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October 2020, Volume 22 – Number 10 • cotsjournalonline.com

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Training and Simulation: Transportable Performance Advances Access at the Point of Need Phoenix Demonstrates Neutron Radiography Techniques for Product Inspection

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing 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.


Training and Simulation: Transportable Performance Advances Access at the Point of Need By John Burie, Product Manager, Training and Simulation, Dedicated Computing



Publisher’s Note SPACE Force A new frontier


The Inside Track

Phoenix Demonstrates Neutron Radiography Techniques for Product Inspection By Dr. Ross Radel, CEO Phoenix


Editor’s Choice for October

Cover Image Two Royal Marines from 40 Commando Recce Troop pose for a photograph whilst on a military training exercise in California. This image was part of the winning selection by Amateur Photographer of the Year, Marine James Clarke

COTS Journal | October 2020


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing



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COTS Journal | October 2020

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SPACE Force A new frontier An Introduction to Space Force The Space Force is a new sixth branch of the service that has the mandate to protect the interest of the United States in space and to deter aggression in, from, and to space. Organized within the Department of the Air Force, it was felt that the Air Force was too pre-occupied by its primary goal of air supremacy to put the needed resources forward to manage the challenges of space. Created through a Congressional mandate, funding for Space Force for 2020 was $1.6 billion with more than half going towards three launches done in concert with private partners. The service has approximately 20,000 airmen and Defense Department civilian employees on a temporary assignment. Commanded by General John “Ray” Raymond, the Space Force is working with Col. Eric Felt of the Air Force Research Laboratory to create a technology pipeline in cooperation with private industry. This intersection between the technology resources of the Air Force, private industry, and the needs of the Space Force has created resource rich, nimble, and process capable technology pipeline. Col. Felts describes his role as “planting the future” regarding space domain awareness. As the number of objects in space is expected to increase dynamically over the current estimates of 30,000, Col Felts has his hands 6

COTS Journal | October 2020

U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond conducts a press briefing with the Pentagon Press Corps to address Space Force response efforts for COVID-19 at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., March 27, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

full. Today the AFRL has more than 700 billets traceable to Space Force. To meet these demands and the many more to come, Col Felts is clear that cooperation between AFRL and private companies large and small is a must. He describes the needs of AFRL being based on three “P’s”: • Pipeline – The only way to defend the US against our adversaries is to have a rich pipeline of science and technology that looks far into the future of space. • Partnerships – That it will require both large and small partners working in cooperation to bring the most innovative solutions to the forefront. • People – Scientists and innovators are in demand to bring the brightest minds to bear on the issues faced with these extreme environmental concerns. An example of this cooperation can be witnessed in the use of commercial LEO Satellites (low earth-orbiting

The service has approximately 20,000 airmen and Defense Department civilian employees on a temporary assignment. satellites) to augment our national satellites in support of our Link 16 radios. In this example, we can support a NATO standard with more than 30,000 radios with

People watch an Atlas V AEHF-5 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on August 8, 2019. Previously, the Atlas V rocket has launched Advanced Extremely High-Frequency communication satellites from CCAFS in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dalton Williams)

commercial satellites. This ability would greatly enhance our ability to communicate in areas where ground or even air-based communications links were prohibited or under great threat. An example of a forward-looking program that is key to Space Force is a program called PRAM (photovoltaic RF antenna module) that is being done in cooperation with “SPIDER” (Space Solar Power incremental Demonstration and Research, or SSPIDR). The idea is to use the Sun’s power to beam power in space. In a recent demonstration of PRAM using an X37 B aircraft, many of the fundamentals were proven, taking the technology one step closer to practical deployment. The ability to beam power could have huge ramifications across many defense and commercial applications. As with all new things, Space Force has its critics. Those that believe that further expansion to defense spending is not warranted to those that believe that being too close to the commercial industry creates a security risk. Whether you believe these arguments to have merit or not, the demands of space and the potential value of space cannot be left to our foes. The challenges of space domain awareness will lead to advancement in areas such as AI and machine learning. It will assist with connecting and monitoring areas of conflict or natural disasters. So although Space Force has a modest budget in comparison to the other branches, the need to meet the demands of space will dictate that they remain nimble and partner with many private companies. Although we think of these as Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, other technologies from smaller partners will be needed. Advancement surrounding GPS III will enhance positioning, navigation, timing and security, opening the door for many smaller technologies to participate as just one of the many programs moving forward. COTS Journal | October 2020




Raytheon Missiles & Defense, RAFAEL team to establish U.S.-based Iron Dome Weapon System production facility Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies (RTX: NYSE) business, and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an Israeli-based defense technology company, have signed a joint venture to establish an Iron Dome Weapon System production facility in the United States. The new partnership, called Raytheon RAFAEL Area Protection Systems, anticipates finalizing a site location before the end of the year. “This will be the first Iron Dome all-upround facility outside of Israel, and it will help the

Russian Su-27 fighter intercepts US, German spy planes over Baltic Sea The foreign reconnaissance planes were not allowed to violate Russia’s state border, according to the National Defense Control Center According to the Russian News agency, TASS a Russian Su27 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept a US Air Force U-2S reconnaissance plane and a German P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft over the Baltic Sea, Russia’s National Defense Control Center reported. 8

COTS Journal | October 2020

U.S. Department of Defense and allies across the globe obtain the system for defense of their service members and critical infrastructure,” said Raytheon Missiles & Defense Systems’ Sam Deneke, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense business execution. The new facility will produce both the Iron Dome Weapon System, which consists of the Tamir interceptor and launcher and the SkyHunter® missile, a U.S. derivative of Tamir. Both Tamir and SkyHunter intercept incoming cruise missiles, un-

Russian radars detected two air targets approaching Russia’s state border on October 26. A Su-27 fighter from the air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to identify them, the statement says.

manned aerial systems, and short-range targets such as rockets, artillery, mortars, and other aerial threats. “We are excited about this new stage in our partnership with Raytheon and proud of our U.S. production,” said Brig. Gen. (res.) Pini Yungman, executive vice president for Air and Missile Defense of RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems. “We have long partnered on U.S. production of Iron Dome and are pleased to increase manufacturing and bring SkyHunter to the U.S.”

“The Russian fighter’s crew sequentially identified the air targets as a German Navy P-3C Orion maritime patrol plane and a US Air Force U-2S reconnaissance aircraft and escorted them over the Baltic Sea,” the National Defense Control Center said. After the foreign military planes flew away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to its home airfield. The foreign reconnaissance planes were not allowed to violate Russia’s state border, the Center stressed.



NSWC Crane technologies assessed from across DoD for commercialization in NSIN’s Defense Innovation Accelerator

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) had several technologies from its vast patent portfolio selected for the National Security Innovation Network’s (NSIN) Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA) program. Currently, the program is in the second and final phase with its Demo Day scheduled for 3 December. The NSIN DIA, powered by FedTech, leverages breakthrough technology to solve the real-world problems of the Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial customers.

and the Crane inventors of the technologies are eager to assist.”

autonomous systems, AI, VR and computer vision, sensors, and human performance tech.

For the 2020 DIA program, one-third of the technologies selected were from NSWC Crane. For Phase I, eight Crane technologies were chosen from across research and development (R&D) laboratories in the DoD. Teams of entrepreneurs worked on these technologies to determine their market and commercial viability. Four of those teams passed judging at a Pitch Day event to Phase II.

One team in the DIA cohort working on Crane technology, called FORCYTE, is a purpose-built software platform that accurately calculates sending wireless power over long distances safely and efficiently. FORCYTE is working with NSWC Crane subject matter experts Corey Bergsrud and Alex Zellner. Since the cohort started in June, FORCYTE has licensed two technologies and entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with NSWC Crane.

Dix says this program is a unique opportunity to ensure maximum value from R&D investments.

Jenna Dix, the Technology Transfer Director at NSWC Crane, says this partnership with the NSIN DIA program is a great way to expand the use of Crane developed technology.

“By participating in the DIA program, we’re increasing the likelihood that technologies sitting on our shelves make it into the hands of the warfighter,” says Dix, “while at the same time, supporting the U.S. economic base by working with entrepreneurs to bring this same tech into the commercial marketplace.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for Crane,” says Dix. “The entrepreneurs participating are experienced and highly motivated

During the 2020 DIA cohort, teams of entrepreneurs are working with cybersecurity and secure communications technology,

The FORCYTE team has stated the program and working with the inventors has been beneficial. “The highlight of the DIA program has been the great team and mentors. Additionally, the inventors and interviews have been tremendously helpful.” The entrepreneurs on the FORCYTE team are interested in applying the technology to help the warfighter. “What inspires us is the opportunity to advance a DoD technology that helps the warfighter and society improve access to energy over longer distances.” About the NSIN DIA The NSIN Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIA), powered by FedTech, pairs technology developed in the Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories with those interested in starting a high-tech company. Teams of entrepreneurs are paired with knowledgeable instructors and mentors who have entrepreneurial experience and/or are experts in their field to guide the process. Working with top DoD research labs and inventors, teams will validate whether the technology can be commercialized to solve problems faced by the DoD and beyond. At the end of the cohort, teams will present labs with a market assessment report and may seek to form companies and license the technology. NSIN builds a national network of innovators and delivers programming, like DIA, that solves real-world, DoD problems through collaborative partnerships with non-traditional problem-solvers within the academic and early-stage venture communities.

COTS Journal | October 2020




L3Harris will lead a team to help transform the U.S. Air Force’s flight simulator training used to help develop highly skilled aircrews The team includes L3Harris, CAE USA, CymSTAR, Dell Technologies, and Leidos. The team will lay the groundwork for updated training infrastructure, New standards will lead to enhanced cybersecurity and enable remote software updates

L3Harris Technologies will lead a team to help transform the U.S. Air Force’s flight simulator training used to help develop highly skilled aircrews. The L3Harris team – including CAE USA, CymSTAR, Dell Technologies, and Leidos – will support the Air Force’s Simulators Common Architecture Requirements and Standards (SCARS) program, which will integrate and standardize the service’s aircraft training simulators. The team will help the Air Force develop a set of common standards for simulator design and operation. Simulators are built by multiple providers using unique interfaces, which makes training updates difficult. SCARS’ stricter cybersecurity criteria will enable the Air Force to link

simulators together, perform remote software updates, and enrich the training environment. There are approximately 2,400 simulators across 300 locations that will be updated with the new common architecture over the next few years. The initial task order covers nine sites and integrates new standards into the A-10 and KC-135 platforms. “The future of Air Force training is here. The L3Harris team will transform the simulator infrastructure and provide the Air Force with increased cybersecurity and a common operating environment,” said Todd Gautier, President, Aviation Systems, L3Harris. “The integrated solution will allow the Air Force to grow into multiple platforms and provide crews with a more realistic training environment.” “As we move to multi-domain operations there’s an increased focus on commonality and interoperability for all Department of Defense training efforts,” said Lt. Col. Rick Jaime, Materiel Leader, Operational Training Infrastructure at the U.S. Air Force, “We look forward to working collaboratively with our prime and partners to create a unique approach to synthetic training environments. These are capabilities that will integrate into broader training systems in the future.”

General Dynamics awarded a $761 million GSA contract for U.S. Southern Command cyber modernization GDIT selected to modernize Combatant Command’s IT infrastructure, spanning Central America, South America, and select countries in the Caribbean

General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a business unit of General Dynamics announced it has been awarded the Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Cyber Information Technology Enterprise Services (SCITES) contract by the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM). This new work will modernize and normalize information technology for SOUTHCOM combatant command blue terrain in the cyber warfighting domain to ensure an interoperable and defensible architecture. The single-award holds a total estimated value of $761.6 million and includes a seven-month base period with six one-year options. GDIT continues to expand its footprint within the Combatant Commands and Joint Task Forces mission areas. Through this contract, which was awarded in September, GDIT will provide global enterprise IT and digital modernization services. Work completed under SCITES will accelerate technical capability delivery, enable proactive enterprise situational awareness, enhance secure information sharing, and improve operational efficiency. “This new award demonstrates GDIT’s continued dedication to the Combatant Commands and Joint Task Forces,” said GDIT’s Senior Vice President of Defense, Leigh Palmer. “Through this contract, GDIT will modernize the Command’s IT infrastructure through innovation and emergent technology, delivering advanced security and transformational results to its mission.” GDIT will provide a full range of digital modernization services and technical solutions including installation, operations, and maintenance of a Tier 3 Cyber Security System Provider (CSSP), cloud computing, edge computing, multiple X as a Service (XaaS) solutions, and software development.


COTS Journal | October 2020



Arnold Defense announces two major orders for FLETCHER Land-Based 2.75inch Rocket Launcher

Arnold Defense announces the receipt of two major orders for their unique FLETCHER Land Based, Laser Guided Rocket Launcher. The FLETCHER precision-guided 2.75-inch/70mm weapon system was first unveiled in 2017 at DSEi in London.

investment program to broaden and prove the system’s already revolutionary capability. In April 2019 Arnold Defense announced the placement of the very first ‘proof of concept’ order for FLETCHER. In June of this year, BAE Systems announced the successful live firing of their APKWS® laser-guided rockets using the FLETCHER ground-based launcher. Arnold Defense is also working on some other revolutionary development projects for FLETCHER including a boat-mounted marine variant and further development of their 23-round MLHS ground-based system, first unveiled at DSEi in 2019. With FLETCHER, Arnold Defense has made a bold departure from the traditional concept of use for 2.75-inch rocket systems; that of an area suppression weapon delivered by aviation assets. Arnold’s innovative approach FLETCHER using advanced rocket-guidance technology to utilize groundbased launch platforms, meeting the demands

of modern, vehicle-mounted, and dismounted asymmetric warfare. FLETCHER’s unique design allows for ease of operation, maintenance, and sustainment. It employs an existing suite of guidance modules, rockets, and warheads, already used in well-known programs and readily available to global forces. As a result, the FLETCHER system is ‘rocket agnostic’ allowing the user to fire their existing in-service 2.75-inch rockets of choice. Doug Wallace, recently appointed President at Arnold Defense said, “Arnold Defense is delighted to have signed these two contracts to supply our supremely capable FLETCHER surface-based rocket launcher.” He added, “FLETCHER has generated huge interest globally with its unique capability to deliver organic, long-range precision firepower to even the smallest tactical element. It is great to see the serious international interest.

Arnold Defense is unable to disclose specific details regarding the new contracts in place however, one of the two orders has come from USSOCOM and the other is from an undisclosed European specialist unit. The timings, numbers, configurations, and concepts of use are different for each customer, but Arnold and their integration partners will be delivering a combination of a single (4-round) vehicle-mounted FLETCHER systems, as seen on display at numerous exhibitions and a new and unique twin-mounted (8-round) FLETCHER variant. Vehicle and static mounted FLETCHER systems give the user the ability to accurately engage targets from the ground at a range of over 5km. Since the launch of the concept in 2017, FLETCHER has been showcased at several international exhibitions, generating exceptional levels of interest whilst Arnold Defense has continued with an ongoing development and COTS Journal | October 2020




Boeing’s Australian Unmanned Aircraft Completes First Taxi

Boeing Australia has completed the low-speed taxi test on its first Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft as part of ground testing and preparations for the first flight. The Boeing Loyal Wingman aircraft being developed with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) recently moved under its own power for the first time, a key milestone for the aircraft that’s expected to make its first flight this year. “Air Force partners with industry to ensure we can find innovative solutions to meet our future priorities,” said Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts, RAAF Head of Air Force Capability. “Boeing’s Loyal

The British Defence Secretary announces MOD (Ministry of Defense) Science and Technology Strategy 2020 The MOD Science and Technology Strategy 2020 sets out how MOD will secure and maintain the scientific and technological advantage for the future. We are living in a time of unprecedented change. Science and Technology (S&T) are developing and proliferating faster than ever before and have become a new domain of international competition. New adversaries have emerged, alongside traditional threats, who actively undermine our democracy and society, supported by substantial and rapidly modernizing militaries. Terrorist groups and non-state actors can access technologies and weapons far more sophisticated than before. The natural environment is challenging us with a global pandemic and we have reached the tipping point where decisive action on climate change is required. The MOD Science and Technology Strategy 12

COTS Journal | October 2020

Wingman project is a perfect example of what this collaborative approach can achieve.” “Seeing the prototype take to the runway for this low-speed taxi test is an exciting moment – another significant development milestone ahead of its first flight.” Reaching a maximum speed of 14 knots (approximately 16 mph, or 26 kilometers per hour), on the ground, the aircraft demonstrated several activities while maneuvering and stopping on command. “The low-speed taxi enabled us to verify the function and integration of the aircraft systems, including steering, braking, and engine controls, with the aircraft in motion,” said Paul Ryder, Boeing Australia Flight Test manager.

2020 sets out how MOD will secure and maintain a scientific and technological advantage in the future: • By prioritizing investment to focus on the long term and adopting a challenge-led approach, defense aims to anticipate and shape new technologies and applications of technology, and to build the expertise, policies, and military concepts needed to take advantage of them as soon as they are ready. • MOD will balance this challenge-led approach with a technology push to pursue promising technology or scientific disciplines which offer significant potential to allow them to be integrated into military capability as they mature. MOD will look to collaborate widely but effectively, sharing the effort and sharing knowledge where it in the UK’s interest to do so • Extracting the greatest value and impact from defense research also means

Three Loyal Wingman prototypes will be the foundation for the Airpower Teaming System that Boeing will offer customers worldwide. The aircraft will fly alongside other platforms, using artificial intelligence for such teaming missions. It has advanced design and flight characteristics, including a modular nose section that’s customizable for specific needs and a conventional takeoff and landing approach suitable for many missions and runway types. “Runway independence ensures the aircraft will be a highly flexible and adaptable system for our global customers,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director, Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “This latest test marks the first full unmanned movement of the Loyal Wingman with our Australian partners and takes us a step closer to first flight.”

effectively curating and using the data generated: sharing it appropriately, developing understanding from it, and exploiting it to inform decisions faster than adversaries and competitors. Professor Dame Angela McLean, the Defence Chief Scientific Adviser, said: In an uncertain and rapidly-changing world, we can’t afford to be always on the back foot, fighting the latest challenge. This strategy sets out how I intend defense will get ahead of the game and start actively shaping the future.



Northrop Grumman’s Next Generation Digital Antenna Passes Key Milestone

Northrop Grumman Corporation is moving into the design phase of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Aether Spy next-generation multifunction radar program after successfully completing the System Requirements Review (SRR). Northrop Grumman’s Next Generation Digital Antenna Passes Key Milestone Northrop Grumman’s multifunction software will become foundational building blocks for the next generation of multifunction radio frequency (RF) systems. Aether Spy advances multifunction wideband digital Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology based on the advanced microelectronics created on the DARPA Arrays on Commercial Timescales (ACT) program. It will develop the next generation of integrated circuits that include additional processing and key design features that enable the Department of Defense trusted microelectronics strategy. The advanced devices will be fabricated and integrated into an advanced digital AESA to

demonstrate a multifunction system capable of simultaneously performing multiple sensing, communication, and electronic warfare functions. “We look forward to demonstrating how the advanced digital AESA technology enables unmatched system agility that will meet the challenging mission requirements of advanced platforms,” said William Phillips, director, multifunction systems, Northrop Grumman. “The advanced integrated circuits, digital AESA architecture and multifunction software developed on Aether Spy will become foundational building blocks for the next generation of multifunction radio frequency (RF) systems supporting the future mission needs of the DoD.” “This transition of digital AESA technology aligns well with the Air Force’s digital engineering initiatives,” said Thomas Dalrymple, technical advisor for Sensor Subsystems at the AFRL Sensors Directorate. “Aether Spy will enable significant improvements in surveillance and battle management missions in the future battlespace. The multifunction aspects are enabled by both software and hardware reprogram ability that will ensure this sensor will have an operational impact for years to come.”

COTS Journal | October 2020




Abaco Systems Wins Order to Support Upgrade of Fleet of Fighter Aircraft

Abaco announced that it had received orders from a major prime contractor to support the upgrade of the computing capability of a European nation’s fleet of 70 fighter aircraft. Two of Abaco’s rugged 6U VME Power Architecture® single-board computers (SBCs) will be at the heart of each multiprocessor onboard mission computer. Insertion of the new single board computers enables four boards to be replaced by two, creating valuable onboard space for additional functionality. Also supplied with each SBC was a graphics processor capable of delivering the specific resolution (780 x 780) of the cockpit multi-function display.

trol graphics and displays, and fuse data provided by the aircraft’s sensors. “The original onboard mission computer was designed over 15 years ago, and obsolescence was becoming a critical concern – as was the relative lack of computing capability, even though the system had seen a subse-

quent refresh,” said John Muller, Chief Growth Officer at Abaco Systems. “We were able to provide a form, fit, and function-compatible upgrade that delivered significantly more performance and that matched the current pinout, meaning minimal integration and qualification effort for the customer.

The order is valued at $4.5 million, and deliveries are scheduled to take place through 2022. The onboard computer leverages the real-time capabilities of Wind River Systems’ VxWorks® to store and process digital maps; process synthetic tactical information; con-

PICMG Ratifies MicroSAM™ – The New Microcontroller-Agnostic Module Form Factor for the Enablement of Smart Sensors

MG. “When combined with the PICMG sensor domain network architecture and data model, sensors will seamlessly integrate into the network with plug-and-play interoperability”, he continued.

PICMG announces the ratification of the MicroSAM™ specification. MicroSAM is a new microcontroller-agnostic, ultra-small form-factor module for the enablement of smart sensors.

MicroSAM fills a need not currently addressed by other industry specifications; namely, a compact module targeted at microcontrollers for each of the Industrial IoT sensor nodes. The processing performance and I/O connectivity are targeted toward the sensor interface. MicroSAM may exist in parallel with other embedded technologies, where MicroSAM devices provide sensor connectivity, and PICMG standards such as COM Express®, CompactPCI® Serial, or MicroTCA® provide higher layers of control.

MicroSAM is the first PICMG specification in a series of IIoT-related open standards to reach ratification. It is the only open hardware specification to date that addresses the fast-growing sensor market. MicroSAM enables a fundamentally different IIoT architecture, offering a distributed architecture with true Plug and Play network integration. The specification defines a 32mm x 32mm module hardware platform for traditional sensor vendors wishing to quickly create smart sensors. “I would liken the impact of this specification on the IIoT market to that of the Open Compute Project on the data center space”, said Doug Sandy, Chief Technical Officer, PIC-

Jessica Isquith, President of PICMG, adds “this specification has the potential to accelerate the shift to better sensor interoperability and encourage a better and wider range of options.” Other specification work includes requirements for common firmware features, common data model, network architecture,

and integration with the Distributed Management Task Force’s (DMTF) Redfish management API. PICMG developed this specification to benefit the industry in three specific ways: 1) It will enable sensor vendors to create smart sensors without having to manufacture the control circuitry and/or software by purchasing these components from PICMG-compliant suppliers. 2) It will enable controller suppliers who wish to create smart sensors or smart-sensor components to do so in a way that is interoperable with other suppliers. 3) Accelerate the uptake of smart-sensor technology through open-specifications and interoperability. MicroSAM was developed in collaboration with the following PICMG members: ADLINK Technology Inc., AMI USA Holdings Inc., Arroyo Technology, Avnet Integrated, Elma Electronic, ept, Intel, Lodz University of Technology, nVent, Samtec, TE Connectivity, Trenz Electronic, and Triple Ring Technologies. COTS Journal | October 2020



Training and Simulation:

Transportable Performance Advances Access at the Point of Need By John Burie, Product Manager, Training and Simulation, Dedicated Computing

Compact tech and distributed systems enable interoperable, mobile options for immersive LVC training


COTS Journal | October 2020

The shift to transportable systems has the potential to reshape the training and simulation landscape for the modern military. These flexible, durable systems bring high performance to the point-of-need, making a difference in convenience, cost, accessibility, and results. Increased flexibility is an essential driver in the spectrum of training and simulation initiatives across the armed forces – including the U.S. Army’s Synthetic Training Environment (STE), or programs from Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, a division of NAVAIR tasked with ‘the full range of research and development in support of Naval training systems for all warfare areas and platforms.’

These comprehensive programs build on the government’s Cloud First initiative established nearly a decade ago, treating training as a service and charged with more effectively bringing it to the point-of-need. Such initiatives shift the focus away from hardware and its associated maintenance, reducing costs and hardware footprint, and achieving highly flexible and scalable training capabilities. For military leaders, these are the advances helping to increase mission readiness for soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine, no matter the environment or geographic location. For the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of training systems, it means focusing on

modular, small footprint systems that scale down infrastructure while advancing crucial capabilities like high performance scene generation for live-virtual-constructive (LVC) training. Today this approach also considers health risks and social distancing needs – a full training staff may not need to be onsite. Smaller systems allow trainees more room to spread out, and training systems delivered for small class groups are ideal for temporary or extended use. Portable training and simulation is both distributed and centralized A distributed training environment is capable of connecting multiple simulation devices to a single, centralized database without slowing performance, even while scaling to accommodate varying requirements for numerous users. OEMs must embrace a building block strategy, assessing elements such as storage, compute processing, image rendering, display, and network architectures against real-world needs for secure mobility and delivery of content. Today this means augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) featured in LVC training applications, accessed by users via compact, configurable, portable classroom training systems. In these more compact systems, applications are driven

Figure 1: Dedicated Computing’s portable Aura system is AR/VR and MR (machine reasoning) ready, featuring Intel® XEON™ E server-class processors with built-in security and reliability options such as memory access and error correcting stability. These advanced features are blended with Nvidia®’s full-length, double-width gamer graphics cards to optimize Aura’s commercial gamer class performance. The platform’s design is uniquely extensible, includ¬ing scalable performance tiers as well the power, cooling and environmental stability that anticipates upgradability for future technology generations. Aura is lightweight and portable, minimizing shipping costs and capitalizing on a multi-axis, drop-tested design that ensures stamina for repeated transport. The system ships ready for integration into a full spectrum of training environments, featuring a ½ft² footprint optimized for desktop use, VESA mounting, or under desk and fixed mount designs. Figure 1: Distributed systems bypass limitations of discrete systems to enable immersive point-of-need training blending synthetic environments with real-world devices. For example, soldiers executing aircraft inspections can use system data from flight logs, checklists, or electronic flight bags rather than printed instruction materials or manuals. With the addition of a head-mounted display (HMD), the trainee can access real-world data such as service records the aircraft and how-to guidance for service operations.

with data from a single source rather than multiple locations. Further, training instructors are empowered to make application changes and improvements in real time via access to the same centralized infrastructure.

Bringing image rendering closer to the display The building block strategy is valuable because of the diverse types of training applications and the need for continuous adaptation of system performance. To that end, the distributed network training infrastructure is constructed in layers that encompass network execution modeling, decisions, and higher-level collaboration. Architecture changes are fundamental: OEMs may opt to define one system as the rendering farm used universally by any client on the network, while another holds the software architecture that allows access to specific data used client-by-client. By enabling image rendering to operate closer to the display, data transmission costs are reduced, and technology remains more adaptable to the continued per-

formance evolution of training applications. Transportable systems are key enablers of distributed training A small system footprint is a key enabler of a distributed approach, trading a field of rackmount servers for an individual PC positioned directly on the trainee’s platform. Combining high performance processors and graphics cards (GPUs) to produce a powerful, small form factor simulation engine, these lightweight, portable systems can be shipped from training site to training site. Small but powerful, these systems virtualize simulated elements into an AR/VR headset, for example, the avionics controls and display of a military aircraft or the steering wheel, dashboard, and window views for the driver-trainee of COTS Journal | October 2020


Training and simulation markets are shifting perspective, re-imagining existing high-end simulation solutions....

a military ground force vehicle. Systems and their accompanying costs are downsized for operators and, with a comparatively simple change of software, the same compute and hardware technology can be used to offer training on numerous types of equipment. The key is to ensure the necessary compute horsepower to drive the AR/VR headset, resulting in truly immersive study – no matter the end-use equipment or application. Distributed training in action One aerospace leader offers point-of-need training via a compact solution in a standardized shipping container measuring ~8x40 feet. The container can be trucked to its location and easily stored onsite, optimized for use where larger-scale training facilities are impractical due to space constraints or the need for flexibility. For example, on-demand training can be easily positioned in pier or port locations, convenient for service members and solving accessibility challenges in areas where installing classroom training facilities proves difficult. Most importantly, the power and performance of this container-based solution are not sacrificed as a trade-off for its compact footprint – system capabilities typically only available in racks of larger systems are delivered in a portable setting in a system under a half cubic foot in size. This small footprint system drives multiple monitors and AR/VR headsets. It is intentionally designed for scaling up with the size of the training class, eliminating the need to adapt the computer systems to different training applications. The same hardware can


COTS Journal | October 2020

manage a variety of training needs – systems are extensible to handle Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (SUW), and Fleet Readiness. The container-based system is also interoperable, for example connecting its compute systems with elements such as a field mission as part of an LVC exercise. This also adds value across military branches, readily connecting training scenarios that may involve National Guard, Navy personnel offshore, or airborne Air Force teams. The system itself is also designed to address longevity concerns common in most military applications. Lifecycle management is handled through partnership with the system’s original design manufacturer (ODM), committing to strategies for hardware selection that balances price, performance, and scalability for critical areas such as CPU, memory, storage, and GPU. For example, this platform is deployed to accommodate both commercial and enterprise component options, acknowledging that GPU strategy may vary depending upon the training provider’s product roadmap. Commercial GPUs such as Nvidia®’s GeForce® may be preferred, with updates every 12 months or less, or enterprise-class, such as Quadro® options, may be favored based on an available three-year lifecycle. In this case, the ODM also worked with the training provider during the software development phase, collaborating to optimize performance and determine specific application features handled by the GPU rather than CPU. In contrast to facilities where the compute systems are racked and perform behind the scenes, in this container-based setting, they are operating directly at the student’s station or as part of the onsite image render system. Because of this, visual appearance matters and directly represents the product image and sophistication of the training provider. Acoustic output is a consideration, as noise level of the compute system must not distract the trainee from the audio of the training program itself. In this scenario, system mounting is flexible and may be placed on the back of a display or directly on a student’s workstation. Image render node, networking, and system architecture work together to ensure images and applications are served without latency. Scalability is a factor and the system handles multiple training scenarios; container trucks can be large or small, intended to handle larger or smaller groups of trainees using the same hardware architecture. As a vehicle for train-

ing as a service that is truly on-demand, the shipping container can be moved from point to point, either trucked or trailered across land or transported on a shipping vessels for less accessible locations. Its transportable design minimizes weight and freight costs and includes advanced component retention that promotes stability of the platform during transport. Small footprint, big performance Training and simulation markets are shifting perspective, re-imagining existing highend simulation solutions as more portable and flexible. Whether training how to steer a ship or maneuver a military ground vehicle, these compact systems for LVC training tools offer safe, real-world experience via stairstepped protocols that build on each level of skill. Today system operators are poised to scale solutions to accommodate greater diversity – from full flight simulation to driving sophisticated ground vehicles to operating naval ships like frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and carriers. Small system footprint is a key enabler to

this approach, replacing a field of rackmount servers with an individual PC positioned directly on the trainee’s platform. Blending high performance processors and graphics cards to create a powerful, small form factor simulation engine, these lightweight, portable systems can be transported from training site to training site. It is a shift that represents a new mandate – balancing high performance image rendering in a small footprint for flexible, safe systems that accommodate diverse training needs now and into the future.

COTS Journal | October 2020



Phoenix Demonstrates Neutron Radiography Techniques for Product Inspection By Dr. Ross Radel, CEO Phoenix How Radiation Damages Electronics Ionizing radiation in particular, which is a type of radiation capable of stripping electrons away from atoms it comes in contact with, is particularly destructive to electronics. Alpha and beta particles are forms of directly ionizing radiation that possess their own electric charges (positive and negative, respectively) and thus interact strongly with matter and can ionize atoms simply by coming in contact with them. Gamma rays and neutrons, on the other hand, are forms of indirectly ionizing radiation that carry no charge of their own and interact much more weakly with matter, and cause atoms to become ionized either through phenomena such as the photoelectric effect and the Compton effect or by otherwise producing charged particles which themselves cause ionization. These forms of radiation are profoundly damaging to the semiconductors you will find in any electronic system. When ionizing radiation For many electronics systems, especially in the aerospace, defense, and energy sectors, a critical feature is a certain degree of resistance to high-radiation environments. High-energy electromagnetic radiation such as gamma rays or energetic particles such as neutrons can wreak havoc on electronic infrastructure. As one might expect, neutron generators produce neutron radiation capable of causing damage to electronics, and so developing resilient, radiation-hardened electronics capable of having longer functional lifespans is critical for designing high-output systems. Phoenix, LLC, a nuclear technology company that builds compact, accelerator based high flux neutron generators, found itself in dire need of radiation survivability testing capabilities to further development of its systems. Since there are few facilities in which electronics can be subjected to intense levels of neutron radiation and monitored, Phoenix had to cultivate its own radhard and radiation effects testing capabilities in its neutron imaging facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin to test and develop the electronics suitable for use in its most powerful systems. 20

COTS Journal | October 2020

Figure 1 - An integrated circuit damaged by electrical short

strikes a semiconductor, it can remove some electrons in a process known as electron-hole pair generation. While this process is one of the fundamental phenomena behind the functioning of semiconductors in transistors, integrated circuits, and so on, when it happens as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation, it can lead to undesirable effects and eventually irrevocable damage. A single charged particle knocking loose thousands of electrons can cause electronic noise or signal spikes that cause digital circuits to produce inaccurate or unintelligible results. Ionizing radiation can also cause lattice displacement that actually fundamentally changes the crystalline structure of the semiconductor and causes permanent physical damage. High radiation levels, either in the form of powerful short-term pulses or long-term exposures, can cause random bit flips, change the logical states of memory cells, or cause electrostatic discharges. As a result, normal electronics will have

severely shortened operational lifespans within high-radiation environments, resulting in equipment failing much sooner inside these environments compared to outside them. Radiation Hardening of Electronics Electronics used in spacecraft and satellites, defense systems, military aircraft, nuclear power stations, and other areas where exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation are likely must be designed to be sufficiently resilient to the effects of radiation so as to ensure that they will be able to function properly for a similar span of time as they would normally without the effects of radiation exposure. All electronics will begin behaving erratically and break down eventually as usage and entropy wear them down, but the damage caused specifically by radiation exposure will significantly hasten their demise. This can be mitigated through various means to ensure that electronics can remain healthy and functional with acceptable operational lifetimes.

One set of methods for rad-hardening electronics is to build them out of radiation-resistant materials. Certain materials can endure radiation exposure more effectively than the materials used in commercial-grade electronics. For example, rad-hardened chips can be manufactured on layers of insulating substrate instead of semiconductor wafers and thus can withstand orders of magnitude more radiation exposure. Bipolar integrated circuits can be used in favor of CMOS circuits, as the former have higher radiation tolerance than the latter in certain circumstances such as within amplifier circuits. Magnetoresistive random access memory can be employed, or capacitator based dynamic random access memory can be replaced with static RAM. The chips can be built on a substrate with higher tolerance to deep-level defects such as silicon carbide or shielded by radiation resistant materials. The boron-rich borophosphosilicate glass passivation layer protecting the chips can be manufactured using depleted boron to reduce the risk of neutron activation causing damage to the chips.

Figure 2 - A circuit die that has been rad hardened using a metalization etching process COTS Journal | October 2020


Figure 3 - A compact particle accelerator used for neutron generation

Another set of methods for rad-hardening electronics is less on the physical side and more on the logical side. Electronic systems can be designed with error-correcting code memory to check for and correct corrupt data, and can be built with multiple redundant components at the system or circuit level in order to better filter out the errors that can be produced by ionizing radiation exposure. Effectively radiation-hardened electronics will use as many of these elements as required to ensure that they function as intended for an acceptable period of time in their environments. Testing Electronics in Neutron-Rich Environments In order to ensure that electronic systems in spacecraft, satellites, military aircraft, nuclear power stations, research fission reactors, neutron radiography facilities, and other environments in which large magnitudes of ionizing radiation is likely to be encountered, radiation survivability testing is a necessity. The capacity must exist to subject electronics to amounts of radiation sufficient to simulate the total exposure over the expected lifetime of the part. Madison-based nuclear technology company Phoenix, LLC manufactures the world’s strongest neutron generators for critical applications such as neutron radiography, radioisotope produc22

COTS Journal | October 2020

tion, and neutron activation analysis. In October of 2019, Phoenix’s neutron generators, which rely on a compact particle accelerator to drive nuclear fusion and produce neutron radiation, set a new world record for the highest sustained neutron output from a manmade fusion source. Due to the design constraints of Phoenix’s compact systems, many of the electronic components need to reside within a neutron-rich environment, leading to a significant risk of radiation damage and thus a significant need for sufficiently rad-hardened electronics.

1012 neutrons/cm2. To demonstrate the effects of neutron radiation on typical unshielded electronics, Phoenix’s engineers arranged an experiment to simulate one year of neutron exposure with a commercial off-the-shelf power supply, fitting the operational environment for a system under production for one of Phoenix’s clients. The power supply failed in just twenty minutes under neutron bombardment, corresponding to an effective operational lifetime of under ten days.

While generally rad-hardened electronics are widely available, electronics specifically qualified for functionality in high neutron radiation environments are very rare, due in part to the limited amount of qualified neutron testing facilities in the world, and in part to the high costs currently associated with neutron testing and evaluation. Phoenix’s engineers would have to conduct their own tests on electronic components in order to clear them for use in their neutron generators, and the very same neutron source housed in their Fitchburg facility, the Phoenix Neutron Imaging Center, made for the perfect proving ground.

The Importance of Neutron Radiation Survivability Testing Capabilities Accelerated radiation survivability testing of circuits and systems intended for use in high-radiation environments allows engineers to ensure that radiation hardening design practices are working as intended to prolong the operational lifespan of systems and circuits in high-radiation environments. By expanding access to radiation survivability testing capabilities, the immense cost associated with designing and developing sufficiently rad-hardened systems can be lowered. This is vital for bringing down the material and operational costs of critical applications of neutron radiation.

While designing a neutron generator for a client, Phoenix’s engineers calculated that over the course of one year of operation, the electronics would be subjected to a total neutron fluence (neutrons per square centimeter) on the order of

Environments rich in neutron radiation include neutron radiographic and tomographic imaging systems, medical radioisotope production systems, and fusion reactors. In particular, one of the issues currently holding back the development of

fusion energy is an extremely limited capacity to simulate the massive amounts of neutron radiation within these environments. Public and private institutions alike working to develop nuclear

fusion as a powerful, carbon-neutral source of energy require shielding materials and electronic components capable of withstanding the intense neutron output of a power-generating fusion reac-

tor. Facilities capable of simulating the expected neutron fluence in a fusion reactor are an absolute necessity for designing and developing these materials.

170kV X-ray imaging

440kV X-ray imaging

Neutron imaging

X-rays and neutrons interact with materials differently, creating unique images. This rotary phone is comprised of many dense and light materials. The lower-energy 170 kV X-ray beam could not penetrate the denser materials of the phone. The higher-energy 440 kV X-ray beam could penetrate the denser materials, but was too high-energy to create an image of the lighter materials. The neutron beam could penetrate dense materials but not light materials, creating an image that shows more detail of the phone’s inner workings than either X-ray image could on its own. This is what makes neutron radiography such a powerful complementary tool to X-ray radiography in materials science, materials research. and non-destructive testing applications.

COTS Journal | October 2020


October 2020

COT’S PICKS KP Performance Antennas Releases a New Series of Single-Port Omnidirectional WiFi Antennas

New Omni WiFi Antennas Include 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, and Dual-Band Antennas Frequencies KP Performance Antennas, an Infinite Electronics brand just launched a new line of medium to high-gain, single-port, Omnidirectional WiFi antennas. They are ideal for numerous applications that include public WiFi (including new WiFi 6 radios), wireless video systems, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz ISM bands, Bluetooth applications, IoT, and public safety.

5.8 GHz, and dual-band antennas. These omnidirectional antennas feature a wide variety of gain ranging from 4 dBi to 15 dBi to cover a range of applications and use locations. The compact, lightweight design of these WiFi antennas makes them ideal for tight spaces while retaining aesthetic appeal. These antennas are durable and economical, constructed with robust fiberglass for all-weather operation.

“These new antennas are made with the customer in mind. They are durable and can withstand the elements while maintaining a pleasing aesthetic and a compact design for flexibility in the placement,” said Kevin Hietpas, User Antenna Product Line Manager. KP Performance Antennas www.kpperformance.com

KP’s new single-port, Omni antenna line includes 13 models that cover frequencies of 2.4 GHz,

High performance embedded computing platform for intensive graphical applications Embedded systems and display solutions provider, Review Display Systems Inc. (RDS) has today announced the availability of the Kontron D3713-V/R industrial specification SBC (single board computer). Able to drive four independent displays, with resolutions of up to 4K, the highly integrated Kontron D3713 is ideally suited for use in a wide range of embedded systems featuring graphics-intensive applications. Designed by Fujitsu, and manufactured in Germany, the Kontron D3713-V/R mini-ITX motherboard series supports fan-less operation with AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000 series processors. The D3713-V/R provides exceptional graphics performance with the integrated AMD Radeon Vega GPU (graphics processor unit) providing support for up to four DisplayPort (DP V1.4), one embedded DisplayPort (eDP V1.4) and one dual-channel 24-bit LVDS display interface connections, and display resolutions of up to 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels). Five D3713-V/R motherboard versions are available supporting a range of AMD Embedded Ryzen processors including the V1202B, V1605B, V1807B, R1305G, and R1606G, which enables the graphics performance of the board to be easily adapted for many varied applications such as process control, industrial automation, digital signage, medical imaging, public information kiosks, and facilities management systems. 24

COTS Journal | October 2020

Peter Marchant, embedded division manager, Review Display Systems said, “The new Kontron D3713-V/R motherboard provides a highly integrated computing platform that enables the design, development, and implementation of bespoke embedded systems ideally suited to graphically intensive applications and equipment.” Support for a wide range of embedded systems is enabled with an extensive range of on-board peripherals and interfaces including ethernet 10/100/1000, RS-232/422/485 serial comms, GPIO, USB 2.0 and 3.1, SATA III, MiniPCIe interfaces, and HD audio. The D3713-V/R can be uniquely configured with memory options of up to 32GB DDR4 3200 SDRAM in dual SO DIMM sockets.

The compact mini-ITX form factor of the D3713-V/R has mechanical outline dimensions of 6.7” x 6.7” (170mm x 170mm). A wide operating temperature range of 0°C to 70°C is supported. The Kontron D3713-V/R SBC will operate with a Microsoft Windows 10 or Linux-64 operating system. Review Display Systems can create bespoke options for both firmware and OS support, such as custom embedded Windows system images, and exclusive configurations to provide corporate branding or logos on BIOS start-up splash screens. Display Systems www.review-displays.com

October 2020

COT’S PICKS PCI Express and Ethernet Switch for use in 3U VPX™ systems with simple command-line configuration options.

Concurrent Technologies announces FR 342/ x06, a new 3U VPX switch. FR 342/x06 supports six payload boards and is based around a Broadcom PEX9700 series device for high bandwidth PCI Express Gen 3 data plane connections. In addition, FR 342/x06 provides 1000BASE-BX to each payload slot for control plane connections with an optional Gigabit Ethernet management port on the front panel. An optional XMC site is available to add system storage capability or extra front I/O. FR 342/x06 is offered in both air and conduction-cooled vari-

dSPACE: New Target Simulator for 4-D Radar Sensors Sets New Standards dSPACE is setting new standards for testing of 4-D radar sensors with a new target simulator. The DARTS 9040-G is the first simulator worldwide to process multiple radar signals simultaneously with a bandwidth of up to 5 GHz. It allows for the reliable and efficient development of cutting-edge, high-resolution radar sensors for driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. To precisely capture driving scenarios, self-driving vehicles must have high-resolution radar sensors that provide detailed information, such as with height, distance, and speed of objects with a wide field of view. The excellent resolution and signal quality of the dSPACE Automotive Radar Test System (DARTS) 9040-G supports demanding sensor tests from development to production – end-to-end from chip design

DATA MODUL presents a new product category: easyTOUCH Plus DATA MODU announces easyTOUCH Plus, a new product line that consists of printed cover glass-

ants for use in challenging thermal and shock/ vibration environments and provides a technology refresh for customers using the earlier FR 341/x06 switch. Jane Annear, Managing Director of Concurrent Technologies, commented: “FR 342/x06 will complement our processor products, including the recently released TR E8x/msd and assist our customers to build long life and differentiated solutions. Our strategy is to make it easier to architect VPX based solutions by offering a portfolio of products including development boxes, processors, switches, and storage with high integrity security

to sensor development to end-of-line testing. The DARTS 9040-G target simulator simultaneously covers the high-frequency range of 76 to 81 GHz and has the most compact HF front ends in the world. This unique quality makes it easy to reposition for new test setups. Dr. Andreas Himmler, Senior Product Manager for automotive radar systems at dSPACE states, “We have worked with various pilot users to verify that the DARTS 9040-G reconciles two extremes: the signal purity of a passive delay line and the flexibility and range of functionality of an electronic radar target simulator.”

features suitable for the defense, exploration, energy transmission, and industrial markets.” Concurrent Technologies, Corporation www.ctc.com

its partners, radar specialists ITS, and miro·sys. The dSPACE Automotive Radar Test Systems (DARTS) covers the entire value chain, from sensor testing by chip manufacturers to hardware-in-the-loop validation and end-of-line testing by automobile manufacturers. dSPACE www.dspace.com

dSPACE is continuously expanding its DARTS portfolio in close cooperation with es optically bonded to its proprietary easyTOUCH PCAP products alongside a matching controller. Similar to a modular assembly system, this enables flexible and individual implementation options that cater to customers’ requirements. In contrast to DATA MODUL’s established easyTOUCH Display line, easyTOUCH Plus products are delivered without a pre-assembled display. Due to their design and a high degree of stability, both the glass/touch assembly and the display can be integrated into a customer’s system smoothly and independently of each other. This approach offers customers more flexibility in

selecting a suitable display for their PCAP application and additionally ensures an easy replacement process in case of service requests. “The easyTOUCH Plus products can also be offered bonded directly to a TFT upon request. Customers can select the best TFT option from the extensive display portfolio that DATA MODUL has to offer”, as Markus Hell, Head of Product Management for Touch Solutions at DATA MODUL, explains, “The easyTOUCH Plus line adds the finishing touch to DATA MODUL’s existing PCAP portfolio. The concept enables customers to combine the fundamental components, such as cover glasses/touch screen, display and USB touch controller, in an individual and flexible way”. DATA MODUL www.data-modul.com

COTS Journal | October 2020


October 2020

COT’S PICKS Aitech’s C530 Meets Growing Market Demand for NVIDIA GPU-accelerated Compute in AI Applications Enhanced 3U VPX GPGPU board incorporates NVIDIA Turing architecture Aitech Systems offers its C530 GPGPU board with powerful NVIDIA® GPUs, based on NVIDIA’s Turing™ architecture. The rugged, high-performance board helps designers overcome major hurdles in the rugged AI landscape by providing accelerated data processing of multiple streams simultaneously while withstanding extreme environmental conditions. The enhanced 3U VPX board blends best-inclass NVIDIA technology with Aitech’s powerful ruggedization and SWaP capabilities. Because it is based on COTS, open-standard architectures, the C530 can be easily utilized in several platforms and applications. The use of multi-layered artificial neural networks and the NVIDIA Turing architecture-based GPUs’ ability to concurrently execute floating-point and integer operations give the board a distinct

New 6U SBC Incorporates Intel 9th Gen CPU, Aligns with SOSA Technical Standard Abaco Systems announced the SBC6511, a rugged sixth-generation 6U single board computer aligned with The Open Group Sensor Open Systems Architecture™, or SOSA™, technical standard that integrates the newest embedded CPU and FPGA technologies for rugged compute-intensive, heavy-throughput applications and gives users a

performance advantage over non-GPGPU accelerated architectures. When equipped with the NVIDIA RTX 3000 GPU, the C530 houses 1920 CUDA® cores for parallel processing, 240 Tensor Cores for AI inference, 30 RT Ray-Tracing Cores for real-time rendering, and 6 GB DDR6 for processing of up to 5.3 TFLOPS (FP32). The T1000 GPU’s 896 CUDA cores and 4 GB DDR5 enable 2.6 TFLOPS (FP32) of data processing. Dan Mor, GPGPU product line manager for Aitech, noted, “There’s a growing need for more advanced platforms that enable higher computation power and relatively low power consumption while handling many independent video outputs and providing a large throughput back out to the network. Our enhanced C530 uses the power of NVIDIA to provide these performance needs for compute-intensive applications like AI delivery, video analytics, and image processing.” The C530 delivers state-of-the-art accuracy in complex tasks such as object detection, classification, segmentation, and motion detection. It is used widely throughout rugged HPEC applica-

technology insertion at the data plane, expansion plane, and control plane levels. It demonstrates Abaco’s commitment to continuous innovation with the latest technology and performance standards while aligning with relevant industry standards. The innovative design combines the latest Intel® Xeon® E 9th Generation CPU ( formerly known as Coffee Lake Refresh) with the Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ FPGA with advanced security capabilities (ZU7EG) to yield maximum processing performance and security in a rugged, single 6U VPX slot. The FPGA is the root of trust in the new design, giving users advanced security compared to “bolt-on” solutions found in other designs. Additionally, the SBC6511 utilizes Mellanox ConnectX-5, facilitating dual 40 GigE KR4 data plane fat-pipes for increased

tions, including unmanned and autonomous vehicles—both ground and aerial—and in surveillance, targeting, and advanced weapons systems found in naval, avionics, and industrial environments. Via an MXM site, the C530 currently supports the NVIDIA RTX 3000 GPU, consuming only 80 W, and the NVIDIA T1000 GPU, consuming only 50 W, with new configurations released as higher-performance MXMs become available. The C530 operates as a peripheral board with a compatible x86 VPX host SBC, connected to the host SBC over the VPX backplane, via a high-speed PCIe Gen3 link of up to 16 lanes. Four independent HDMI video ports each support resolutions of up to 1600x1200 at 60 Hz. Aitech Systems https://aitechsystems.com

bandwidth across the system. It supports Linux, Windows, and VxWorks operating systems. In line with Abaco’s commitment to maximizing the value of customer investments and minimizing the long term cost of ownership, a full-featured variant of the SBC6511 is available to provide a robust insertion/upgrade solution for users of the SBC627, delivering substantially superior performance with minimal disruption. In addition to all features of the SOSA aligned variant, the full-feature SBC6511 provides one additional XMC site, one additional DisplayPort™, and four additional USB 3.1 ports through the inclusion of rear P3 and P6 connections. John Muller, Chief Growth Officer at Abaco Systems, said: “The SBC6511 is the foundation of our new 6U SOSA aligned portfolio. It demonstrates Abaco’s commitment to listening to the market and delivering the increased CPU performance, security, and data handling new applications need, but within the same SWaP, envelope engineers want. It also leverages our highly-valued partnerships to deliver a product that helps our customers to do more with less, thereby lowering the overall cost of ownership.” Abaco Systems www.abaco.com

COTS Journal | October 2020


October 2020

COT’S PICKS Compact, Rugged Power System Provides Reliable Charging in Remote Locations

RP24 Power System from Elma meets IEC Class II grounding requirements Elma Electronic has developed an advanced, rugged power system for use in mission-critical field applications deployed in harsh environments. The new RP24 Power System incorporates reinforced insulation to meet IEC Class II requirements, eliminating the need for a ground connection. The compact size of the 1000W AC/DC power supply makes it ideal for use as a 24VDC supply for field-deployed radios and other communications equipment as well as to supply auxiliary DC power to air and ground vehicles in harsh environments. Markus Van Arx, Director Systems for Elma Electronic noted, “In remote deployments, such as


COTS Journal | October 2020

a dry desert or an arid mountainous terrain, it can be difficult to secure proper grounding contact. In conforming to IEC Class II requirements by including additional safety precautions, the RP24 Power System ensures reliable power through its double-insulated protection, while eliminating the risk of shock to the user.” In addition to full load operation from -35°C up to +60°C at an altitude of 3500m, the new IP67-rated unit also protects from EMP, overvoltage, shock, and vibration. The RP24 Power System meets the drop test requirements for MILSTD-810G as well as MILSTD-461G for HEMP (High-altitude Electro-Magnetic Pulse) and lightning overvoltage protection, thanks to the built-in ground bolt. Up to five units can be networked in parallel, providing up to 5000W of continuous power, while

still meeting all EMC requirements. Each power supply has two separate inputs and outputs for battery and load with uninterruptible switching between the AC and battery input. Elma Electronic www.elma.com

October 2020

COT’S PICKS New 3U OpenVPX Backplanes in VITA 65 and VITA 66.4 Optical Formats

Pixus Technologies, a provider of embedded computing and enclosure solutions, has announced new 3U OpenVPX backplane designs in multiple configurations. Pixus has developed OpenVPX backplanes utilizing the BKP3-CEN07-15.2.3 VITA 65 profile. The 7-slot backplane is standardly designed to PCIe Gen3 speeds with options for higher levels. Pixus has also modified the base backplane design to include versions with cutouts for VITA 66.4 contacts for optical interfaces over OpenVPX. The company also offers single slot power and ground OpenVPX backplanes in VITA 65, VITA 67.3, and VITA 66.4 formats. The OpenVPX backplanes can be utilized in open frame or various 19” rack-mountable chassis platform designs. Conformal coating is optional as are populating the Rear Transition Module (RTM) connectors. . Pixus Technologies https://pixustechnologies.com/w


Antenova adds high performer to its 5G antennas Antenova Ltd has added a high performing 5G SMD design to its array of 5G antennas. This brand-new antenna, Lepida SR4L054, is a wideband antenna in SMD form, designed to achieve high efficiency and performance right across the spectrum from 600MHz to 3800MHz. Lepida operates right across the cellular bands B71 (617-698 MHz), LTE 700, GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900, WCDMA2100, B40 (2300 – 2400 MHz), B7 (2500-2690MHz), and B78 (3300-3800MHz). The antenna is linear polarised and has been designed to ensure excellent coplanarity. Antenova has built Lepida for the more demanding applications in 5G, 4G, and LTE where antenna performance and reliability make a difference. In particular, it is designed for wireless devices in the automotive sector, aerospace and UAV, smart metering applications, remote control, and 5G routers. Antenova Ltd www.antenova.com

COTS Journal | October 2020




Page #


Alphi Technology Corporation ..................................


........................................... www.AlphiTech.com

Annapolis Micro Systems ......................................


........................................ www.annapmicro.com

Behlman Electronics .............................................


............................................. www.behlman.com

Milpower Source .....................................................


............................................. w ww.milpower.com

MPL ......................................................................


Neonode .................................................................

14 ............................................. www.neonode.com

OSS ........................................................................ IFC/30

.................................................... www.mpl.com ................................ www.onestopsystems.com

Pasternack .............................................................


......................................... www.pasternack.com

Pentek ...................................................................

26 ................................................. www.pentek.com


PICO Electronics, Inc ............................................. 13/IBC ................................... www.picoelectronics.com Pixus Technologies .................................................


.............................. www.pixustechnologies.com

Sealevel .................................................................


.............................................. www.sealevel.com

Versalogic ..............................................................


........................................... www.versalogic.com

COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at; 3180 Sitio Sendero, Carlsbad, CA. 92009. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 3180 Sitio Sendero, Carlsbad, CA. 92009.

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