COTS Journal, June, 2021

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June 2021, Volume 23 – Number 6 •

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


Applications of FPGAs in SDRs:

What is an FPGA and how are they Implemented in a Software Defind Radio (SDR)? Solving Cyber Security on Avionics Data Bus

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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.


Applications of FPGAs in SDRs: What is an FPGA and how are they Implemented in a Software Defind Radio (SDR)? By Brendon McHugh, FAE and Technical Writer at Per Vices



Publisher’s Note Addressing the Real World of I/O


The Inside Track

Solving Cyber Security on Avionics Data Bus By Michael J. Randazzo, Director of Applications Engineering, AIM


Editor’s Choice for June

Cover Image Tel Aviv, Israel – With over 2,500 combat interceptions, at a success rate of 90%, and numerous lives saved, today marks the 10th anniversary of the first combat interception of Rafael’s Iron Dome Air Defense System.

COTS Journal | June 2021


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing






CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Tom Williams Glenn ImObersteg Robert Hoffman





COTS Journal

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COTS Journal | June 2021


John Reardon, Publisher

Addressing the

Real World of I/O

The need to measure real-world events continues to intrigue the mind. In a recent conversation with a scientist who had focused her career on measuring CO2, she described in laymen’s terms that she had created a “sponge” that would attract the CO2 molecules and by measuring the change in weight of the sponge, she could determine with precision the amount of CO2 in the air. Like in the past, the combination of sensor readings brings together an array of measurements that draw a picture. So just as advancements in RADAR enabled us to both understand where the threat is, and further evolved to determine the speed and direction. Today’s sensors paint a dizzying array of combined measurements that better portray the whole picture. This idea of the military internet of things, combined with the need for

a real-time response has challenged system designers to have powerful solutions that fuse these demands. These include the surge in data at the edge resulting from new sensor and data capture technology. These lead not only to more raw data but also to a growing number of situations with variable inputs that must be resolved quickly. Such complex combinations of data cannot be sent to the Cloud to meet the demands of situations like an immanent vehicle collision or a sudden combat event. As an example, in 2018, only 10% of generated data was created and processed at the edge. By 2025, it is expected to grow to 75%. Processing simply must go out to the edge to meet it without having to transport it to another server environment. Acromag signal conditioners and network I/O were designed as a military solution that could migrate to a commercial application. It is not common to have a sensor used commercially moved to a military application, but it does occur. Areas such as infrared and LIDAR are examples. The opposite is also true, with FLIR and forward-looking RADAR used in law enforcement. The requirements for military applications start with payload and the ability to get them to the forward posts. They go on from there to address reliability and power in a transportable environment.


COTS Journal | June 2021

This is putting large strains on deployed systems at the edge. But unlike commercial systems, the requirement for a SWAP-C optimized solution is a must. The need for a rich feature set solution that meets environmental concerns along with performance has resulted in the release of an array of cost-effective solutions. The modules needed to be easily configured and be offered in numerous flavors to meet the variety of real-world interfaces addressed. They have to be inherently rugged, avoid the use of ribbon cables, and deal with a wide range of temperatures. They had to have both off-the-shelf solutions as well as be able to be spun up fast for custom applications. The idea of a sensor has been blurred a bit to include almost anything on a battlefield that gives off a digital or analog signal of any kind. But in addition, a whole new range of sensors have also joined the cause that determines system parameters, environmental concerns, spectral analysis, acoustics, biometric, HDS Systems along with many others. This need resulted in an explosion of opportunity to augment the reality for the warfighter in ways never before conceived. It has resulted in compute

The idea of a sensor has been blurred a bit to include almost anything on a battlefield that gives off a digital or analog signal of any kind. demands at the edge that combine these sources in a way that combines all relevant data into a cohesive plan. The examples of applications are many and varied. The use of “wide-area persistent surveillance” sensors on the ocean floor that are dormant until they are needed. The use of a facial recognition sensor that can identify persons 100 meters away that is used to see who is boarding a ship are examples of simple sensor arrays. But being tasked to protect large metropolitan areas where most of the populations live, creates a herculean task. Making matters worse, many of the cities reside in the “Ring of Fire”, a 25,000-mile ring of volcanic activities that is rampant with volcanic eruptions. The fusion of information from the simple “intruder detection” to not miss interpreting an earthquake as an attack is key. The combination of inputs creates a complex environment tying seemingly unrelated information together in ways not before heard of. And to do this with a time deterministic calculus that will out-strip the advisories communication ability. This calculus may include sensors monitoring corrosion or the likelihood of a systems failure on a weapons platform. It could calculate the potential for a cyberattack in one environment over another. Acromag signal conditioners and network I/O modules come in numerous popular flavors. They have a family of A to D converters with varying levels of intelligence and sampling rates. They have a family of Digital input and output solutions. Combined with an FPGA platform and their ability to address custom, has created a “toolbox” of solutions that is ideal for the rigors of I/O intense solutions on the front line.

COTS Journal | June 2021




Xilinx Extends Edge Compute Leadership with World’s Highest AI Performance-per-Watt Xilinx, Inc. introduced the Versal™ AI Edge series, designed to enable AI innovation from the edge to the endpoint. With 4X the AI performance-per-watt versus GPUs[1] and 10X greater compute density versus previous-generation adaptive SoCs, the Versal AI Edge series is the world’s most scalable and adaptable portfolio for next-generation distributed intelligent systems. Versal AI Edge adaptive compute acceleration platforms (ACAPs) deliver intelligence to a wide range of applications including automated driving with the highest levels of functional safety, collaborative robotics, predictive factory and healthcare systems, and multi-mission payloads for the aerospace and defense markets. The portfolio features AI Engine-ML to deliver 4X machine learning compute compared to the previous AI Engine architecture and integrates new accelerator RAM with an enhanced memory hierarchy for evolving AI algorithms. These architectural innovations deliver up to 4X AI performance-per-watt versus GPUs and lower latency resulting in far more capable devices at the edge. AI-enabled automated systems require high compute density that can accelerate whole applications from sensor to AI to real-time control. Versal AI Edge devices achieve this by delivering 10X compute density versus Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoCs, enabling more intelligent autonomous systems. Additionally, Versal AI Edge devices support multiple safety standards across industrial (IEC 61508), avionics (DO254/178), and automotive (ISO 26262) markets, where vendors can meet ASIL C random hardware integrity and ASIL D systematic integrity levels. “Edge computing applications require an architecture that can evolve to address new requirements and scenarios with a blend of flexible compute processing within tight thermal and latency constraints,” said Sumit Shah, senior director, Product Management and Marketing at Xilinx. “The Versal AI Edge series delivers these key attributes for a wide range of applications requiring greater intelligence, 8

COTS Journal | June 2021

making it a critical addition to the Versal portfolio with devices that scale from intelligent edge sensors to CPU accelerators.” The Versal AI Edge series takes the production-proven 7nm Versal architecture and miniaturizes it for AI computing at low latency, all with power efficiency as low as six watts and safety and security measures required in edge applications. As a heterogeneous platform with diverse processors, the Versal AI Edge series matches the engine to the algorithm, with Scalar Engines for embedded computing, Adaptable Engines for sensor fusion and hardware adaptability, and Intelligent Engines for AI inference that scales up to 479 (INT4) TOPS[2]— unmatched by ASSPs and GPUs targeting edge applications—and for advanced signal processing workloads for vision, radar, LiDAR, and software-defined radio. Connectivity blocks range from LPDDR-4266, 32Gb/s transceivers to meet all the necessary protocols in edge applications, 40G multi-rate Ethernet, PCIe® Gen4 with CCIX, and native MIPI support for vision sensors up to ei g ht -m egapi xel resolution and beyond—critical to Level-2 ADAS and above. With more powerful AI Engines and an enhanced memory hierarchy that includes accelerator RAM, the Versal AI Edge series is ideal for a wider range of applications across numerous markets.

Accessible to both hardware and software developers, Versal AI Edge ACAPs provide a design-entry point for any developer, including Vivado® design tools for hardware developers, the Vitis™ unified software platform for software developers, Vitis AI for data scientists, and domain-specific operating systems, frameworks, and acceleration libraries for the platform’s target applications. The Versal AI Edge series is the newest member of the Versal ACAP portfolio, adaptive SoCs that are fully software-programmable, with performance and flexibility that far exceed that of conventional CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs. ACAPs can be changed at both the hardware and software level to dynamically adapt to the needs of a wide range of applications and workloads from edge to cloud. Versal AI Core and Versal Prime series are in full production, with Versal Premium ACAPs now sampling.



Rafael marks 10 years since Iron Dome’s first combat interception

Rafael’s President and CEO: Iron Dome’s current capabilities are light years beyond its original design

With over 2,500 combat interceptions, at a success rate of 90%, and numerous lives saved, today marks the 10th anniversary of the first combat interception of Rafael’s Iron Dome Air Defense System. Iron Dome’s development began in December 2007 and was completed in less than 3 years. Within less than a month after being deployed in Israel, on the evening of April 7, 2011, the system was challenged in combat for the first time. A rocket that was launched from the

Gaza Strip was detected by Iron Dome’s radar. Within seconds, the data transmitted to the BMC (Battle Management Center) was processed, and the battery operators needed to decide whether to activate an interceptor against the threat. With precise impact location provided by the BMC, pointing to the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, with a population of more than 130,000 civilians, the crew decided to launch an interceptor and made combat history by intercepting the threat, preventing civilian injuries and significant property damage. Iron Dome’s first massive and dramatic performance took place during operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, when it intercepted over 500 different threats fired from the Gaza Strip onto different parts of Israel, including heavy rocket barrages. Iron Dome had become a g a m e - c h a n g e r, earning it the Israel Security Award in 2012. Iron Dome has played an instrumental role in every conflict since then, by stopping thousands of rockets from hitting Israel, spanning small to large mortars and rockets with varying ranges and warheads. Iron Dome serves as a highly mobile, dual mission system, designed to defeat Very Short Range (VSHORAD), as well as rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM) threats, aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, PGMs, and cruise missiles. Iron Dome provides robust,

yet selective defense. Its ability to discriminate between threats headed towards a populated area and those that will fall into the sea or open fields reduces costs and limits unnecessary interceptor launches. A single battery can protect a medium-sized city. Iron Dome’s development has continued throughout the years, and its capabilities today include wider coverage, protecting a broader spectrum of threats, the ability to handle simultaneous threats, very high-volume salvos, and much more. In August 2019, Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the US Defense Department signed an agreement for the purchase of two Iron Dome batteries for the US Army. Both batteries have now been delivered to the US. In May 2020, Rafael and Raytheon Technologies Corporation signed a joint venture agreement to produce Iron Dome interceptors and launchers in an all-up-round facility in the US. The partnership is called Raytheon Rafael Area Protection Systems (R2S). Rafael has developed additional variants of the Iron Dome system, to form a family that consists of the naval variant C-Dome, protecting strategic naval and land assets against advanced ballistic, aerial, and surface-to-surface threats, including saturated attacks. C-Dome is operational with the Israeli Navy. Iron Dome is also offered as an integrated, all-in-one air defense (I-Dome) system for maneuvering tactical forces in the field on a single-vehicle. Rafael’s President and CEO, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even: “Iron Dome is a household name in Israel, and has become synonymous with excellence. We are proud of our teams of scientists and engineers who developed this extraordinary system and are continuing to do so daily. Thanks to them, Iron Dome’s capabilities are light years beyond its original design. We have seen it turn from a blueprint into a true game-changer, saving lives, preventing escalation, enabling military and political decision-makers to make calm and collected decisions. It has allowed Israel to carry on its daily routine, even while being targeted by an indiscriminate enemy. We are thankful to our teams, to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and the IDF, to our partner industries ELTA, our subsidiary mPrest, and others. We are especially thankful to current and past American administrations for their support in the manufacturing of the system.” COTS Journal | June 2021




USPS Selects Oshkosh Defence for next-Generation Delivery Vehicle Fleet

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced that it has awarded Oshkosh Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV), the USPS’s first large-scale fleet procurement in three decades. The competitively awarded contract allows for the delivery of between 50,000 and 165,000 vehicles over a period of 10 years.

USPS fleet to be increasingly sustainable. Under the contract announced today, the USPS has committed to pay Oshkosh Defense $482 million to initiate engineering efforts to finalize the production vehicle design, and for tooling and factory build-out activities that are necessary before vehicle production. “Our century-long history of delivering products to customers, operating in some of the most demanding and severe conditions

on the planet, uniquely positions us to bring exceptional reliability, safety, and maintainability to USPS’s Next Generation Delivery Vehicles,” said John Bryant, Executive Vice President, Oshkosh Corporation, and President, Oshkosh Defense. “Partnering with trusted suppliers, we have developed a purpose-built solution to support the current and future needs of the USPS,” Bryant concluded. Production of the next-generation delivery vehicle is expected to begin in 2023.

“Oshkosh operates with an unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world. We are honored to have been selected by the USPS to support their important work by manufacturing American-made Next Generation Delivery Vehicles that will connect every home and business across the United States for decades to come,” said John Pfeifer, President & Chief Operating Officer, Oshkosh Corporation. Oshkosh Defense will manufacture both zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE), upgrading the

L3Harris Technologies Signs Definitive Agreements to Sell its Military Training and Combat Propulsion Systems Businesses for $1.45 Billion

tems and related businesses for about $400 million in cash. With annual revenue of approximately $230 million, the Combat Propulsion Systems business manufactures military engines and transmissions.

L3Harris Technologies has signed definitive agreements to sell its Military Training business to CAE and its Combat Propulsion Systems and related businesses to RENK AG for a combined $1.45 billion. Each transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

“With today’s announcement, we have now completed or announced divestitures of businesses with a combined $1.4 billion of

Under the first agreement, CAE will acquire L3Harris’ Military Training business for $1.05 billion in cash. With annual revenue of approximately $500 million, the Military Training business provides a wide range of training systems, simulations, and related services to the U.S. and international military customers. Under the second agreement, RENK AG will acquire L3Harris’ Combat Propulsion Sys10

COTS Journal | June 2021

revenue for $2.5 billion in expected proceeds, and our portfolio shaping process is ongoing,” said William M. Brown, Chairman, and CEO, L3Harris. “These agreements place our Military Training and Combat Propulsion Systems and related businesses with well-suited buyers while positioning L3Harris to further focus on its core technologies and execute its strategic priorities.”



Northrop Grumman to Develop C5ISR and Control Systems for US Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutters

In a newly expanded role as C5ISR systems integrator, Northrop Grumman is responsible for integrating all cyber hardened C5ISR systems, including command and control, communications, navigation, and the shipboard computer networking systems.

bridge, navigation, command and control, computing network, data distribution, machinery control, and propulsion control systems, cyber/information assurance, testing, and integration work. Northrop Grumman solves the toughest

problems in space, aeronautics, defense, and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology, and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products, and services.

“With C5ISR and control system test and integration underway, the ESG-Northrop Grumman team hasn’t missed a beat,” said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems and integration, Northrop Grumman. “The effort and resiliency shown by our teammates at Eastern Shipbuilding Group have been outstanding.” Northrop Grumman’s responsibilities for the OPC platform include the integrated

AMETEK Abaco Announces Design Win for Upgrade to SIGINT, ELINT Systems on US Air Force Aircraft AMETEK Abaco Systems announces a design win with an initial value of $211k, and a lifetime potential of $20 million as part of an electronics intelligence (ELINT) and signal intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities upgrade for

radiofrequency data intelligence gathering over a distributed fleet of US Air Force aircraft. This win includes the VP460 6U VPX Direct RF Processing System and the SBC627 6U OpenVPX rugged single board computer. The VP460 is an industry-leading Direct RF Processing System that combines an integrated Xilinx® Zynq® Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) and a powerful Xilinx®

Virtex® FPGA for ultra-fast onboarding and processing of RF signals. The SBC627 features the 5th Generation Intel® Core i7 processor. Used in conjunction, the VP460 processes data, while the SBC627 acts to interface with the data received and transmit that data to the end-user for further processing. The combination of the processor and single board computer delivers a cohesive system that provides for front-end RFSoC and backend post-processing, data collection, and algorithm management through the second FPGA on the card. This innovative solution is the first that delivers the combination of an RFSoC with powerful FPGA in a single card design with a high-speed backplane interconnect while being ruggedized to meet the environmental performance requirements. Pete Thompson, VP of Product Management at Abaco said, “Our innovative approach with the VP460 and SBC627 brings the opportunity to supply an upgrade from old systems, which recorded data for later analysis, to new technology allowing for real-time processing of ELINT and SIGINT with the latest tech offerings. Delivering best-in-class products to assist in mission-critical operations is at the core of our commitment to supporting warfighters on land, air, and sea.” COTS Journal | June 2021




More power: Next-generation solar arrays headed to Space Station

The new solar arrays are about half the size but twice as powerful as the original solar “wings” that convert the sun’s energy into electricity for ISS systems and research equipment. Stronger, more efficient solar cells from Boeing Spectrolab are supported by a structure that unrolls on its own without heavy motors. A total of six arrays will be transported and installed by the end of 2023. The new arrays will increase overall power generation on ISS to 215 kilowatts, providing a 20 to 30 percent boost in energy to the ISS for years to come. They will leave the original arrays intact and generating electricity as they have done for more than two decades. “The arrays fly in a challenging environment in low Earth orbit where they are hit by micrometeoroid debris and cosmic rays and also endure temperature changes of 500 degrees 16 times a day,” said Rick Golden, Boeing project manager for the arrays. “That’s why the added strength of each cell is so important. Also, they will maintain their power capacity throughout their life span to avoid any future power reduction.” Although Boeing routinely supports ISS system upgrades, most of those are done inside the station, where system racks and


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equipment are installed to meet new or growing needs. “The exciting thing about this upgrade is that we’ll actually be able to see it from Earth,” said Golden. “Space enthusiasts around the world can view the arrays with the right telescope as the ISS flies over.” Combined with the new lithium-ion bat-

teries Boeing also provided over the past couple of years, the six new solar arrays will complete a full ISS power system upgrade. With everything installed, the station’s electrical generation will be higher than ever before. That’s an important factor in supporting larger crews, more visiting spacecraft, and the addition of commercial modules slated to start arriving at ISS later this decade.



General Dynamics Mission Systems Receives $72.8M Contract to Retrofit Knifefish Surface Mine Countermeasure UUVs

Knifefish SMCM program advances to Block 1 with increased capabilities added to all five LRIP systems. General Dynamics Mission Systems announced that it was awarded a $72.8 million contract from the U.S. Navy to retrofit five Block 0 Knifefish surface mine countermeasure unmanned underwater vehicle (SMCM UUV) systems, which comprises 10 Knifefish SMCM vehicles. The retrofit requirements will enhance Knifefish operations at deeper depths, identify more complex target environments and provide more precise localization. Once complete, all 10 Knifefish Block 0 UUVs will be upgraded with the new requirements integrated and re-delivered in the Block 1 configuration. Knifefish SMCM is a medium-class mine countermeasure UUV intended for deployment from the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship and other Navy vessels of opportunity (VOO). Knifefish SMCM will reduce risk to personnel by operating within minefields as an off-

board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. “General Dynamics Mission Systems is honored to extend our support to the U.S. Navy with this increased capability on all five Knifefish SMCM systems,” said Carlo Zaffanella, vice president and general manager at General Dynamics Mission Systems. “We are proud to provide the Navy with advanced, state-of-the-art unmanned underwater vehicles, and we are dedicated to delivering this technology safely and quickly to our sailors.” General Dynamics Mission Systems is the prime contractor for the Knifefish program. The company designed the tactical UUV using an open architecture concept that can be quickly and efficiently modified to accommodate a wide range of missions. The Knifefish SMCM UUV is based on the General Dynamics Bluefin Robotics Bluefin®-21 deep-water autonomous undersea vehicle. The team is currently delivering the initial Block 0 units on the predecessor Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract. The UUVs are designed and developed out of General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Quincy, Massachusetts and McLeansville, North Carolina facilities, and manufactured out of the company’s Taunton, Massachusetts facility.

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Proceeds from the divestitures are expected to be used for share repurchases. Moth+Flame Announces Launch of Virtual Reality MQ-9 Training Program for Student Pilots at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico

Moth+Flame, the award-winning developer of immersive training technology, announced today it will provide the United States Air Force with its READY VR technology to assist in the training program for the more than 800 students preparing to be MQ-9 pilots and sensor operators at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

team of experts will be on-site for the first week to assist instructors at the base. The initial phase of this program was launched with innovation funding from the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command. The VR training program puts the student pilots and sensor operators inside a virtual MQ-9 ground base station where they can learn and practice essential procedures that are taught

during the student’s time at the Holloman MQ-9 schoolhouse. The MQ-9 VR program will scale to several new use cases throughout 2021. This is just the latest program Moth+Flame has worked on in partnership with the Air Force. Most recently, the company introduced a suicide prevention training curriculum as part of a pilot program at Travis Air Force Base, sponsored by Air Mobility Command.

“This program provides a tremendous added value for the Air Force as it looks for new and innovative ways to add to their training regime. READY VR creates a one-on-one simulator training experience that otherwise wouldn’t be available due to time and space constraints,” said Kevin Cornish, CEO, and Founder of Moth+Flame. “Flexibility is key and the VR technology we are providing the Air Force can be used by the students anywhere, even in their own homes. We are excited about the value that this technology can bring to Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and thankful for all those that worked with us to bring it to this vital national defense program.” The Air Force has purchased 43 VR units to kick off the training program. Moth+Flame’s

General Atomics Acquires Synopta GmbH General Atomics announced the acquisition of Synopta GmbH. Synopta is a leader in the


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development and production of complex optoelectronic instrumentation for space and terrestrial applications. “Synopta’s pioneering expertise and innovative developments in communication, beam control, pointing assemblies, and stationary and transportable optical ground systems will supplement the diverse portfolio of laser communications, sensors, and ground systems which enable the delivery of dependable solutions to government and other customers,” said Scott Forney, President of General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group. “Synopta will continue to serve its European customer base but will expand now also to customers in the United States and other countries while contributing to GA’s systems

and strategic objectives. Under its new name General Atomics Synopta GmbH, the company will form a technical center of excellence within the General Atomics group of companies.” “We are excited about the perspectives resulting from this acquisition. While continuing to operate in the Canton of St. Gallen as a Swiss company, we now have the opportunity to demonstrate the potential of true transatlantic co-operation in the hi-tech field”, said Jens Kunde, General Manager of GA Synopta. Founded in 2004 in Eggersriet, Switzerland, Synopta develops optoelectronic instrumentation and provides strategic and technical consultancy services. Synopta’s customers include a wide range of European organizations, national agencies, and international corporations active in the fields of defense, space, and capital goods.



CAE USA awarded a $135 million contract for USSOCOM Mission Command System

CAE announced that CAE USA has been awarded a contract valued at more than US$135 million, including options, by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to lead integration efforts for the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Global Situational Awareness initiative. USSOCOM has exercised the first option of the contract valued at more than US$19 million. Last year, CAE USA was among several companies awarded an initial prototype contract to demonstrate the capability of leveraging a digital ecosystem to fuse data from a variety of sources to deliver a common operational picture (COP). Following further evaluation of prototypes demonstrated during research and development, USSOCOM selected CAE USA to lead the integration and architecture development efforts under a program called Mission Command System/Common Operational Picture (MCS/COP). The scalable next-generation Mission Command System will unify the SOF enterprise through the creation of an integrated common operational picture, which will deliver enhanced and improved global situational awareness.

“We are pleased to be selected by the U.S. Special Operations Command to lead the Mission Command System Common Operational Picture development and integration efforts,” said Ray Duquette, President and General Manager, CAE USA. “Combining decades of experience creating digital ecosystems with our multi-source data fusion and artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities, CAE is providing a single visualization platform to support collaborative command and control decision-making in real-time.” SOCOM’s Mission Command System will incorporate new solutions developed by CAE that integrate mission operations in a single synthetic environment. “The USSOCOM Mission Command System program and our integrated digital ecosystem solution are directly related to CAE’s strategy to leverage our world-class modeling and simulation expertise beyond training to adjacent markets such as mission and operations support,” said Daniel Gelston, Group President, Defense & Security, CAE. “Integrating data analytics, artificial intelligence, and digital immersion technologies into a synthetic environment can create an incredibly powerful tool for analysis, planning, and decision support.”

COTS Journal | June 2021



Applications of FPGAs in SDRs:

What is an FPGA and how are they implemented in a software defined radio (SDR)? By Brendon McHugh, FAE and Technical Writer at Per Vices A field-programmable gate array (FPGA) is a semiconductor device with an architecture centered around a matrix of configurable logic blocks (CLBs) with densities from 500 kLE and 10.2 MLE (LE=logic elements), which are (re) configurable into different logic gates and flipflops by an engineer. This matrix architecture is better known as a fabric; owing to the ability of an FPGAs intellectual property (IP) core to be reprogrammed, reconfigured and perform highly parallel computations at very high throughput data rates. This includes the ability of an FPGA to be designed as a microprocessor, encryption unit, graphics card, etc., or a combination of several different computational tasks. In order to program an FPGA, an engineer can implement a licensed IP core into the design and/or use a hardware description language (HDL) to program logic blocks as an IP core. Two popular HDL languages are VHDL and Verilog, which are commonly used in dig-

ital circuit design at the register-transfer level of abstraction. Finally, to transform this HDL into a bitstream which programs the FPGA fabric, a program such as Vivado (Xilinx FPGAs) or Quartus (Intel FPGAs) is used; effectively mapping lookup tables (LUTs) and flip-flops, and routes the actual logic blocks to optimize for timing or physical constraints. FPGAs are important components within high performance software-defined radios (SDRs). An SDR consists of an analog radio front-end and a digital back-end. The radio front-end has multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) independent channels, at up to 3GHz instantaneous bandwidth, which are capable of transmitting and receiving radio waves. The receiver radio chain basically takes a signal from an SMA input ( from an antenna), and sends it through a series of amplifiers, filters, and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC), before it enters the digital back-end via a JESD204B serial link

Figure 1: A generic figure showing the SDR radio front-end and digital back-end. 16

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where the FPGA is located. The transmit radio chain is essentially the reverse, beginning from the FPGA, passing JESD204B serial data through a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and then through an upconverter, gain stages and finally transmitted through an SMA output to external equipment, such as an antenna. The FPGA in the digital back-end is incredibly versatile and benefits an SDR in a number of ways, including onboard memory and DSP blocks, which allows for digital upconversion/downconversion, and the storing, triggering, and processing of signals. Furthermore, since the bitstream used to program the FPGA fabric is based on the custom HDL code, the ability to upgrade or update a radio communications system’s protocol is simply a matter of writing new code or incorporating new IP cores, and compiling it into a new bitstream file. Therefore, it is unecessary to physically change any hardware. Applications of an SDRs FPGA SDRs are used in a variety of mission critical applications such as spectrum monitoring and recording, GPS/GNSS testing and simulation, as well as radar. The FPGA plays a central role in the functionality of an SDR within each of these three applications, and is discussed below: 1. Spectrum monitoring and recording: With the huge increase in wireless technology in the radio frequency bands, spectrum monitoring and recording has become essential in enforcing compliance with radio band allocation and traffic regulation, thereby ensuring uninterrupted transmissions in everything from consumer devices to national security. An FPGA allows for real-time analysis and streaming at a very high data throughput and bandwidth due to an FPGA fabric’s ability to compute highly parallel digital signal processing. These devic-

Modern radar systems for military and defense require beam steering and beamforming using FPGA algorithms.

es can also be easily reconfigured in software to be able to add other channel(s), for instance to monitor other frequency band(s) of interest for interference in mission critical systems like air traffic control. Furthermore, FPGAs can be programmed to function as a network analyzer since FFT and other DSP algorithms are readily available from commercial off the shelf (COTS) proprietary IP core libraries and easily implemented. FPGAs also incorporate CORDIC (coordinate rotation by digital computer) mixing for wideband digital downconversion in order to extract information of interest, as well as upconversion of modulated signals on a carrier wave that can then be transmitted at much higher frequencies. 2. GPS/GNSS testing and simulation: As the number of GNSS constellations increase (GALILEO, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, etc.), SDRs in ground stations and various other RF equipment require the ability to operate in all these bands, which an FPGA can be configured to do. FPGAs are also able to prototype GNSS communications signals, providing digital upconversion/downconversion to test new radio protocols and their associated carrier frequency and modulation/demodulation schemes for uplinking/downlinking in new satellite constellations. SDRs also provide a means for GPS/ GNSS simulation. Emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles which rely on GNSS for navigation can be prototyped using simulation scenarios stored on an FPGA. Moreover, FPGAs are able to detect weak signals with onboard filter/gain capabilities, and have very low-latency

for processing these signals (although there’s always a trade-off between latency and frequency, meaning the faster you compute data, the more latency you have). 3. Radar: Modern radar systems for military and defense require beam steering and beamforming using FPGA algorithms. FPGAs are able to store and trigger waveforms and pulses used in these radar systems. MIMO SDRs combined with the FPGA fabric provide phased array antenna radar systems such as the active electronically scanned array (AESA) the means to lock and track target(s) using steerable beams with unprecedented accuracy. In addition, heat and power can be controlled, since an engineer is able adjust power to critical logic blocks where it is needed, and reduce power when not needed; critical for missions which need to monitor or limit power consumption and heat dissipation. Other important aspects of radar include forward error correction (FEC) codes, which are also able to be implemented in the FPGA to ensure data transmission is accurate and to reduce bit error rate (BER). Further Benefits of using SDRs with an FPGA digital back-end Another benefit of using SDRs with FPGAs is interoperability: the ability of one SDR communications system to be compatible with other communications and other electronic equipment, in terms of the acceptable exchange of information/services between various systems and users. For SDRs, interoperability is achieved when interfacing with other RF devices, such as

Figure 2: This figure showing how one SDR/FPGA can be used for various applications discussed above.

a GNSS satellites or radar systems, simply by upgrading FPGA cores and/or software. This is beneficial in saving time and money when interfacing SDRs to new GPS/GNSS constellations or radar systems, but also with legacy systems which often are too expensive or imperative to simply do away with; for example, a satellite ground station or aircraft carrier. Moreover, FPGAs are essential in the process of realizing the smaller, higher performance, and economical and power efficient designs made possible by using ASICs. By first implementing the design on the FPGA, the transition to an ASIC is often more straight forward with a lower total development cost and time to market. COTS Journal | June 2021


One final benefit of using FPGAs is that HDL IP cores are readily available, both as open source and proprietary cores, therefore expediting the time to develop new applications using SDRs and FPGAs. As FPGAs are constantly scaling in number of CLBs and gates, and thus design complexity, open source HDL cores are provided by a community of amateurs and professional FPGA developers who share the demanding workload, documentation, and extensively verify IP cores to be free of bugs. This is in contrast to how historically IP cores were proprietary and required licenses at very high costs, hence the IP part. This can hinder researchers and startups due to cost constraints, however, many open source FPGA IP cores such as IIR/ FIR filters, oscillators, to IQ pair phase and gain correction codes are available for various FPGA distributions, and thus can provide a low-cost solution to some applications of SDRs. Furthermore, all major manufacturers of FPGAs, such as Intel and Xilinx, provide their own optimized HDL IP cores as a library with the purchase of one of their FPGAs. The bottom line is that having an FPGA incorporated into a high performance SDR ensures that a radio communications system will be able to stand the test of time since

Figure 3: The ARC-210 software-defined airborne radio is operating on more than 200 platform variants in over 50 countries.

the large majority of the functionality of the system is entirely on the FPGA. An SDR with onboard FPGA provides the re-configurable fabric, high data throughput rate and all types of processing available for your intend-

ed radio application. For more information on what SDR transceivers can do for you, it is recommended that you reach out to high performance SDR manufacturers.

COTS Journal | June 2021



Solving Cyber Security on Avionics Data Bus By Michael J. Randazzo, Director of Applications Engineering, AIM The MIL-STD-1553 data bus has proven high levels of reliability, robustness and tolerance of EMI for over 40 years. This is why this data bus communications standard is still used today as the backbone of every major military platform and some commercial aviation too. The Airbus A-350 commercial airliner is using MIL-STD-1553 data bus communications due to its reliability. It is a mature, stable and viable technology that has been around before anyone even heard the term Cyber Security. The need for Cyber Security is well-known today, more than ever, and affects everyone’s daily life. With that being said, it is surprising that some of the most sensitive data out there is barely protected at all. I am referring to Avionics Data Buses, found on every major [Military and Commercial] aircraft flying today. In addition, as more avionics types of buses are being deployed and interconnected [in

both new and updated aircraft] there is an increasing concern that these vulnerabilities in security might allow unauthorized access to devices communicating on these buses. The most concerning bus is MIL-STD-1553, which was designed before the term “Cyber Security” was even invented. The concern is that this bus, which was designed with no infiltration protection, could be easily corrupted or manipulated if any unintended data made it on to the databus. There are already multiple government and private industry organizations studying the problem with the goal of establishing suitable methods to assure complete aircraft databus cyber security. A growing interest in detection and mitigation of unauthorized data bus activity calls for effective development and simulation tools.

A growing interest in detection and mitigation of unauthorized data bus activity calls for effective development and simulation tools.


COTS Journal | June 2021

As a result of these efforts, AIM has developed and maintains a suite of tools that can be utilized to interface with MIL-STD-1553 [and other protocol] equipment to analyze, attack, detect and remove potential security vulnerabilities. AIM offers many different types of MIL-STD-1553 hardware interfaces but has added unique features optionally available for applications that deal with cyber security testing where you may want to accomplish things that are outside of the bounds of a normal working bus. Vulnerability Detection  Since there are thousands of fielded avionics computers using MIL-STD-1553 today, the most logical initial approach would be to see if any vulnerabilities exist. More simply put, “can the computer be made to do something it’s not supposed to.” contains a concurrent real-time

Figure 1: Verifying EU in-range data.

1553 Bus Monitor (BM), so all 100% of the data that is on the bus can be recorded and post-analyzed at any time. Depot, lab or rugged units are available to support all aspects of flight test. In addition, recorded data can be always be replayed to reproduce any scenario. Replaying data ensures that once a vulnerability is detected, the corrected behavior can be validated thoroughly to make sure that it is ‘patched’ correctly. The issue with just looking at “Raw” 1553 data is that most 1553 data requires further decoding (such as a scale factor) to determine its true meaning to perform a “credibility analysis”. For example, if you are monitoring an altitude parameter and notice that periodically the data on the bus is 800,000 feet or some other out-of-bounds value, this would indicate a potential failure or anomaly in that data and its source. handles this with ease by including a Database Manager (ICD) component, which can decode and interpret the raw 1553 data in its true Engineering Unit (EU). Once the Engineering Unit is decoded, can then scan the recorded data and verify that every bit of data is valid, comprehendible and documented (See Figure 1). has the ability to inject many electrical errors that violate the MIL-STD-1553 specification, with the intention to determine how a UUT reacts. For example, the following errors can be injected: Cmd/Data Sync Inverse, Manchester Bit Faults, Word/Bit count changes, Zero Crossing Error, Gap error insertion, and Parity error insertion. has the ability to perform real-time or post-time credibility analysis in the following areas: • Engineering Unit is within ICD range and valid • Engineering rate is valid and within tolerance • Undocumented ICD data detected on the bus • 1553 errors have been detected on the bus

In addition to the above, can simulate a multiple BC or duplicate RT scenario or even inject 1553 messages during detected Bus Idle (dead) time. Since 1553 is a deterministic bus, the frequency of messages is very predictable. In this case, this is a disadvantage since the predictability can be used to find repeatable times on the bus where “rogue” messages can be sent on the bus without obvious detection from any other systems.

Intrusion Simulation Once the “expected and accepted” data is known, it’s time to see how a 1553 Unit-Under-Test (UUT) reacts to unexpected anomalies.

Message Suppression and Reinsertion In order to perform certain penetration attacks, it may be required to suppress a message. Suppressing a message will stop particular data from being received by its targeted COTS Journal | June 2021


Figure 2: 1553 Message Suppression

destination. can easily target a specific message on the bus and suppress it by disrupting the bus at the appropriate time. This will cause a bus failure and force the destination device to discard that message. Real-world attacks might suppress certain messages preventing critical information

from reaching its destination in the vehicle platform. Alternatively, suppression might prevent pilot/operation actions such as deploying landing gear or weapon systems. In addition, the same message can then be reinserted in Bus Idle (dead) time as described above.

MIL-STD-1553 Compliance Testing Although is it expected that a deployed ( flying) 1553 UUT is already compliant to the MIL-STD-1553 specification, there have been exceptions and equipment has been found to fail. has a completely automated off-

Figure 3: 1553 RT Validation Testing COTS Journal | June 2021


To simplify the complex analysis of multiple systems, includes a Scripting Component, which can tackle repetitive or time-consuming tasks with ease.

the-shelf SAE 4111/4112 Test Plan Suite. These tests [published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)] are designed to validate that a 1553 Remote Terminal UUT meets all electrical and protocol requirements of the MIL-STD-1553 specification. is an invaluable tool to assist engineers analyze and develop methods to assure the cyber security of any Avionics databus. From laboratory to real-time flight analysis, offers a time-saving and powerful solution.

Platform-Level Analysis Some of the capabilities already mentioned involve and a single UUT. But, in reality an Avionics databus is an interaction of many subsystems. Those interactions create another cyber security concern, requiring testing at the full system level and the vulnerabilities that come with it. is a modular multi-protocol solution, supporting numerous bus types and multiple bus instances. can support MIL-STD-1553/1760, ARINC-429, ARINC-664/ AFDX, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, CANBus, ARINC-825, Fibre Channel and More. To simplify the complex analysis of multiple systems, includes a Scripting Component, which can tackle repetitive or time-consuming tasks with ease. All scripting is done with the popular Python® language, allowing easy integration with other tools, such as LabVIEW® and MATLAB. 24

COTS Journal | June 2021

Figure 4: Verifying data across multiple Data Buses and protocols.

June 2021


Per Vices Releases Cyan EC SDR – with 64 DSP channels

Per Vices Corporation announced the release of an upgraded version of their high-performance Software Defined Radio (SDR) platform Cyan EC (extended channel) – enabling up to 64 DSP channels across 16 physical SMA ports. This extension allows for Cyan EC users to break up the one large bandwidth physical chain into multiple digital channels allowing for the radio platform to do the multiplexing. By providing additional digital chains, which are coherently superimposed into a single physical channel, the computational complexity required to address wide bandwidths is further reduced and allows for processing over multiple cores on a single host system or across multiple host systems concurrently. “We are excited that customers have already used and integrated our platform into their products. The additional processing capability provided by this option allows our cus-

PolyPhaser Unveils New Fiber Enclosures and Panels for FTTx, Fiber Distribution Networks, and More PolyPhaser, an Infinite Electronics brand and an industry-leading provider of RF and data surge protection, filtering, and grounding solutions, has released a new line of fiber terminal boxes, splitter distribution boxes, and rack-mount panels that are ideal from communications, telecom, cable TV, surveillance and monitoring systems. PolyPhaser’s new fiber enclosure product line is designed to make field installation as simple as possible and address FTTx, fiber distribution networks, and growing high-speed voice, video, and data applications. The patch panels and rack-mount fiber enclosures in this line feature space-saving 1U 19” SC and LC patch panels in multimode and single-mode options with a D-ring management card. This line also includes 1U, 24, and 48-port rack-mount enclosures. The wall-mount outdoor fiber enclosures are available with 24, 48, and 72 simplex SC/ UPC couplers (pre-installed) and 0.9mm sin26

COTS Journal | June 2021

tomers to improve performance and implement more advanced applications using existing computational resources. I believe Cyan EC is the highest channel count software-defined radio commercially available.” - Victor Wollesen, CEO of Per Vices Corporation. The Cyan EC product option enables engineers and system integrators to realize the benefits of both the highest bandwidth SDR and having more independent channels to ease the complexity associated with processing the high amount of data by breaking it up into separate gle-mode pigtails (per port). The routing guides on these products limit bend radius and enhance strain-relief control. They feature a waterproof, IP54 design with a gasket seal and secure lid latch. PolyPhaser’s FTTH terminal boxes and fiber information panels include 4 and 8 terminal boxes with SC/UPC and SC/APC couplers and pigtails. The information panels are offered in multimode and single-mode models with 2-port optical fibers. This line also includes 16-port splitter distribution boxes. The fiber splitter distribution boxes in the line come with 8,16 and 24port options with SC/UPC and SC/APC couplers. They feature a cable management tray designed to securely hold fibers. These boxes are also waterproof

channels. This further helps to achieve better SFDR, sensitivity, and SNR while continuing to offer the highest throughput SDR solution. Combining this product option with the already best performing SDR on the market allows for Cyan EC to benefit engineers and integrators across different markets including radar systems, GNSS/ GPS, MRI receivers and exciters, spectrum monitoring, as well as test & measurement. Per Vices Corporation

with an IP54 design with a gasket seal and secure lid latch. PolyPhaser

June 2021

COT’S PICKS QuickLogic Launches Qomu – an Open Source SoC Dev Kit That Fits in Your USB Port QuickLogic Corporation announced the introduction of its new Qomu development kit, a tiny form factor Arm Cortex M4F MCU + eFPGA combination that fits into a USB Type-A port. Optimized for the QuickLogic Open Reconfigurable Computing (QORC) initiative, the kit is supported by a wide variety of vendor-supported open source development tools, including Zephyr and FreeRTOS, SymbiFlow, and Renode, which broadens access and enables designers to develop applications virtually anywhere. The Qomu development kit contains QuickLogic’s EOS S3 MCU + eFPGA SoC, which enables an incredible amount of processing capability for such a tiny development kit. The MCU enables seamless software development while the embedded FPGA (eFPGA) can be used to accelerate or offload algorithms from the

MCU or to simply implement custom IP or provide glue logic. While the kit can implement a wide range of functionality for a broad set of market segments, it is especially well-suited to edge IoT applications – especially those requiring ultra-low power consumption and artificial intelligence or machine learning capabilities. QuickLogic’s QORC initiative has led to a completely open-source, vendor-supported development tool environment for the Qomu development kit. Open source development tools include SymbiFlow synthesis, place & route, and bitstream generation. Many example applications and gateway are readily available for free. In addition to standard Verilog support with SymbiFlow, Qomu supports nMigen for a Python-to-FPGA design flow. Additional

open-source tools include Zephyr, FreeRTOS, and Renode. “The Qomu dev kit is a milestone for the industry in many ways. It packs an incredible amount of functionality in the size of a USB port,” said Mao Wang, senior director of marketing at QuickLogic. “More importantly, this opensource dev kit was designed in close collaboration with one of the most respected designers in the open-source community, Sean Cross.” QuickLogic Corporation

COTS Journal | June 2021


June 2021

COT’S PICKS IDEC 8-Port Unmanaged Ethernet Switch Delivers Key Industrial Managed Switch Features

Giving users an improved and economical plug-and-play option, the IDEC SX5E series 8-port unmanaged switch supports QoS, IGMP snooping, and broadcast storm protection functionalities. IDEC Corporation has added the SX5EHU085B 8-port unmanaged industrial Ethernet switch to its product portfolio. This device provides many managed switch features to support the rapidly expanding quantity of Ethernet, IoT, and IIoT devices used in critical and challenging commercial and industrial locations. No software configuration is needed, and flexible installation options make this an economical yet high-performance solution. Industrial networking installations commonly rely on certain advanced functions that

are typically only available on managed switches. Managed switches have their place in network designs, but they require extensive configuration expertise, can be more difficult to manage overtime, and cost more than other options. To address these and other issues, IDEC has incorporated the most essential managed features into this new unmanaged switch.

QoS is a networking feature, usually only available on managed switches, for prioritizing specified network traffic so the most critical packets are handled first. The QoS function in the SX5E unmanaged switch automatically guarantees priority for EtherNet/IP packets which are used extensively for crucial industrial automation tasks. For instance, a programmable logic controller (PLC) communicating with other intelligent automation devices using EtherNet/IP will receive precedence over other general traffic. QoS can be easily turned on/off with a single external DIP switch to give the user flexibility. Ethernet traffic may consist of some messages broadcast to all devices, and others multicast to select devices. IGMP snooping allows a switch to monitor conversations between hosts and routers, and to create and maintain a map or filter of which links need which transmissions. By delivering


COTS Journal | June 2021

messages only where they are needed, IGMP snooping significantly reduces networking traffic and required resources. For Ethernet networks installed in a facility, careful design, and protocol choice can take advantage of network rings for redundancy. However, improper ring connections can result in duplicate messages that will cause the network to stall. Broadcast storm protection detects this issue and discards duplicate messages. It can be turned on/off with a single external DIP switch. This switch operates at 10 and 100 Mb/s, with auto-negotiation of speed and full or half-duplex mode, and every port automatically detects and adjusts for straight-through or crossover cable connections. Store-and-forward technology ensures each communication frame is fully received into memory and CRC-checked for integrity before forwarding it to the destination. This feature introduces a small switching delay, but it secures the highest-quality communication. The SX5E is built to withstand the most extreme conditions. With a rugged metal housing that is IP30 rated, the switch can operate at temperatures ranging from -40 to 75°F, and it is designed with superior electrical noise resistance, making it suitable for almost any installation environment. The switch can be mounted on a standard 35mm DIN rail, or panel-mounted using an accessory direct mounting bracket. The switch is carrying approvals for UL508, CE, RoHS, and FCC. Class I Division 2 hazardous location approval is pending. For easy installation, the power supply terminal block is pluggable, and IP30-rated RJ45 covers are available to protect unused ports. To keep the network switch up and running in the event of power interruptions, the switch can be supplied from two separate redundant power supplies for zero failover time, even if one power supply fails. Today’s industrial and commercial applications commonly use large numbers of PLCs and HMIs, with increasing quantities of intelligent devices like RFID readers, smart relays, and IIoT sensors. Whether a project is for building automation, traffic control, power utilities, water treatment, processing industries, or any type of machinery or equipment, the IDEC SX5E unmanaged switch will provide the best price/performance ratio, along with ease of use. IDEC Corporation

June 2021


Lone Star Analysis Launches MaxUp™, a Real-Time Predictive and Prescriptive Asset Analytics Software Suite

Lone Star Analysis, a trusted provider of leading-edge predictive and prescriptive analytics, and guided artificial intelligence solutions announced today the launch of its real-time asset analytics software suite, MaxUp™. Designed to help organizations maximize uptime on physical assets such as pumps, machines, equipment, and vehicle sub-systems, MaxUp will serve a wide range of customers and industries. “Lone Star has worked with numerous organizations and one of the most common challenges that we see is the profusion of costly, unplanned downtime for physical assets,” said Davey Brooks, vice president of Lone Star’s Automated Intelligent Analytics Solutions. “With MaxUp, we can now deploy software that provides analytics in real-time, helping operators keep critical assets running longer, more efficiently, and at a lower cost, thus driving exceptional business

value to our customers.” Designed to increase overall uptime regardless of the device or machine, MaxUp serves as a parent brand to three specific families of software: MaxUp Fleet, MaxUp Energy, and MaxUp Manufacturing. Under MaxUp Fleet, Lone Star offers vehicle condition-based maintenance (VCBM) asset analytics. This application conducts real-time analysis on critical vehicle subsystems such as engines, tires, gearboxes, and many others to predict when and why components will fail. The application also prescribes actions to prevent failures. With this solution, fleet managers will be able to lower maintenance costs while increasing asset availability and reliability. Lone Star’s MaxUp Energy offers real-time analytics for electric submersible pump (ESP) operators. This ESP asset analytics software maximizes ESP uptime by mitigating issues before they happen, sometimes months in advance. This cause-and-ef-

fect-based application predicts when an asset is likely to suffer a failure and when replacement parts are required, allowing steps to be taken to ensure the proper parts, personnel, equipment, and tools are available at the optimal time. This keeps wells producing more, for longer, and at a lower cost. Lone Star’s MaxUp Manufacturing offers RSC asset management software to address challenges faced by rotary screw compressor (RSC) operators. Using physics-based artificial intelligence (AI), the application provides powerful visualizations of predictions, prescriptions, and data insights. Operational inefficiencies are identified by continually running diagnostics on numerous critical operating components and prescribing corrective action. This application enables users to reduce unplanned downtime, lower operating costs, and extend asset life. Lone Star Analysis

COTS Journal | June 2021


June 2021

COT’S PICKS Extended temperature range platforms for edge computing – from high-end COM-HPC to low power SMARC

congatec focuses on customers’ ruggedization challenges, presenting extended temperature range platforms for all performance levels, from highend COM-HPC to low-power SMARC modules. The solution portfolio for COM-HPC server modules is particularly impressive, tackling the fact that a significantly higher TDP must be mastered for these edge computing platforms, which represents a challenging task, especially in the extended temperature range. The driving force behind this focus is the increasing demand for rugged edge and real-time fog computing technologies to facilitate digitization projects is often extremely harsh and challenging environments. Typical use cases for these ultradurable platforms can be found in critical railway, road traffic, and smart city infrastructures, offshore rigs and wind parks, electricity distribution networks, piping systems for the oil, gas, and freshwater industries, telecom and broadcasting networks, as well as distributed surveillance and security systems. Further target markets include network-connected industrial and medical devices with IIoT / Industry 4.0 connectivity, outdoor kiosk and digital signage systems and, not to forget, in-vehicle applications such as autonomous logistic vehicles.

Compact & Ruggedized I/O System for Control & Monitoring Applications United Electronic Industries (UEI) announces the release of its new rugged, flexible, and compact UEIPAC BRICK4 I/O system which is an ideal solution for any application that may be exposed to extreme environments or either liquid or particulate contamination. The unit’s footprint is extremely small and with an IP/NEMA rating, it is ideal for a huge assortment of commercial and


COTS Journal | June 2021

The new platforms for harsh environments presented by congatec support extreme temperature range from -40°C to +85°C, feature BGA soldered processors for shock and vibration as well as high EMI resistance, and can optionally be made available with conformal coating to protect the platforms against ingress from condensation, saltwater, and dust. A highlight of the presentations is the highend x86 Computer-on-Modules for extreme environments based on the COM-HPC and COM Express standards. The conga-HPC/cTLU COM-HPC Client Size A modules as well as the conga-TC570 COM Express Compact modules are available with new scalable 11th Gen Intel Core processors for extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +85°C. Both modules are the first to support PCIe x4 in Gen 4 performance to connect peripherals with massive bandwidth. congatec’s rugged platforms with extended temperature options from -40°C to +85°C based on Intel Atom x6000E Series, Intel Celeron and Pentium N & J Series processors are available as Computer-on-Modules in the SMARC, Qseven, COM Express Compact, and Mini form factors, and also as Pico-ITX Single Board Computers (SBCs). They impress especially in real-time industrial markets, offering not only improved performance but also Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), Intel Time Coordinated Computing (Intel military applications, including jet engine test stands, flight line systems, oil drilling platforms and refineries, heavy machinery, and any other areas that will be exposed to harsh elements. The AIPAC BRICK4 offers slots for 4 I/O boards, and with over 85 unique UEI I/O boards, there is sure to be a configuration matching your application. Sealed D-Sub I/O connectors ensure pinout compatibility with all of UEI’s popular DNx-series I/O boards. Ethernet connections are made through standard M12 connectors, ensuring compatibility with industry-standard cables. The DNR-BRICK4 may be powered via standard 4 pair PoE++ (802.3bt) compatible Ethernet ports. Redundant power sources may be used via the 25-pin D-Sub connector, and the primary source is

TCC), hypervisor support from Real-Time Systems (RTS), and BIOS configurable ECC. The presentation is complemented by the exhibition of the brand new SMARC 2.1 Computeron-Module with i.MX 8M Plus processor. Consuming only 2 - 6 watts, this ultra low power embedded and edge computing platform for extended temperature ranges convinces with 4 powerful Arm Cortex-A53 processor cores and an additional Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which adds up to 2.3 TOPS of AI computing power. Specifically designed for AI inferencing and machine learning at the edge, the modules are also optimized for processing and analyzing dual-camera Image Signal Processor (ISP) data received via the 2 integrated MIPI-CSI interfaces. The platforms provide all features and services required for reliable operation in the most challenging environments. The value package includes rugged passive cooling options, optional conformal coating for protection against corrosion caused by moisture or condensation, a list of recommended carrier board schematics, and components that are specifically designed for the extended temperature range for the highest reliability. congatec

programmable. For non-POE applications, the chassis requires 9-36 VDC. An optional AC/DC power supply is available (DNA-PSU-60). Builtin power supply voltage monitoring offers health and usage monitoring. Heat transfer from the internal electronics to the external chassis is designed such that no fans or rotary cooling is required. The lack of fans maximizes MTBF and mechanical reliability. UEIPAC BRICK4 allows for the flexibility to run various software drivers supporting all popular operating systems including Windows, Linux, QNX, VxWorks, RTX, and other popular Real-Time OSs. UEI also provides you with a variety of programming options including C, C++, C#, Python, and applications like LabVIEW, Simulink, and much more. Plus, the system is backed by UEI’s 10-Yr Availability Guarantee and 3-Yr Standard Hardware Warranty, ensuring your application will be sustainable for years to come. United Electronic Industries

June 2021

COT’S PICKS Jankel delivers ‘next generation’ Guardian Counter Terror Assault Vehicle-Urban (CTAV-URBAN)

Jankel, a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-specification defense, security, and NGO protection systems, has delivered the first of their ‘next generation’ Guardian Counter Terror Assault Vehicle-Urban (CTAV-URBAN) to an undisclosed customer. Based on the latest 2020 Ford F-550 platform, the Guardian CTAV-URBAN features a new Mobile Adjustable Ramp System (MARS) from long-standing partners Patriot 3 who work exclusively with Jankel in the UK. Firmly established as one of the premier global

suppliers of armored counter-terror adapted vehicle systems, Jankel, with Patriot 3, have developed and integrated a new version of the MARS ramp system for Guardian CTAV-URBAN that delivers a narrower, lighter, single ramp, fully hydraulic variant that will allow counter-terror teams to effectively operate in tighter spaces and more restricted city environments. Retaining the Ford OEM aluminum body, Jankel engineers have developed an armor suite that mounts within the vehicle without compromising structure, rigidity, or durability. The integration of the new MARS ramp onto the Jankel Guardian CTAV-URBAN includes the flexibility to remove the MARS system, if needed, as well as the development of numerous other innovative enhancements in platform protection and tactical systems. Jankel has a history dating back to the early 2000s of providing the very best tactical counter-terror platforms. With this new CTAV-URBAN variant, Jankel has customized the platform to meet the exact customer needs and tactics. The vehicle has been fully tested to prove its durability, reliability, and m a i n t a i n a b i l i ty

Multi-Function SOSA-Aligned RFSoC Board Combines Analog & Digital Capability Annapolis Micro Systems has developed the first SOSA™-aligned 100Gb Ethernet RFSoC board that combines analog and digital capability in a single 3U OpenVPX slot. Formerly, these operations would require two or more boards to accomplish. The WILDSTAR™ 3XR2 3U OpenVPX FPGA Processor incorporates an innovative full-length coax-connected Analog Interface Mezzanine Site. This site can be populated in one of three ways: • With a direct RF digitization mezzanine • With simple analog circuitry ( filtering, amplification, etc.)

• With a 3rd party or customer-supplied analog tuner to allow for the digitization of higher frequency signals Annapolis has defined and standardized this interface between analog and digital cards so that customers can deploy best-in-class RF and digitization/processing capability in a single 3U VPX slot. Combining filtering and tuning with digitizing and processing delivers much lower SWaP-C than separate single-function modules, while maintaining the ability to upgrade either capability separately. “We call this breakthrough capability a ‘Personalization Module’ because it allows for the customer to customize the module to focus on their particular frequency bands of interest,” said Noah Donaldson, Annapolis Micro Systems Chief Technology Officer. Data is driven to two powerful Gen 3 Xilinx

but also to validate the advanced handling and performance characteristics expected of a truly tactical counter-terror assault platform. Working closely together with Patriot 3, the CTAV-URBAN ladder system has been developed and refined to retain all of the MARS standard functionalities yet deliver additional options packaged in a single ramp configuration. Charlie Fuqua, Elevated Tactics Sales Manager from Patriot 3 said: “We have had an ongoing working relationship with Jankel since the mid-2000s and have supplied numerous multi-mission vehicle solutions to defense and law enforcement end-users around the world.” He went on to say: “Patriot3 looks forward to continuing our Jankel partnership with the introduction of the new CTAV-URBAN (complimenting the CTAV), as well as future developments to meet our customer’s ever-evolving operational requirements.” Andrew Jankel, Chairman at Jankel Group said: “we’ve worked with Patriot 3 for many years on several successful specialist vehicle-based projects so delivering the first of this next generation Guardian CTAV vehicles to an exceedingly important customer is a continuation of an already strong partnership”. He added: “Effective partnering is one of our key strengths here at Jankel and our partnership with Patriot 3 is another fine example of how we bring capability, innovation, flexibility, and agility together to deliver and support the very best products and services, driving mission success”. Jankel

UltraScale+™ RFSoC FPGAs (XCZU43DR and other P/Ns on request). These chips feature eight channels each of A/D & D/A converting, with an ADC sample rate of 0.5–5.0+GSps and resolution of 14 bits, and a DAC sample rate of 0.5–10.0+GSps and resolution of 14 bits. The option for VITA 67 backplane RF connectivity is included. The rugged 3XR2 supports wide temperature ranges via air (VITA 48.1), conduction (VITA 48.2), or air-flow-through (VITA 48.8) cooling. Min/ max operating temperatures are -55˚C/85˚C; min/max storage temperatures are -65˚C/105˚C. Annapolis maintains a full WILD100™ EcoSystem of 100GbE products that are SOSAaligned and proven in the field. Annapolis Micro Systemss

COTS Journal | June 2021


June 2021

COT’S PICKS Rugged AI Data Processing Hits New Performance Heights with Aitech’s

A179 Ultra-SFF Supercomputer SWaP-optimized, GPGPU-based system enables exceptional computing performance, low power consumption at-the-edge Brings AI supercomputer performance to the edge: NVIDIA® Jetson Xavier™ NX Flexible I/O and video capture to simultaneously manage multiple data and graphics streams Aitech has expanded its GPGPU-based product offerings with the A179 Lightning, a rugged, fan-less AI supercomputer that delivers more performance than any other rugged system on the market in a similar form factor. With an ultra-compact footprint, roughly the size of a cell phone, the new SWaP-optimized A179 is powered by the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX platform based on the Volta GPU, which packs up to 384 CUDA cores and 48 Tensor cores. The incredibly highperformance, low-power unit reaches 21 TOPS

INT8 at a remarkable level of energy efficiency. Adding to the applications already employing AI-based supercomputers, such as situation awareness systems, EW systems, and drones, the new A179 helps bring this powerful

computing to even more military applications, including a smart soldier and man-portable systems, augmented reality, and an even broader set of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Dan Mor, Director, Video & GPGPU Product Line for Aitech, noted, “Rugged AI performance is the leading-edge advantage in military intelligence. Being able to use GPGPU-based systems in the harshest environments gives system engineers the ability to forge new ground in rugged embedded computing. Aitech is focused on delivering this exceptional technology to our military and defense customers to use in their applications worldwide.” In addition to the 21 TOPS (Tera Operations Per Second, INT8) that the A179 Lightning provides, it offers 1050 GOPS/W INT8, the best available performance per watt as well as an H.264/H.265 hardware encoder/decoder. Video capture is made easy with several input types that enable multiple video streams simultaneously. These include SDI (SD/HD), four FPD-Link™ III (to MIPI CSI) camera inputs, and eight composite (NTSC/PAL) channels. Standard I/O ports, such as Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 & 2.0, DVI/HDMI out, CANbus, UART Serial, and a number for discrete, offer flexibility in data management. The system also accommodates up to two optional expansion modules (via factory configuration), such as additional I/O expansion modules or an optional NVMe SSD. The system allows for a removable Micro SD card and features 8 GB of LPDDR4x. Aitech


COTS Journal | June 2021

June 2021

COT’S PICKS Microchip Unveils First Fully Integrated Solution for Vehicle Ethernet Audio Video Bridging (AVB LAN9360 AVB audio endpoint helps to reduce development time, eliminating the need for stack integration and additional software and firmware development As connected vehicles increasingly rely on Ethernet for network connectivity, smart technology is helping developers to streamline infotainment system development and quickly adapt to manufacturers’ evolving requirements. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced the first hardwarebased audio endpoint solution for AVB – the LAN9360, a single chip Ethernet controller with embedded protocols. Microchip’s LAN9360 audio endpoint controller interconnects vehicles’ infotainment devices including speakers, amplifiers, microphones, navigation systems, radio tuners, and smart headrests with Ethernet AVB. The LAN9360 bridges audio between Ethernet AVB and Inter-IC Sound (I2S™), Time Division Multiplexing (TDM), and Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) local audio interfaces. It completely supports audio transmission over Ethernet

Apple M1-Optimized Build of SEGGER Embedded Studio Now Available SEGGER announces its Embedded Studio build for the newly released Apple M1, Apple’s first ARMbased system-on-chip (SoC) designed specifically for Mac. Embedded Studio is SEGGER’s cross-platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for ARM/Cortex and RISC-V. While the ARM-based M1 can execute applications for Intel x86-based CPUs using Apple’s Rosetta 2 translator, applications built specifically for the M1 core execute much faster and use less power. To fully utilize the speed and performance potential of a natively compiled application, SEGGER created a build of Embedded Studio for M1. There are now two macOS packages available for download – one for the Intel x86-64 and one for the Apple M1. “The Embedded Studio build for the Apple M1 is truly cutting-edge,” says Ivo Geilenbrügge, Managing Director of SEGGER. “This is the first commercial embedded system IDE optimized for the M1 and the performance results of our comparison tests show it was worth the work.” Segger Microcontroller Systems


COTS Journal | June 2021

AVB, including generalized Precision Time Protocol gPTP, timestamping, transport protocols, and content protection with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). It also supports secure boot and secure remote updates over Ethernet. Unlike other Ethernet bridging networking solutions requiring System-on-Chip (SoC) microcontrollers (MCUs) plus third-party software stacks, the LAN9360 endpoint device requires no software integration, enabling designers to configure the device simply and quickly to manufacturers’ unique audio and networking requirements. Microchip’s LAN9360 audio endpoint controller has been validated to industry standards for Ethernet interoperability for AVB protocols. The device is validated to the IEEE® 802.1BA-2011, IEEE 802.1AS, IEEE1722, and IEEE1733 specifications for Ethernet networks and is certified to the standards for AVB interoperability and reliability established by the Avnu Alliance consortium. “In looking for an AVB solution for our Automotive Remote Tuners products, the LAN9360 allowed us to develop on a trusted platform quickly, without changing our current software,” said Pierrick Labeau, Research & Development Manager, FIAMM Horn & Antennas - Elettra 1938 Group.

“This endpoint controller is a single smart chip for Ethernet interoperability in infotainment systems,” said Matthias Kaestner, vice president, Automotive. “In today’s rapid-pace design environment, this out-ofthe-box device gives engineers a quick start to develop and allows them to avoid months of engineering work and technical risks involved in coding or engaging third-party integrators.” The LAN9360 expands Microchip’s comprehensive Ethernet product portfolio and total system solution for automotive developers. Other Microchip Ethernet devices for automotive applications include the LAN8770 100BASE-T1 PHY, a cost-effective, single-port physical layer transceiver compliant with the IEEE 802.3bw-2015 specification. The device provides 100 Mbps transmit and receive capability over a single Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable. In addition, the Trust Anchor (TA100), a secure element from Microchip’s portfolio of CryptoAutomotive™ security ICs for automotive security applications, provides support for code authentication, secure boot, and audio content protection with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Microchip




Company Page # Website Annapolis Micro Systems ........................................ 28 ........................................ Alphi Technology Corporation .................................. 4 ............................................ Broadcom .............................................................. . 22 ............................................ Diamond Systems .................................................... 15 GET Engineering .................................................... . IFC ............................................... Great River Technology ........................................... 27 ..................................... MPL ...................................................................... 4 ...................................................... Holo Industries ....................................................... 5/25 ................................................. OSS ........................................................................ 18/BC .................................. Pentek .................................................................. 33 ................................................. PICO Electronics, Inc ............................................. 13/IBC .................................... Pixus Technologies ................................................. 32 ............................... Sealevel ................................................................. 19 ............................................... SECO ...................................................................... 29 ..................................................... U-Reach ................................................................. 12 ........................................ Versalogic .............................................................. IBC .............................................

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