships, and the MSC network operations centers.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Illinois, has been awarded a $1,310,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm�fixed-price, cost-reimbursable contract for sustainment, modernization, production, and development of the LITENING advanced targeting pod. Work will be performed in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and is expected to be completed Dec. 31, 2023.

The AIM-9X receives a new Control System Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded $11,740,000 for not-to-exceed delivery for the Navy and Air Force. This order provides for non-recurring engineering for the redesign of the Control Actuation System electronic controller and the requalification of the dimeryl diisocyanate utilized in the AIM-9X Sidewinder Block I/II/ II+ missiles.

Caption Amy Gilliland became president of General Dynamics Information Technology in September 2017

General Atomics continues support of the MQ-9 Reaper General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a $291,391,727 cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-


COTS Journal | January 2019

fixed-price contract for MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial systems support and services. This contract provides for program management, logistics support, configuration management, technical manual and software maintenance, contractor field service rep-

resentative support, inventory control point management, flight operations support, depot repair, and depot field maintenance. Work will be performed in Poway, California, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2019.


Custom MMIC Advanced MMICs Aid in Reducing Size and Power in Phased Array Radar Systems By Dr. Charles Trantanella, Chief Scientist Phased-array radar systems are important instruments in national electronic defense strategies. From the large, ship-based systems that scan for distantly launched missiles to the more compact arrays installed on fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), electronic phased-array radars come in many sizes and forms, providing reliable signal detection and identification. These modern systems offer many advantages over earlier radar systems that relied on the physical movement of an antenna to steer a radar beam in search of a target. This earlier method is certainly proven and reliable, having been used in military platforms and commercial aviation for over 70 years, but it is limited in scan rate by the mechanical motion of the antenna. In contrast, a phased-array radar system uses many equally spaced antenna elements with phase shifters, with each element contributing a small amount of electromagnetic (EM) radiation to form a much larger beam. As the phase of each antenna element is shifted and aligned, the direction of the radar beam changes and, as the amplitude of each element is varied, the pattern of the far-field response is shaped into the desired response. Thus, the overall radar antenna beam can be steered without need of a mechanically rotated antenna. Beam forming, which can be now performed by means of analog or digital control, can take place at extremely high speeds, limited only by the switching speed of electronic components. Historically, phased-array radar systems have been large in both cost and weight. With the explosive growth of UAVs and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) as key elements of the defense arsenal, the need for lighter phased-array radar systems in these weight-sensitive systems will continue to grow. In addition, the increased use of such radars for non-military applications, such as tornado detection by the US National Weather Service (Springfield, MO), is helping 20

COTS Journal | January 2019

drive the demand for lower-cost systems. Fortunately, these growing demands placed on phased-array radar systems can be met with the help of modern RF/microwave integrated-circuit (IC) and monolithic-microwave-integrated-circuit (MMIC) technologies.

Phased-Array Benefits and Drawbacks The benefits of phased-array radar systems far outweigh their limitations, thus accounting for their growing use in many military electronic systems and platforms. Since beam steering in phased arrays can be performed at millisecond and faster speeds, the signal can jump from one target to the next very quickly, while frequency agility can be used to search quickly across a sector for targets. The coverage of a phased-array antenna beam is typically limited to a 120-deg. sector in azimuth and elevation. While this response is a known limitation of phased arrays, mechanically scanned radar systems also have limitations in the physical area available for the motion of the antenna. Important factors hindering the adoption of phased-array radar systems in many applications continue to be size, weight, power, and cost (SWAP-C). Efforts aimed at minimizing these four attributes represent a significant technological challenge that until recently has seemed a rather formidable hurdle. Phased array radars are, after all, quite complex and even growing in this regard as target identification becomes more difficult. How can SWAP-C reduction be accomplished?

A New Path Forward A phased-array radar system (Figure 1 on next page) is constructed from large numbers (often thousands) of transmit/receive (T/R)

modules which enable the array to function as both a transmitter and a receiver. Initially designed with discrete hybrid components such as amplifiers, filter, mixers, phase shifters, and switches, these modules are now more commonly fabricated with high-frequency IC or MMIC technology. This switchover to IC technology has provided tremendous benefits in terms of SWAP-C reduction, but simply replacing components can only get a designer so far. Gaining additional SWaP-C benefits in any phased-array radar system also requires knowledge of how to best apply available IC and MMIC technologies to the system (Fig. 2). In fact, the key characteristics of size, weight, and power consumption in a phased-array radar system can usually be minimized by analyzing the design at the circuit, system, and technology levels. Analysis at the technology level first involves a choice of semiconductor material. Modern commercial semiconductor foundries typically offer a number of different material technologies, but a choice among these is not always straightforward. Components in high-frequency T/R modules typically include high-power amplifiers (HPAs) for transmit purposes, lownoise amplifiers (LNAs) for receiving purposes, mixers and oscillators for signal translation ( frequency upconversion and downconversion), and attenuators, filters, and switches for signal conditioning. Fabricating MMICs for all of these functions will likely require more than one semiconductor technology. For example, processes based on silicon-carbide (SiC) or gallium nitride (GaN) substrates will excel in higher-power portions of the system such as transmit functions, while processes using silicon-germanium (SiGe) or gallium-arsenide (GaAs) materials will exhibit lower noise for better performance in receiver functions.

Fig. 1: The PAVE PAWS system at Eldorado Air Force Station is typical of a large phased- array radar system with many separate.

Analysis at the system and circuit levels should be closely intertwined, as a system is only as good as the sum of its components.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of IC and MMIC circuit suppliers do not give enough consideration to any specific system, opting

Fig. 2: Monolithic-microwave-integrated- circuit (MMIC) amplifiers are often used in phased-array radars as the the active (Signal-gain).

instead to create generic components that can be used across wide reaching applications. Such an approach, while cost-effective in terms of IC and MMIC development, is not always optimal in reducing SWaP-C since these components cannot be easily customized for use in phased array systems. Forward-thinking MMIC suppliers, such as Custom MMIC, have worked on approaches that combine technology, system, and circuit analysis to create components that resolve SWaP-C challenges in phased array systems. At the technology level, they have worked with nearly all of the world’s commercial III-V semiconductor foundries, and have intimate knowledge of some of the newest processes including optical pHEMT and high frequency GaN. At the system level, they have been engaged with numerous phased array designers and have heard first-hand how yesterday’s components are holding back development of next-generation low cost, low weight, high performance systems. At the circuit level, they have created an extensive intellectual property (IP) design library of components in both die and packaged form that are used as a starting point for advanced signal chain design and optimization. COTS Journal | January 2019


As an example, one place where they have focused significant development is the transmit HPA, a common component required in almost every application. At microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies, the transmit amplifier is often fabricated from a depletion mode pHEMT process, a highly efficient and mature technology. However, depletion mode pHEMT is not without its drawbacks, most notably the need for negative gate voltage and a sequencing procedure to ensure the gate voltage is applied before the drain voltage, lest the FET device suffer irreparable harm. By their very nature, negative voltages and sequencing circuits for HPAs are expensive in terms of complexity, board space, and cost of the extra components. In phased arrays, especially ones with thousands of elements, such HPAs place enormous strain on the system as a whole and offer significant barriers to SWaP-C reduction. Therefore, as part of a Small Business Innovative Research grant (SBIR) from the U. S. Army, they attacked this problem for the transmit portion of an X-band phased array system. Rather than utilize depletion mode pHEMT, they turned to enhancement mode pHEMT

for the HPA, a technology often relegated to other applications such as high-speed logic circuitry or switches. In enhancement mode, the pHEMT is normally off until a positive voltage is applied to the gate. Negative voltages are no longer required, nor are voltage sequencers, since either the control or the drain voltage can be applied first; the amplifier will not turn on until both are present. In the end, they were able to replace the existing depletion mode PA with an enhancement mode design that delivered 5 dB more gain, 1 dB more power, and 2 dB improved linearity, all while dissipating 25% less DC power. In terms of SWaP-C, the benefits of enhancement mode PAs are enormous, and offer a significant breakthrough for microwave system designers in general. A second problem they considered was the receiver LNA in an X-band phased array system as part of a separate SBIR contract. Here, they also switched from a depletion mode to an enhancement mode process, thereby eliminating the negative voltages and sequencers of the existing solution. Their resulting design had 1 dB lower noise figure, 8 dB more gain,

an eight-fold reduction in DC power, and half the unit cost of the existing depletion mode solution. However, they soon encountered an application that called for a pair of relatively well-matched LNAs, one for each of the two polarizations in the return signal. Starting with their enhancement mode LNA, they created a dual version on one MMIC die, thereby guaranteeing a matched pair. They also worked with their packaging vendor to develop a low cost rectangular QFN plastic package to best match the resulting die size. The end result was a “standard” product that was anything but ordinary, as it combined innovation at the circuit, system, and technological levels to deliver a component with significant impact on SWaP-C. Moving forward, they are continuing to develop components for phased array radar systems and similarly challenged 5G wireless systems. Using other technologies such as high frequency GaN, and a combination of different semiconductor devices in multichip modules, they’re looking to help designers when digital control functions must be integrated with higher frequency functions.

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COTS Journal | January 2019



DoD’s Millimeter-wave Initiative Poses Big Challenges for Connectors Dan Birch, Product Line Manager, RF Interconnects, L-Com

To say that the spectral region above about 30 GHz hasn’t been densely populated is an understatement: Table 1 - Millimeter-wave Connector Specifications


COTS Journal | January 2019

Only a handful of systems have ever operated there, mostly satellite communications, scientific, missile seekers, and a few other defense systems. It is simply more difficult to propagate signals, generate reasonable RF power levels, and in general fabricate devices and subsystems for wavelengths measured in thousandths of an inch. However, wherever there’s a market, technologists will find a way to serve it, and driven by the intelligent transportation “revolution” (vehicle radars and traffic management sensors) as well as the cellular industry and Wi-Fi, more attention has been paid to very-high-frequency operation in the last decade than the three previous decades combined. It couldn’t come at a better time for DoD as it responds to new threats at millimeter-wave frequencies and increases its exploration of remote-sensing at hundreds of gigahertz. Millimeter wavelengths pose new challenges for manufacturers of microwave hardware, and

cables and connectors are among the most difficult to manufacture. Various millimeter-wave connector types and their frequencies are shown in Table 1.

Measurement Comes First The goal of test equipment manufacturers is to develop instruments with the ability to meet the perceived needs of customers before those needs arise, putting them at the forefront of every technology required to achieve them. For example, vector network analyzers must be able to make measurements at frequencies higher than a device’s operating frequency. This requires a way to connect them in a test setup, so cables and connectors have been developed in lockstep with new instruments. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that advances in many millimeter-wave capabilities, including new connector architectures, have been driven in large part by these companies.

extended the mode-free reach of connectors to 18 to 24 GHz and 26 to 34 GHz, respectively. Some OSSM variants can reach 40 GHz. Maury Microwave made the next advancement called the MPC2 connector that could operate to 40 GHz. It could not mate with other connector types so the company then developed a 2.92-mm air interface connector (the MPC3) that could mate with SMA and was mode-free to 40 GHz. It only came into wide use after Wiltron (later acquired by Anritsu) “relaunched it” under the leadership of Bill Oldfield as the K connector to support a new instrument with a measurement range of 40 GHz. The K connector is compatible with the SMA and is mode-free to 46 GHz. Figure 1 - The 1.85-mm Model SC5881 female connector is designed for clamp or solder attachment to 0.47 in. semi-rigid cable and operates mode free to 65 GHz. Source: Fairview Microwave

In the 1960s, the IEEE’s P287 connector committee and others began efforts to establish a forward-looking approach for precision connector development. An early goal was to revise IEEE standard 287 to allow it to advance the state of the art as well as reduce proliferating connector variants to create a standard for both laboratory and general-purpose connectors up to 110 GHz. The committee’s efforts and those of industry paved the way for many of the connectors used today.

The SMA is the world’s most widely used microwave and lower millimeter-wave connector, was the basis for many others over the years, and some of its design features are apparent even in very-high-frequency connectors today. The first connectors with an operating frequency range well into the millimeter-wave region were the BRM/OSM/SMA types that were introduced in 1958 and the BRMM/OSSM/SSMA family that followed them in 1960, and they all

Development continued apace as Kevlin Microwave released an SSMA-compatible air-interface connector, the KMC-SM, that operated up to frequencies of 40 GHz, followed by the 3.5mm connector developed at Hewlett-Packard in the 1970s, and was later marketed by Amphenol as the APC 3.5 for use to 26.5 GHz. After this, HP, Amphenol, and Omni-Spectra (the latter acquired by MACOM) introduced the 2.4-mm connector that reaches 50 GHz, led by Julius Botka and Paul Watson at HP. The 2.4-mm connector was a significant contribution in many ways. It was designed to satisfy the needs of production, instrumentation, and metrology, and as a new interface type, it eliminated the need to mate with an existing connector, which made it easier to improve performance over time. The design was expanded by Botka and his team to create the 1.85-mm connector (Figure 1) that is mode-free to 65 GHz. Wiltron introduced it to meet the needs of a 60-GHz network analyzer, calling it the V connector, which is compatible with 2.4-mm connectors. Another major development, from Omni-Spectra, was the blind-mate connector concept (Figure 2) that made it possible to connect a subsystem or module with multiple connectors to another, eliminating the need for flexible or semi-rigid cable between them. These connectors self-align themselves properly into position and are used in rack-and-panel and module-to-module scenarios. The mode-free operating frequency range of blind-mate connectors has increased over the years to about 65 GHz. Millimeter-wave connectors exceeded 100 GHz in 1989 when HP developed the 1-mm connector that is mode-free to 110 GHz and is widely used in probe stations to evaluate MMICs.

Figure 2 - A blind-mated connector between two PC boards. Source: Pasternack

Millimeter-wave connectors for these frequencies push the envelope of the fabrication COTS Journal | January 2019


state of the art and are no less precise in their construction than the most-expensive automatic watch movements. Fabrication requires consideration of factors ranging from smoothness to thermal conductivity, metal characteristics, and ability to withstand high temperatures without distortion or failure. Stainless steel connectors don’t necessarily require plating, which has the benefit of eliminating the flaking possibility of a plated material. Stainless steel also meets the rigors of defense applications, requirements of the MIL-PRF-39012 standard, and other hostile operating conditions. It is also inherently rugged and can be machined to tight diametric tolerances, maintaining a 50-ohm impedance over a broad operating bandwidth. Finally, copper-tin- zinc alloys are often used for plating as they can provide long life and lower intermodulation distortion, although nickel and silver continue to be used.

Higher frequencies to come? Even with their thin structures and air spacings that are required to provide low insertion loss, these connectors can also maintain stringent phase and amplitude tolerances after hundreds of mating cycles. For general-purpose connectors, hundreds of mating cycles is far too few, but in the measurement applications for which millimeter-wave connectors are typically used, it’s a reasonable compromise. That said, as DoD moves higher in frequency in deployed systems, this along with increased ruggedness may need to be addressed, and both are significant challenges. While it may seem hard to believe that such connectors can even be handled by humans, an obvious question is whether it will be possible to fabricate connectors for even higher frequencies. Incredibly, it appears that the answer is yes, and the 0.8-mm connector developed by Anritsu (mode-free to 145 GHz) is an example. The 0.8-mm connector has an air dielectric front-

side interface like K and V connectors with the center conductor supported by a proprietary, low-loss support bead on one end and a PTFE bead on the other. As the support bead is made of high-temperature material it can survive exposure to 200o C for short periods. Even smaller connectors are in development that measure 0.6 and even 0.4 mm that may be usable at hundreds of gigahertz. There is certainly the incentive to bring such connectors to fruition because connectors offer big benefits over waveguide, as they cover broad bandwidths rather than designated waveguide bands, are smaller and weigh less, and are flexible and easier to work with. The latter advantage makes bench measurements considerably less cumbersome than when waveguide or even semi-rigid cable is used. At the very highest frequencies, waveguide is currently the only solution as it is available for use into the terahertz range (WR-051). Of course, this waveguide is also very small: a WR-3 waveguide that covers 220 to 330 GHz has internal dimensions of 0.8 x 0.4 mm, and while rugged must still mate with its input source via a transition. All this being said, DoD will continue to move higher in frequency, and what it wants it usually gets, and connectors aren’t excluded. Bibliography 1. Advances and trends in RF connection, Avnet, 2018 2. Microwave Coaxial Connector Technology: A Continuing Evolution, Mario Maury, Jr., Maury Microwave Corp. December 13, 2005 3. The Importance of Coax Connector Design Above 110 GH, Bill Oldfield, Anrtisu, 2014 4. MIL-STD-348B, Radio Frequency Interfaces, August 2014 5.The Millennium Handbook Microwave Connectors, Spectrum Electrotechnik Gmbh, 2016

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January 2019

COT’S PICKS Antenova’s latest SMD antenna ‘Raptor’ can pinpoint a location to within centimetres Antenova Ltd has developed a new SMD positioning antenna that achieves an extraordinary level of accuracy in the GNSS bands – it can pinpoint a location to within centimetres. The Raptor antenna utilises the L2, 1200MHz satellite bands which recently became available for civilian use. It is the latest addition to Antenova’s lamiiANT range of rigid FR4 antennas which are designed for easy insertion onto a PCB. The antenna itself is very small - it is a GPS single feed antenna in SMD form, measuring just 16.0 x 8.0 x 1.6mm, which makes it suitable for

VadaTech Announces New 6U VPX Chassis Manager with integrated JTAG Switch Module VadaTech enabling software and applicationready platforms, announces the VPX980. The VadaTech VPX980 Chassis Manager is based on the VITA 46.11 specification. The VITA 46.11 leverages the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and AdvancedTCA Specification by the PICMG as its architectural foundation. The VadaTech Chassis Management solution is derived from our field proven VadaTech ATCA Shelf Manager utilizing core interfaces such as the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Remote Management Control Protocol (RMCP), Web Interface, System Management application (Scorpionware™), and a user-friendly Command Line Interface.

EKF Introduces their new E39xx series Processors Boards On the occasion of the Embedded World Exhibition & Conference EKF will introduce the SC6-TANGO, a low power CompactPCI® Serial CPU board, based on an Intel® AtomTM E39xxseries System-on-Chip processor (Apollo Lake APL-I). The front panel is provided with two Gigabit Ethernet jacks (option M12 X-coded), two USB 3.0 Type-A receptacles, and two DisplayPort monitor connectors. The board is equipped with 8GB directly soldered DDR3L ECC RAM, and a CFastTM card socket, for use as removable SATA SSD. 28

COTS Journal | January 2019

small PCBs within all kinds of small electronic devices. “This is an outstanding antenna, because it achieves the same precision as a much larger, heavier ceramic patch antenna, but in a very compact SMD part,” says Colin Newman, CEO of Antenova, “A ceramic antenna would need to be 35mm x 35mm to achieve a similar level of accuracy and performance.” Raptor is supplied in Tape & Reel for ease in high volume manufacturing applications. The addition of the L2 frequency band combines multi-band satellite signal reception and GNSS correction data. This helps to mitigate position errors, greatly improving accuracy, espe-

The latest SMD antenna ‘Raptor’ cially in urban areas. As well as improving tracking, the L2 band is beneficial for UAV’s, Drones, Autonomous Vehicles, Agriculture, grid mapping and many other similar emerging applications. Antenova Ltd

VadaTech VPX IPMC and Chassis Management solutions support VITA 46.11 Tier-2 command set, providing a higher level of functionality in the management layer and chassis cooling capabilities. Additionally, VadaTech VPX management solutions have taken advantage of the HPM.1 PICMG Specification providing a framework for upgrading the IPMC firmware. The Module also has a 1000Base-TX via the front panel as well as GbE going to P1 as 1000Base-BX. In addition to all of this the VPX980 has an option for JTAG Switch Module (JSM) and optional Virtual Probe, easing device access within the chassis for FPGA code developers. The JTAG ports from each VPX module are routed to the P3/P4 to support a total of 16 modules. This allows maximum flexibility within the chassis. The Module JSM is configured via either of the GbE Optionally available is an on-board 64GByte e•MMC flash memory chip. Further more, a low profile dual M.2 SATA SSD mezzanine module is available as additional mass storage solution (4HP assembly), and also a multi- function side card (8HP front width). The SC6TANGO backplane connectors provide a CompactPCI® Serial system with 4 x PCIe® and optionally 2 x GbE. Due to its robustness and very low power consumption, the card is suitable also as stand-alone solution (IoT & Edge computing).

VadaTech’s New 6U VPX Chassis Manager with integrated JTAG Switch Module ports ( front or rear). The JSM could also be used as a standalone module, so multiple JTAG dongles are not needed within the chassis. VadaTech EKF

January 2019

COT’S PICKS Mercury Systems Announces 100 Gbps OpenVPX Backplane Data Transmission Rates New design approach enables PCIe gen-4, 100 Gbps Ethernet and InfiniBand switch fabrics within OpenVPX processing subsystems to run 2.5x faster than current technology Mercury Systems, Inc. announced the availability of 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) board-to-board data transmission rates enabling next-generation PCIe® Gen-4, 100 Gbps Ethernet and InfiniBand™ high-speed switch fabrics to run faster within OpenVPX™ embedded computing subsystems. This new milestone in embedded computing technology more than doubles previous OpenVPX switch fabric bandwidths and is made possible through Mercury’s robust modeling and design for performance capabilities with existing backplane and module technologies. These capabilities produce higher fidelity transmission lines that mitigate the impact of in-subsystem signal channel limitations enabling next-generation data rates while remaining compliant with open architecture standards including VITA 68.2 (signal channel compliance) and VITA 65 (OpenVPX). The resulting high-integrity transmission lines deliver sustained data rates of 100 Gbps and beyond with extremely low bit error rates. The approach is so robust that it delivers consistent performance across a broad temperature range, making it ideal for embedding into rugged defense applications. “Our customers are looking to add deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to their next-generation sensor and mission processing systems, and a key enabling ingredient is bandwidth. With more and higher wideband sensors appearing on tactical platforms, bandwidth has become a bottleneck to the efficient prosecution of new and adaptive missions,” said Joe Plunkett, Mercury’s Senior Director and General Manager for Sensor Processing Solutions. “Mercury’s 100 Gbps OpenVPX subsystem fabrics removes this constraint, enabling our customers to deploy today’s most powerful processing capabilities at the tactical edge, confident that the same infrastructure will also support future generation processing requirements.” Mercury Systems, Inc.

Marvin Test Solutions Expands UserProgrammable PXIe FPGA Product Line GX3800e Leverages the Industry Standard VITA 57 FMC Interface Marvin Test Solutions, Inc., a trusted provider of globally-deployed innovative test solutions for military, aerospace, and manufacturing organizations announced the release of the new GX3800e High Performance PXI Express FPGA module. The GX3800e employs the Altera Cyclone V FPGA, which supports data rates up to 3.125 Gb/s and features over 300,000 logic elements and 12.2 Kb of user memory. The GX3800e uses a daughter card for the I/O physical layer and these cards can be commercial off the shelf VITA 57 FMC (FPGA Mezzanine Card) modules, MTS’ line of daughter cards, or user designed cards. This innovative approach facilitates the integration of many applications and interfaces including A to D, D to A, Camera Link, FPDP, and high speed serial using a single PXIe slot. The design of the FPGA is done using Altera’s Quartus or the licensefree Quartus Prime Lite tool set. The user FPGA’s interface to the PXIe bus is partitioned via an internal address and data bus which is accessed via predefined registers and supported by the module’s software driver and an interactive UI. The result is a simplified design / integration process since both the PXIe bus interface and associated soft-

ware driver are known, tested entities. And as an added benefit, the compiled FPGA design can be loaded into on-board flash memory via this same interface, providing users with an easy way to incrementally design / test / modify their FPGA code. “The broad adoption of user programmable FPGAs for test and measurement applications has allowed test engineers to create custom instrumentation and interfaces for complex, mission critical applications from the flightline to the factory,” said Major General Stephen T. Sargeant, USAF (Ret.), CEO of Marvin Test Solutions. “With the addition of the GX3800e which leverages COTS FMC modules and industry standard IP cores and programming tools, our customers can realize a streamlined design process, long- term supportability, and the flexibility to adapt to future test needs.” Marvin Test Solutions

Elma Electronic Inc. is offers the ComSys-5301 The ComSys-5301, a highly rugged embedded computing system designed for SWaP-constrained, harsh environments. Based on the industry standard COM Express and mini PCIe form factors, the modular computer is easily configured and upgraded with application-targeted I/O, CPU and storage. Designed using Elma’s extensive packaging expertise, the new ComSys-5301 endures tough environmental conditions to provide highly reliable, long-term performance. With special attention paid to SWaP optimization, the system is lightweight and energy-efficient, while still offering high performance processing. The integration of advanced computing technology with a rugged, compact design makes the ComSys-5301 perfect for use in ground vehicles, unmanned systems and vehicles, drilling and mining operations, command centers and other mission critical applications.

The fanless ComSys-5301 uses passive conduction cooling and features a 4th Gen Intel Celeron CPU, solid state storage, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and flexible I/O configurations. Robust MIL-38999 connectors ensure that the I/O interfaces can withstand severe environmental conditions, such as intense shock, vibration and humidity, typically found in rugged, mobile applications. Approximate weight is just 6 lbs. and the sys-

COTS Journal | January 2019


January 2019

COT’S PICKS Kontron Announces First Customer Shipments of its New I/O Intensive VX305C-40G 3U VPX Single Board Computer Herrick Technologies Labs and another major U.S. system integrator leverage the Open Systems Architecture benefits of Kontron’s latest serverclass defense platform

Herrick is integrating the VX305C-40G SBC with a Model 71813 XMC board from Pentek, Inc., which will provide customizable I/O signal status and control for their new SOSA(TM) C4ISR demonstrator system for the U.S. Army. Herrick selected the VX305C-40G specifically to demonstrate the I/O Intensive SBC functionality needed for their system. The performance and extensive I/O of the VX305C-40G gives Herrick the ability to bring a new level of server-class computing

Kontron announced the first customer shipments of its new VX305C-40G 3U OpenVPX Open Systems Architecture (OSA) single board computer (SBC) module to two customers, Herrick Technology Laboratories, Inc. of Germantown, MD and another major U.S. system integrator. Developed in alignment with the SOSA(TM) Technical Standard, the Kontron VX305C-40G is the first instance of a new, fully-defined OpenVPX SBC profile, which was designed specifically to meet the needs of the U.S. defense community in their drive for Open System Architecture (OSA) computing platforms. Designed to the soon-to-bereleased VITA 65 slot profile SLT3-PAY-1F1F2U1TU1T1U1T-14.2.16, known as the “I/O Intensive SBC profile”, the VX305C-40G combines the computational power of the 12-core Intel® Xeon® D-1559 processor with a rich assortment of I/O, most notably the 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Data Plane. The Kontron VX305C-40G opens a new era in OSA for defense systems.

and digital signal processing (DSP) to the battlefield using open systems architectures, and fills a critical niche in OSA platforms. “Herrick’s SOSA demonstrator project is an important, fast-paced effort to demonstrate the value of Open Systems Architectures for defense sensor platforms,” says Acie Vickers, CEO and

President of Herrick Technology Laboratories. “By providing key components for this design, Kontron and Pentek are helping to deliver on the OSA promise of faster and simplified technology updates for defense sensor platforms.” “For years Kontron has led the charge for OSA with standards-based platforms such as COMe modules and ITX motherboards,” says Andy Mason, VP/Head of Technology Platforms at Kontron. “We are committed to lending our experience in meeting Open Systems Architecture challenges in defense systems with our participation in standards activities such as SOSA and continuing to develop advanced products like the VX305C-40G.” The goal of OSA standards activities such as SOSA is to reduce the cost of defense systems and to enable more rapid technology upgrades. By tightly defining the physical connectivity and a minimum feature set for hardware modules, OSA products like the VX305C-40G can potentially reduce technology upgrade project times from months or years to days or weeks. Systems can also be rapidly changed as their missions evolve and new technologies bring new capabilities. Common slot profiles and functionalities defined in OSA standards increase the likelihood that new hardware modules will “just work” when inserted into an existing system. Kontron

The widest selection of VPX power supplies, without the high cost of full-customization Most manufacturers offer just a few VPX power supplies off the shelf. The Behlman VPXtra® series offers 20 diverse COTS DC to DC, AC to DC and hold-up units that can be configured for a wide range of high-end industrial and military airborne, shipboard, ground and mobile applications – without the cost of full-custom development.

• Xtra-reliable design, Xtra-rugged construction • State-of-the-art engineering standard • Both 3U and 6U, VITA 62, OpenVPX compliant Insist on the leader. Not just VPX, VPXtra®

ORBIT POWER GROUP Behlman Electronics • 631-435-0410 • 30

COTS Journal | January 2019

January 2019


PolarFire FPGA Burst Mode Receiver

PolarFire FPGA-based Solution Achieves ClassLeading Power Dissipation, Form Factor and 10.8 Nanosecond Lock Time, Enabling New Class of OLT Solutions While most current optical line terminal (OLT) implementations are in central office formats with large port counts in huge chassis configurations, there is growing demand amongst system architects, chief technology officers and carriers for fewer port, compact, low-power and low-cost form factors for 10G passive optical network (PON) OLTs. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP), through its Microsemi Corporation subsidiary, provides industry-leading support for these capabilities with the first and only field programmable gate array (FPGA) for 10G PON OLT implementation in compact form factor. The new PolarFire FPGA burst mode receiver (BMR) solution is also the only offering of its kind enabling 10G PON solutions in small form factor pluggable (SFP) and 10 Gb SFP (XFP) footprints. Microchip’s new BMR solution enables customers to build OLTs in unprecedented small form factor modules while drawing the lowest power in

ADLINK’s DDS-based TSS Software is Aligned to the FACE™ Technical Standard for the Aviation Sector Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) ADLINK Technology Inc announced that its Data Distribution Service (DDS) based Transport Services Segment (TSS) software is aligned to Edition 2.1.1 of the FACE™ Technical Standard. ADLINK provides leading Edge Computing solutions that drive data-to-decision applications across industries globally. “ADLINK is a leading DDS vendor in the aviation industry offering a well-established solution aligned to the FACE Technical Standard,” said Mike Roberts, solutions architect at ADLINK. “ADLINK’s Vortex OpenSpliceTM solution is part of our Vortex Intelligent Data Sharing Platform and is being used globally by our customers in mission-critical defense and aerospace applications, ranging from radar processors to simulation and next-generation network-centric systems. Our DDS expertise has grown from our strong track record of enabling real-time device, Edge and cloud data sharing by

extreme thermal environments. Completely customizable with the industry’s fastest (10.8 nanosecond) lock times in mid-range FPGAs for PONs, the BMR enables a compact PON solution in tiny optical module-based form factors. As an increasingly popular telecommunications technology used to provide fiber to the end consumer, PONs implement a point-to-multipoint architecture using unpowered fiber optic splitters to enable a single optical fiber serving multiple end points.

“The PolarFire FPGA BMR solution is a game changer for our clients designing 10G PON applications because it fundamentally changes the way they build, deploy and maintain systems,” said Shakeel Peera, vice president of FPGA marketing for Microchip’s Programmable Solutions business unit. “The combination of PolarFire FPGAs and the new BMR technology enables designers to build unique, proprietary solutions that address the key challenges of reducing power consumption and heat dissipation of PON equipment, while delivering the small formfactor their end customers are demanding to expand remote deployment choices for carriers.” Microsemi Corporation

providing standards-based, open architecture defense and aerospace solutions. “Vortex DDS is a crucial enabler for systems that have to deliver high volumes of data reliably and securely with stringent end-to-end qualities-of-service. The software plays a vital role in many mission-critical systems by ensuring that the right information is delivered to the right place at the right time.” ADLINK has developed its Vortex DDS implementation as a reference to align to the FACE Technical Standard Edition 2.1.1 TSS, using DDS as the underlying transport layer. This is fully compatible and interoperable with the commercially supported Vortex OpenSplice V6.10 solution. ADLINK’s TSS reference implementation provides a mapping-layer between the FACE Transport Services Application Programming Interfaces (API) and the standard OMG-DDS API. The TSS implementation supports both C++ and Java APIs and enables portable components to share and exchange data using DDS. ADLINK Technology Inc

Elma’s Open VPX CMOSS Backplane Supporting the DoD C4ISR Modular Open Suite of Standards for hardware convergence

With you at every stage! Elma Electronic Inc., USA

COTS Journal | January 2019


January 2019

COT’S PICKS New 3U VPX GPGPU Integrates GPU and Quad-Core ARM CPU on One Board, Dramatically Reducing Footprint and Power Consumption

cessing power in a single 3U VPX slot. With 60 GFLOPS/W performance, the new board offers the best performance per Watt of any in its class. The new C535 and software development ecosystem will be showcased at AUSA 2016.

C535 Typhoon easily handles advanced graphics and signal processing requirements of today’s military and defense applications

Dan Mor, GPGPU product manager for Aitech, noted,” The combination of the CPU and GPU on one board enable system designers to rethink the amount of computing power that can

It’s enhanced video and signal processing capabilities make it ideal for the next generation of autonomous vehicles, avionics and flight systems, surveillance and targeting systems and EW systems. On-board resources include dynamic voltage and frequency scaling as well as a temperature sensor and time elapsed recorder. The board’s robust I/O options include dual Gigabit Ethernet, UART and USB serial ports, dual DVI/HMDI video outputs, composite and SDI video inputs, Camera Link video input, USB, discretes and a stereo HD audio output. And like a true SBC, a MiniPCIe site allows expansion of both on-board and external I/O resources. A planned future enhancement is an on-board FPGA to handle added video input and output formats such as composite, STANAG, Camera Link, SDI, more DVI/ HDMI ports and a frame grabber. The NVIDIA Jetson TX1 System on Module (SoM) uses the advanced Maxwell architecture GPU with 256 CUDA cores, which deliver over 1 TFLOP of signal and video processor performance. An H.264/H.265 encoder is also included.

The New 3U VPX GPGPU Technical Specifications: • 1 TFLOP/60 GFLOP/W processing in a 3U VPX slot • NVIDIA® Jetson™ TX1 SoM ARM Quad-Core CPU and NVIDIA Maxwell 256 CUDA cores GPU • Robust I/O for diverse applications • Low power, optimum SWaP performance The heart of Aitech Defense Systems the C535 Typhoon is based on Jetson TX1 SoM, which combines a powerful ARM Quad-Core CPU with the advanced NVIDIA Maxwell GPU. This combination is perfect for unparalleled pro32

be achieved in their SFF 3U VPX subsystems. And with the diverse set of I/O that the C535 provides, many system requirements can be accommodated with fewer cards, improving system design flexibility and enabling a more efficient system in terms of both power and cost.” The rugged C535 Typhoon draws a maximum of only 17 W, with 8-10 typical. This low power consumption, along with the board’s small footprint, helps redefine SWaP (size, weight and power) in embedded computing systems, especially those designed for mobile and harsh applications.

COTS Journal | January 2019

Memory capabilities include a 32 GB miniSATA SSD with SLC Flash. Security features includes quick erase and secure erase. The board also features 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM in dual channels operating at 3,200 MT/s and 16 GB of eMMC 5.1 as the boot source. Additional security features include HW acceleration for AES 128/192/256 encryption and decryption as well as for AES CMAC, SHA-1 and SHA-256 algorithms. An HW random number generator and 2048-bit RSA HW function further secure the board’s processing data. Aitech Systems Ltd.




SFF Chassis Enables Mini-ITX Modules in Airborne Platforms

Atrenne Integerated Solutions has announced an extension to the Small Form Factor (SFF) 760 Series electronic packaging design which Company Page# Website enables off-the-shelf Mini-ITX and PCIe commercial electronics CCA’s Atrenne Integrated Solutions ............ 34 ................................... to be deployed in airborne applications that reach stratospheric altitudes, well above 50,000 feet. Commercial components are typically Avalex Technoogies .......................... 10 ...................................... not designed to operate in reduced pressure environments. For examBehlman Electronics ....................... BC, 30 ............................... ple, standard aluminum electrolytic capacitors, are designed for atmoChassis Plans .................................... 22 .......................... spheric pressure corresponding to 10,000 feet and below. Elma Electronics ............................ 31 ........................................ Atrenne created a hermetically sealed rugged enclosure which mainGAIA Coverter Inc ........................... 26 . ........................ Mercury Systems ................................ 4 ................................. tained an atmospheric pressure of one atmosphere at all times, essenMPL ................................................... 23 ............................................. tially simulating a lab operating environment. In order to maintain a North Alantic Industries .................... 13 ......................................... seal, Atrenne employed a gasket able to buffer mechanical occlusions OSS ................................................... 5 ...................... between the two precisely machined aluminum surfaces of the enPentek ............................................. IBC .................................... closure. Atrenne also developed a creative solution to maintain a seal PICO Electronics, Inc ........................ 27 ....................... around fiber optic cables, I/O cables and connectors. The solution also Red Rock Technologies, Inc .............. 23 ............................ incorporated workmanship standards, and design for vibration, shock, Supermicro ...................................... IBC ............................ and temperature. With a robust enclosure design, the system was able Trident infosol .................................. 33 ............................... to meet stringent application requirements by isolating sensitive interVicor Cororation................................ 19 ......... nal electronics from the harsh external environment.

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One Stop Systems Celebrates their Initial Public Offering

Steve Cooper, CEO of OSS and those that assisted with the IPO celebrate by opening a day of trading on Nasdaq! 34

COTS Journal | January 2019

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