May 2022, Volume 24 – Number 5 • cotsjournalonline.com
The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing
Inflatable Space Habitats Use Sensors Embedded in Webbing for Structural Health Monitoring COTS in Space: Software Defined Radio (SDR) for Satellite Communication
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.
SPECIAL FEATURES 18
Inflatable Space Habitats Use Sensors Embedded in Webbing for Structural Health Monitoring By Ted Fetterman, Bally Ribbon Mills
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT 22
COTS in Space: Software Defined Radio (SDR) for Satellite Communication
DEPARTMENTS 6 8
Publisher’s Note “Focus On Logistics, Not Material” UK commercial drone experts calls for focus on maintaining supply chains to save the Donbas region The Inside Track
By Brandon Malatest, Founder, Per Vices Corporation
COT’S PICKS 25
Editor’s Choice for May
Cover Image JUN 4, 2021 HMS Queen Elizabeth and USS The Sullivans with the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group joined ships with NATO Standing Maritime Groups One and Two for an impressive display of maritime power in the Eastern Atlantic on 28 May 2021. The rendezvous was part of Steadfast Defender 21, a large scale defensive exercise designed to test NATO’s ability to rapidly deploy forces from North America to the coast of Portugal and the Black Sea region. COTS Journal | May 2022
The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing
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By Robert Garbett, CEO, and Founder of Drone Major Group
“Focus On Logistics, Not Material” – UK commercial drone expert calls for focus on maintaining supply chains to save the Donbas region As nations around the world continue to pledge billions in military support to Ukraine, and Russia continues to cut off supply lines to Ukrainians on the front lines and those trapped in cities in the Donbas, the question as to how we get supplies across Ukraine to where they’re most needed is as pertinent as ever. UK Drone expert, Robert Garbett, CEO and Founder of Drone Major Group Ltd, is calling for world leaders to “think more laterally” and consider deploying commercial drones to improve supply chains to help Ukraine. “In any war, food, fuel, ammunition, and medical re-supplies to frontline troops and besieged civilians are critical to success, and with thousands
of people still trapped in areas dominated by Russian forces, delivering these key resources quickly, regularly, and without further risk to human life is a must. Sadly, in many areas, delivering supplies by rail, road or traditional air transport is becoming extremely risky or impossible due to military activity. Every day, volunteers risk their lives to deliver supplies to Ukrainian frontline forces or beleaguered civilians, and sadly, many give their lives in doing so.” In particular, Ukraine’s rail network, one of the largest in the world, with 12,400 miles of track, has played a huge role in the conflict so far, delivering refugees, aid, and military ordnance to and from Eastern
The Beluga from EuroLink can be configured to address any number of front-line concerns. 6
COTS Journal | May 2022
“Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, unmanned air systems (UAS), otherwise known as air drones, have played an important role in the defense of the country against Russian aggression. Ukraine. In recent weeks, Russia has recognized this much, targeting rail junctions in central and western Ukraine to stop inbound military aid from Western nations that are resupplying Ukrainians in the east of the country. As western countries move to commit billions more in aid to Ukraine – the UK alone pledging a further £1.3bn in military support – there is a risk they will not be able to reach the East of the largest country in Europe. Robert Garbett, one of the world’s leading advisors on the advanced capabilities of unmanned air systems [drones] – has stressed the potential for commercial drone technology to provide an innovative, lower-risk solution to the mounting issue of keeping Ukrainians in the east of Ukraine supplied sufficiently supplied to push back Putin’s army. Robert Garbett added: “Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, unmanned air systems (UAS), otherwise known as air drones, have played an important role in the defense of the country against Russian aggression. Whether they are military offensive systems delivering devastating effects on advancing Russian convoys or small drone camera systems providing intelligence in support of defensive operations and targeting ground-based anti-tank weapons, air drones have undoubtedly been instrumental in enabling the Ukrainian military to mount an effective defense against the Russian invasion, but we have yet to unleash their true potential to support Ukraine’s supply-chain infrastructure. Imagine an army of air drones from a range of global manufacturers that
can deliver a range of cargo from 20Kg to 500kg of critical supplies to locations across Ukraine. With a huge range of fixed-wing, rotary-wing, gyrocopter, or hybrid aircraft operating in a co-ordinates network of short and long-range supply lines, we could provide an almost inexhaustible supply chain to deliver anything that front line forces or trapped civilians might need without risking a single human life. Flying at night, close to the ground (nap of the earth), and employing specialist technology to allow flights in areas where Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are jammed and coatings designed to significantly reduce radar cross-section, it would be possible to significantly enhance supply lines into the Ukrainian frontline or Russian controlled areas or frontline locations. Of course, there would be losses… but not in human life, and replenishing these vehicles would be costeffective and rapid, so surely, we should be exploring and implementing this technology as a matter of urgency. These capabilities are available now through the application of commercial drone technology and at a tiny fraction of the cost of just one military offensive air drone system… so why aren’t we using it? Understandably, requests for air drone technology from Ukraine focus on the need for military-grade offensive systems and small Chinese camera systems because they have been, and continue to be, effective in a rapidly moving conflict but, it is also a fact that no one is offering them, and you don’t know what you don’t know. The missed opportunity is that, in the desire to supply Ukraine with what it is asking for, it seems no one is considering alternative methods for turning the tide against Putin’s aggression. Of course, drones could be utilized for more than just logistics. Fastmoving, quiet air drone systems in an electronic warfare role to disrupt Russian communications on the ground or confuse Russian aircraft; small systems can also be used to deliver passive target acquisition beacons to increase the efficacy of defense systems. The long and short of it is that while we are slowly making progress, I believe more could be done if we think more creatively about how we can utilize drones to help people across Ukraine – whether they be fighting on the front line or trapped in besieged towns and cities – gain better access to the supplies that nations across the globe have so generously and bravely donated. During the Second World War, the British were famous for their ingenuity in the face of adversity and tyranny, and so it can be again…Now is the time to show we can provide powerful solutions using existing civilian air drone technology sourced from suppliers around the world to deliver a co-ordinated logistics supply and relief effort. Coupled with ingenuity and the determination of the Ukrainian people I believe that this can make a huge difference in the struggle ahead, keeping front line forces and trapped civilians supplied. Morale is one of the core principles of war and resupply is essential to its maintenance. To win the war in Ukraine, we need to focus on logistics, not material.” COTS Journal | May 2022
Alta Data Technologies and Bloomy Collaborate to De-Risk LRU and SRU Qualification Testing Bloomy’s Hardware-In-the-Loop Technology Evolution Center incorporates Alta’s avionics bus interfaces to validate and de-risk adoption of COTS LRU/SRU test systems for aerospace and defense organizations.
Alta Data Technologies (Alta) and Bloomy Controls, Inc. (Bloomy®) announce a partnership to provide aerospace and defense organizations with test technology implementation and migration services incorporating Alta’s latest MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 interfaces. The two companies have integrated these interfaces and diagnostics tools into Bloomy’s Hardwarein-the-Loop (HIL) Technology Evolution Center (TEC), the world’s first customer-accessible proving ground for commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) HIL test technologies. With the addition of Alta’s interfaces and tools, the HIL Technology Evolution Center enables avionics and control system suppliers to conduct proof-of-concept tests at the Center to mitigate risks associated
with adopting new COTS communication bus technologies. Bill Eccles, Bloomy’s Director of Corporate Development, says, “We started the HIL Technology Evolution Center to help aerospace and defense organizations reduce the risks and costs of migrating test assets to updated COTS technologies. The Center has been an instant success for programs undergoing a technology refresh, allowing test technology updates without suspending or risking the operation of legacy test assets. Alta’s contribution of best-in-class MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC-429 communications interfaces are key to de-risking the migration of digital mil/aero communications to COTS systems. With this crucial element in place, you can test your line-replaceable unit (LRU) and shop-replaceable unit (SRU) interfaces to prove that COTS provides a viable migration from obsolete or custom systems to systems that have wide support from the test community—includ-
ing Alta’s renowned customer support.” In addition to allowing customers to testdrive mil/aero communications in an operational COTS test system with their own LRUs and SRUs, the ITAR-compliant Center also facilitates testing interoperability and integration of customer models and simulations in a secure COTS real-time environment. The environment also allows the use of commercial digital transformation-enabled toolchains, such as Bloomy’s DEFT™ (Digital Enablers for Test) product, with Bloomy’s Thread-Ready™ HIL and FLEX BMS™ Validation systems, both available for use in the Center. With the addition of Alta-enabled communications, the combination of the ThreadReady™ HIL and the FLEX BMS™ Validation systems will provide makers of autonomous and electrified systems, such as air taxis, eVTOL vehicles, drones, robots, and unmanned underwater vehicles, with an on-demand, low-risk proving ground to test their control systems. “Modern aerospace and defense systems demand highly-automated testing to achieve the perfection required of each component. Bloomy offers leading technology expertise with aerospace and defense automated test applications employing NI LabVIEW, VeriStand, TestStand, PXI, RIO, and SLSC to achieve efficient test automation that utilizes COTS avionics products like Alta’s. Bloomy is Alta’s preferred partner for applications that span testing modern engine controls, flight controls, line-replaceable units (LRUs), gyros, soldier-borne electronics, power and battery management systems (BMSs), autonomous systems (UxS), and systems integration labs (SILs),” states Harry Wild, VP of Sales for Alta, “and we look forward to supporting our mutual customers as they take advantage of the incredible capability that we’re both providing at Bloomy’s HIL TEC.”
COTS Journal | May 2022
Elbit Systems of America Awarded $49 Million Contract to Supply Night Vision Systems for the U.S. Marine Corps
der for additional Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles signifies that Elbit Systems of America is a partner of choice by the U.S. Marine Corps. We are honored that Marines are equipped with
our night vision solutions and we are committed to continuing to provide our warfighters with the very best technology we have to offer.”
DIGISTOR® Poised to Receive Common Criteria Certification For FIPS SelfEncrypting Drives in 2022
SEDs, knowing that the same SEDs will be NIAP-listed in the near future. This gives them a NIAP-listed secure storage solution available in volume at COTS-level prices.
DIGISTOR announced it is in the validation stage of the Common Criteria (CC) certification process. Once achieved, its FIPS 140-2 L2 Self-encrypting Drives (SEDs) will be the
“Increasingly our customers are asking for robust secure data storage solutions with both FIPS and Common Criteria certification
In addition to this essential milestone, the company announced that Lightship Security is simultaneously validating its FIPS versions of the CRU SHIPS NVMe removable SEDs and DIGISTOR’s recently announced C Series SEDs, powered by Cigent®, for CC certification. The SHIPS removable storage architecture is a cross-platform removable NVMe solution used for physical data security and data transport. DIGISTOR C Series SEDs make it easy to cost-effectively protect sensitive data on laptops, desktops, and other user endpoint devices.
Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America LLC, (“Elbit Systems of America”), was awarded a delivery order valued at $49 million for the supply of Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle (“SBNVG”) systems to the U.S. Marines Corps. The order will be executed in Roanoke, Virginia, and will be supplied through September 2023. This additional order is part of a $249 million five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from September 6, 2019. The SBNVG is a lightweight helmet-mounted system that provides superior nighttime viewing in various environments and conditions, improving warfighter situational awareness and performance. The system includes enhanced battery life and high-performing white phosphor image intensification tubes for improved clarity and depth perception. Raanan Horowitz, President, and CEO of Elbit Systems of America said: “This recent or-
only products offering this class of security in the market, making it the de facto standard for companies needing to validate their secure DAR solutions. Today, program managers and developers can start testing and validating their data security solutions using the DIGISTOR FIPS
to address the ever-changing security threats and evolving legislative requirements,” said Robin Wessel, Executive Vice President, CDSG. “Undertaking the rigorous Common Criteria validation process and securing certification is a testament to our commitment to our customers and a ground-breaking move that sets new standards in secure storage.”
DIGISTOR is working with the accredited Austin, Texas, office of Lightship Security Common Criteria and FIPS 140 laboratory and expects to receive the CC certification process and the subsequent NIAP listing later this year. For the first time, program managers and developers will be able to secure NIAP-listed drives at COTS-level pricing for their critical infrastructure companies, industry, and military and government agencies customers who require the highest levels of data security. COTS Journal | May 2022
Mercury Systems and Lockheed Martin signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on sensor processing technology in Switzerland
Mercury Systems Inc. and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced they signed an agreement to collaborate on the development and manufacture of new sensor processing technologies at Mercury’s Geneva, Switzerland facility for a wide variety of applications such as radar signal processing, multi-sensor data fusion, artificial intelligence, and situational awareness. With a potential lifetime value of $40 million, the contract supports Lockheed Martin’s offset agreement with the Swiss government as part of Switzerland’s planned procurement of 36 F-35A Lightning II aircraft related to the Air 2030 program. This cooperation between Lockheed Martin and Mercury will help provide Switzerland and other nations with some of the most advanced airborne defense systems in the world. The local industry in western Switzerland will also benefit from new opportunities and additional market access in the long term. “We are very excited to strengthen our collaboration with Lockheed Martin,” said Paul Tanner, Mercury’s vice president of international growth operations. “We believe this
DoD Announces $117 Million Defense Production Act Title III Agreement With GlobalFoundries to Strengthen the Domestic Microelectronics Industrial Base As part of the nation’s effort to sustain the microelectronics manufacturing capability necessary for national and economic security, and in support of Executive Order 14017, America’s Supply Chains, the Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a $117 million agreement to GlobalFoundries (GF). GF will transfer its 45 nanometer (nm) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) semiconductor manufacturing process from its Fab 10 facility in East Fishkill, New York, to its Fab 8 facility in Malta, New York. The effort is a follow-on from an $8 million award issued last year through which GF conducted initial engineering baseline activities for the transfer. This agreement will ensure access to 45nm 10
COTS Journal | May 2022
project will be important to Switzerland and its economy, as it benefits Swiss national security through military aerospace and defense use. Further, it will continue to support our international growth as well as strengthen our product capability. It’s a great example of connecting cutting-edge commercial technology to defense, to address the A&D industry’s rapidly changing mission-critical needs.” As part of this agreement, the companies will seek to bring the next generation of embedded processing technology to bear on safety-certifiable systems through the design, development, and manufacturing of complex products, purpose-built for the aerospace and defense industry to meet sensor processing requirements for a variety of fixed-wing and rotary-wing airborne platforms. This investment will also provide the highest levels of performance and functionality while still maintaining SOI semiconductors critical to DoD strategic systems. This agreement is the latest collabora-
the ability to reach the most critical levels of DO-254 and DO-178C safety certification. “We look forward to continue strengthening our commitment to Swiss industry while extending our longstanding relationship with Mercury Systems,” said Patrick Nyfeler, managing director, Lockheed Martin Switzerland. “Together with Mercury, we intend to work closely with the Swiss government to select the best possible projects over the lifetime of this agreement, enhance Switzerland competitively in the global economy, creating jobs, and enhance local labor market skills well beyond the 10-year life of the contract.” tion in the longstanding partnership between the DoD and GF to provide silicon-based semiconductors for defense aerospace applications.
Summit Interconnect Acquires Royal Circuit Solutions and Affiliates
The combination solidifies Summit’s position as one of the largest privately-owned printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturers in North America with a footprint that will now encompass eight manufacturing facilities. The acquisition significantly broadens the scope of Summit’s product offering while expanding the company’s business portfolio of key customers and end markets. Summit Interconnect announced the acquisition of Royal Circuit Solutions with California operations in Hollister and Santa Ana and the affiliate Advanced Assembly
located in Aurora, Colorado. The acquisition expands Summit’s PCB offering in rigid, flex, rigid/flex, and ATE PCBs, significantly strengthens engineering and service resources providing CAM, DFM/A, PCB design/layout, and also adds quick-turn, prototype SMT assembly services. The combined company will provide best-in-industry use of software applications that integrate and automate engineering, stack-ups, quoting, production management, and customer interface. This highly developed platform will significantly improve
speed and service to our valued customers.
Shane Whiteside, President, and CEO of Summit Interconnect, Inc. stated, “This combination aligns the Royal and Advanced quick-turn, a vertically integrated model with Summit’s differentiated production capabilities. Each entity brings capabilities to the Summit portfolio that will further strengthen our ability to serve our customers in both high-performance commercial and defense markets, as well as broaden our relationships into additional sectors. This is a very exciting milestone for Summit, Royal Circuits, and Advanced Assembly and we welcome our new employees to the Summit team.”
Milan Shah, Owner, and CEO of Royal Circuits commented, “We are very excited to align ourselves with the tremendous team at Summit and bring our automated software-powered approach to the Summit organization. Together, we will continue to build and scale a world-class company delivering technology solutions to solve the most complex printed circuit board challenges across all end markets.”
COTS Journal | May 2022
Raytheon Intelligence & Space Successfully Test AESA Radar U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet Fleet’s first Flight with GaN-AESA radars
Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s pre-production APG-79(V)4 radar system, was successfully flown on a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet earlier this year, at Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, California. This is the radar system’s first flight on the aircraft since RI&S delivered the prototype radar in 2021. The APG-79(V)4 is an APG-79 radar derivative that employs the first airborne GaN-AESA fire-control radar to help pilots detect and track enemy aircraft from greater distances with greater accuracy and meets the power and cooling requirements of legacy aircraft. “Following successful ground testing and the delivery of the prototype radar, this flight test was critical to observe performance in the air,” said Thomas Shaurette, vice president of F/A-18 & Global Strike Ra-
GA-ASI Integrates Leonardo Seaspray V2 Maritime Radar onto MQ-9 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has integrated the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E V2 multi-mode radar onto an MQ-9A Block 5 Remotely Piloted Aircraft and performed its first test flight on Apr. 14, 2021. The maritime-focused radar is also being fitted for the MQ-9B SeaGuardian® RPA. “The benefits of this Maritime Patrol Radar (MPR) in the complex littoral and maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) environment will add world-class situational awareness for our RPA,” said GA-ASI Vice President of International Strategic Development Robert Schoeffling. Designed and manufactured in Edinburgh, UK, the Leonardo 7500E V2 radar is the latest variant of the highly successful Seaspray Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar family, featuring updated processor and receiver technology to meet the evolving demands of the ISR mission set. The 7500E V2 is the largest and most capable Seaspray AESA radar and enhances the operationally proven 7500E. 12
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dars for RI&S. “It allowed our partners to see the V4 radar’s enhanced detection and tracking abilities in real-time.”
cost and sustainment. Flight tests will continue to support weapons system integration in the fleet.
The U.S. Marine Corps pilot demonstrated the radar’s seamless integration with the legacy Hornet avionics. The APG-79(V)4 radar is common in parts and technology with the legacy AN/APG-79 radar used in the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, thus optimizing
The Naval Air Systems Command recently awarded additional contract modifications to equip the Hornet fleet with more radars in 2021, and the total production value for domestic and foreign military sales customers is over $300 million.
The Seaspray greatly enhances the capabilities of GA-ASI RPA and builds on the already close working partnership between GA-ASI and Leonardo.
market. Seaspray’s long-range, wide-area maritime and ground surveillance capability makes it an ideal fit for the MQ-9A and MQ-9B. The V2 offers significant range increases for certain critical modes, improved maritime detection, and the ability to handle a high number of targets while improving on its already-capable over-land mode suite.”
Tony Innes, VP of Sales, Radar, and Advanced Targeting at Leonardo said, “GA-ASI is an important partner and I’m delighted to see our joint projects generating interest in the
Over £2 billion for the next phase of Dreadnought submarine build
The Ministry of Defence has announced more than £2 billion of further funding for the Dreadnought nuclear deterrent submarines, which are under construction at BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness. The funding is to enable the third major phase of the program, Delivery Phase 3, the most significant stage so far in terms of criticality, value, and complexity. The investment marks the latest financial commitment between the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, and Rolls Royce. It is the initial investment within a planned total of nearly £10 billion for the whole of the third delivery phase. Dreadnought is one of the world’s most complex engineering programs. More than £1 billion has been invested in advanced technology and upgraded infrastructure at BAE Systems’ Barrow shipyard to enable it to deliver Dreadnought, with £450 million of further investment to be made over the life of the program.
most 30,000 jobs across the UK, with more than half of these estimated to be based in the North West of England, and a supply chain spends of £7.5 billion across 1,500 UK companies. In addition, BAE Systems currently has more than 1,000 employees in training on its early career schemes within its Submarines business and is set to recruit a further 340 apprentices and 90 graduates into the business this year. This phase of the program will see the first of four submarines, HMS Dreadnought, exit the BAE Systems’ shipyard to begin sea trials, laying the foundation to sustain the Continuous at Sea Deterrent for as long as the international security situation makes it necessary. It will also allow learning from this phase to be applied to the build and test of later boats. The contracts with Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems will contribute significantly to the UK Government’s leveling-up ambitions and will support the training and development of the men and women of the Royal Navy who will take to the water in HMS Dreadnought when she enters service in the early 2030s.
The Dreadnought program supports al-
COTS Journal | May 2022
Curtiss-Wright Selected by Progeny to Support U.S. Navy Torpedo Upgrade Programs
Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division announced it was awarded a contract by Progeny to provide MOSA computers and digital processing modules for use in the U.S.
Navy’s MK54 and MK48 torpedo upgrade programs. “We are very proud that Progeny selected our rugged commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies to support the U.S. Navy’s upgrade program for the MK54 and MK48 torpedoes,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright
Defense Solutions. “Curtiss-Wright is committed to being an industry-leading supplier of MOSA-based solutions.” The processor modules covered by this agreement are being shipped to Progeny in Manassas, Virginia, and Charleroi, Pennsylvania.
COTS Journal | May 2022
NATO awards Leidos Ballistic Missile Defense Contracts
Leidos has been awarded two internationally competed for contracts by the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) to enhance the Alliance’s ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities. The two single-award, firm-fixed-price contracts have a total estimated value of $90M and each contract has a four-year base period of performance with up to four optional maintenance years.
Architecture, develop requirements for the NATO Command and Control (C2) systems, integrate and test the C2 systems, and operate, maintain and upgrade the NATO BMD Integration Test Bed (ITB). Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the
NCI Agency delivers advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) technology in support of Alliance decision-makers and missions, including addressing new threats and challenges.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to continue our support to the NATO BMD Program,” said Mike Rickels, Leidos Senior Vice President of C4ISR Solutions. “Our international team brings over 20 years of expertise in partnering with NATO, and we look forward to contributing to the enhancement of the Alliance’s BMD capability.” Under the contracts, Leidos will lead an international team to define the NATO BMD
CACI Awarded DARPA Contract for Mission Software Development VITA, the trade association for standard computing architectures serving critical em-
bedded systems industries has announced that Dean Holman has accepted the position as VITA’s President and Executive Director effective February 1, 2022. “I am honored and extremely excited to
be taking on this leadership role within VITA,” stated Dean. “I look forward to applying my experience in building international teams, driving process/quality improvements, and ensuring customer success to lead VITA in its ‘Open standards, open markets’ mission of producing open interoperability standards to enable future system designs.” Dean has an extensive history with VITA going back to 2004 when he began participating in VITA as Technical Editor of the VITA 46 VPX working group while at Mercury Systems. In 2011, the membership elected Dean as Chairman of the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) where he leads the bi-monthly standards meetings and guides the working groups through the standards development process. Dean joined VITA as VP and Assistant Executive Director in March 2021 and has spent the past 10 months getting acquainted with the business management tools and processes. This new role will allow Dean to leverage over three decades of leadership in the Aerospace and Defense industry to advance the development, publication, and adoption of next-generation leading-edge standards.
COTS Journal | May 2022
Inflatable Space Habitats Use Sensors Embedded in Webbing for Structural Health Monitoring By Ted Fetterman, Bally Ribbon Mills
Data capture stress, strain, creep, and micrometeoroid impacts Future human space exploration requires a safe living environment for astronauts. That is why a robust structural health monitoring (SHM) process is imperative to ensure equipment safety, particularly for the inflatable habitat structures that are the most costefficient solution to the astronauts’ living space needs. A novel approach is moving away from conventional SHM testing methods in favor of using sensors embedded in the flexible structural restraint webbing layers. The sensors can collect data on stress, strain, creep, and impacts of micrometeorites throughout the inflatable habitat’s lifecycle. The embedded fiber optic sensors were woven into VECTRAN™ webbing and then later integrated into an inflatable test article that was tested at NASA Johnson Space Center for potential use in future inflatable habitat structures for NASA Lunar Gateway and Mars missions.  A new approach sought for structural health monitoring in space In 2007, Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM) began working with Luna Innovations, Inc., an American developer, and manufacturer of fiber-optics- and terahertz-based technology products for aerospace. Luna’s NASA contact had suggested the partnership to provide a demonstration sample that could show the capabilities of Luna’s technology, which focuses on integrating high-definition fiber optic sensors (HD-FOS) into a three-dimensional woven carbon structure used in composites. The project was undertaken as part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a competitive awards-based research, and development program that helps small 18
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businesses explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.  The project aimed to demonstrate the integration of optical fiber sensing technology into composites to monitor the vacuumassisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process. The team designed a composite cantilever beam with three-dimensional carbon fiber reinforcement that was fabricated with embedded optical sensing fibers. Bally Ribbon Mills wove the carbon fiber preform with warp, fill, and Z-axis reinforcing fiber. During the preform weaving process, BRM added optical fiber bobbins to the weaving loom and determined the necessary processes to integrate fiber optic strain sensors into the weave. BRM successfully wove the material and passed it along to Luna. Fast-forward 15 years and Luna came back to collaborate with BRM on a NASA multi-phase grant award examining whether the embedded sensor technology could survive all the required manufacturing processes for use in inflatable habitat structures being developed for upcoming space missions. During this phase, the focus is on integrating fiber optic sensors into Vectran webbing for inflatable space habitat SHM. The approach uses sensors to capture data throughout an object’s lifecycle. The data collected from “smart webbing” could be used for many applications: • Optimizing process control by using data to increase quality, efficiency, and effectiveness. • Centralizing reporting by characterizing operational norms and preventing false alarms, as well as gaining the ability to access information from anywhere. While the space habitat SHM application focuses on strain measurement, examples of the
kind of data that might be measured include: • Strain - Wear and tear, fatigue, aging, structural health, safety • Temperature - Material joints, process control, safety • Intrusion detection, process control, safety • Vessel Pressure • Flow rate, quality (contamination, transmitted material formulation), volumes For the space habitat SHM application, the long-term goal was to be able to measure stress, strain, and temperature, as well as pinpoint the location of important events. For example, if a micrometeorite hits the shell fabric and causes a point source stress, scientists could know where it hit and be able to gauge the potential for failure. During this project, BRM integrated Luna fiber optic sensors into Vectran webbing. The BRM materials served as woven optical carriers, which are critical in applications that experience high strain. Carriers add reinforcement to fiber optic sensors and prevent high strain from being transferred directly to the fiber. Sensors are woven into the carrier and then embedded into a material. The carriers serve as component parts in the eventual construction of assemblies that capture and transmit information to downstream computing technology. The weaving technology enables the measurement and conversion of information to knowledge and/or action. The resulting benefits include the ability to take corrective action based on improved monitoring capability; the actuation of human/ machine involvement; the transformation of connected objects; and ultimately the fuller automation of manufacturing processes, and the integration of non-destructive inspection tools.
Figure 1: Woven carriers are critical in applications that experience high strain
Figure 2: Embedded sensors for structural health monitorig of inflatable space habotats - Courtesy Luna Innovations, Inc.
Overcoming webbing manufacturing process challenges Manufacturing webbing with embedded sensors comes with two main challenges. The first is ensuring the sensor is not damaged during the weaving process. A loom’s primary machine motion manipulates the warp and weft yarns in an alternating pattern and exerts high tension and abrasion forces on the yarn. The sensor must also survive the same motions. BRM minimized the effects of the weaving processes on the sensor by placing it in a specific location within the weave structure where the sensor’s interaction with adjacent yarns is lessened. The sensor is constructed of a fiber optic glass core with a protective polymer coating. This fiber is relatively brittle and will be damaged when conforming to a tight radius. The allowable radius varies based on the diameter of the core fiber optic material, but the benchmark is the ½-inch radius. Therefore, during the weaving process, BRM had to minimize the bending radii of the sensor to prevent damage.
The second challenge is to ensure that the weave design is precise enough to place sensor ingresses and egresses in the proper locations within the surface of the weave structure. Weaving is a process with many variables and only moderate controls; it is not possible to achieve metal machine tolerances. This means there is always a bit of trial and error when dealing with the integration of a sensor in a specific location. In this case, the BRM team wove start-up samples based on a benchtop analysis of weave design, checked the samples after weaving, and then made adjustments to ensure accurate compliance with sensor location specifications. Testing the sensor for continuity Luna Innovations
tested the fiber optic sensors woven into the flexible structural restraint layer webbings on an inflatable test article with a diameter of 0.61 meters (2 feet) fabricated from Vectran, a manufactured filament fiber with liquid-crystal polymer chemistry. Experiments successfully demonstrated creep sensing, pressure sensing, and detection of damage location and magnitude. For example, the Luna team performed tests simulating micrometeoroid and orbital debris damage on panels of instrumented webbings, which demonstrated successful detection of the event and location. A one-third scale, 2.74-meter diameter (9 feet) inflatable with embedded structural health sensors was used for creep and burst testing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. A habitat containing the smart webbing was inflated and measurements are being recorded at regular intervals for a total period of about 2 months. Measuring the long-term creep of the habitat system is important to the safety and viability of the inflatable habitat program. All materials, when exposed to stress over time, will creep or elongate. Vectran itself resists creep, but it is difficult to calculate the actual amount of creep in the habitat system because of the wide variety of materials and different layers being used in its construction. NASA is performing the testing to validate the bench-top engineering and design of the habitat’s structural components. While the goal is to complete the project by 2023, the need to orchestrate raw
Figure 3: Startup samples are woven based on benchtop analysis and then adjusted to ensure they comply with sensor location specifications. COTS Journal | May 2022
Compact Embedded System (CES) • Rugged, Fanless, Small Form Factor
• Mix and Match - Protocols - I/Os and Videos - Switches and Routers
• Intel® Atom, i3, i5, i7, Xeon, Server Class up to 16 Cores • NXP LX2160A with 16 Cortex® -A72 cores
• AC or DC input • Customized to your speciﬁc requirements
High Density I/O and Video
• Designed, Assembled and Tested in the USA
• A/Ds, D/As, GPIOs, Temperatures, DIs, DOs, FPGA, Relays, Custom
• Small Business • Founded in 1983
• Latest Technology allows for higher density I/O channels • Multi-channel Video
Multi-Protocol • NTDS, ATDS, STANAG, OD-19 • CAN, Serial Sync or Async (RS232, RS422, RS485) • MIL STD 1553, ARINC (429/575/717/573) • Protocol Conversion to Ethernet • Cisco’s Ethernet Switch and Router
material supply, component procurement, manufacturing, assembly, testing, test-facilities scheduling, and funding means that timing predictions are subject to change. Based on previous success with the prior phases and benchmarks, BRM is currently contracted to produce the next set of “sensorized” webbing. “BRM’s work in developing the manufacturing processes necessary to integrate fiber optic strain sensors into the fabric weave was key to our success and is helping to move the technology into the future,” says Matthew Davis, Luna’s R&D Director, Lightwave Division. “We rely on their skills and are excited about working in partnership with them to extend the innovative approach into other SHM applications.” One example is a Navy Phase II SBIR effort in which Luna and BRM are integrating fiber into the harness a fighter pilot might wear. As Davis explains, “Webbing textiles are critical to many personnel safety systems in U.S. Navy aircraft, but there are currently no viable non-destructive techniques to detect when the load strength has degraded to an unsafe level. With BRM’s assistance, we are integrating this technology, which enables accurate assessment of the load capabilities for nylon, polyester, and Kevlar structures during their service life.” Structural health monitoring is critical for the future Ensuring the safety of long-duration human
Figure 4: The inflatable test article has shown during pressure proof testing. The modular straps shown on the right feature high-definition fiber optic sensors (HD-FOS) integrated during the webbing weaving process. Modular strap locations allowed for testing multiple sensing strap designs or switching out straps after intentionally damaging a strap experimentally.  - Courtsey Luna Innovations, Inc.
habitation in space or on other planets will depend on structural health monitoring. The new sensor-based technique for monitoring the health of the flexible soft goods restraints on inflatable living structures shows great promise. If the embedded sensing technology proves to be successful, it could be included in future space mission habitation structures, including the Lunar Gateway or Mars missions.
Blacksburg, VA, 24060, USA; Jeffrey Valania, Benjamin Sorensen, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, CO, USA; Megan Dixon, Matthew Morgan, ILC Dover, Frederica, DE, USA; Douglas A. Litteken, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA
References 1.Embedded Fiber Optic SHM Sensors for Inflatable Space Habitats, by Osgar John Ohanian III,1 Matthew A. Davis, Luna Innovations Incorporated,
*VECTRAN is a trademark of KURARAY CO., LTD
2.The SBIR and STTR Programs, https://www. sbir.gov/about, retrieved 3/7/22.
Figure 5: Bally Ribbon Mills wove Luna’s embedded fiber optic sensors into Vectran webbing and then later integrated them into an inflatable test article that was tested at NASA Johnson Space Center. - Courtsey Luna Innovations, Inc. COTS Journal | May 2022
COTS in Space: Software Defined Radio (SDR) for Satellite Communication By Brandon Malatest, Founder, Per Vices Corporation Introduction One of the most critical devices in any satellite is the radio frequency (RF) communication module. It receives and transmits information that is used for receiving control from ground stations, sending status from onboard experiments and machine conditions, routing data packages for internet access, and navigation applications, such as GNSS/GPS. In modern satellites, almost all RF communication functions can be performed using a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) system. In this context, software-defined radios (SDRs) are the best choice for COTS radio systems, given the variety of size, weight, and power (SWaP) options in the market. However, not all COTS SDRs are suitable for satellite applications, as they have to withstand the harsh conditions of space, such as drastic temperature fluctuations and intense ionizing radiation.
Figure 1: Image of the components of an SDR 22
COTS Journal | May 2022
In this article, we will discuss the role of COTS SDRs in satellite systems, the main advantages of their use in onboard applications, and why they are the perfect choice for the job. Furthermore, it is crucial to take into consideration the impact of the harsh space environment on the analog and digital components of the SDR, so we will also discuss how satellite based SDRs require specific types of RF components to withstand the space conditions and work reliably. What is SDR? Before we can discuss anything related to the space applications of SDRs, we need to properly define an SDR. Software-defined radios are the product of a paradigm shift in radio technology that pushed most of the communication functions and signal processing to the digital realm, leaving only the essential RF signaling int the analog circuitry. Thus, SDRs
are composed of three main blocks: the radio front-end (RFE), the digital backend, and the mixed signal interface (Figure 1). The RFE is the analog portion of the SDR responsible for the receive (Rx) and transmit (Tx) functions, used to receive the signals over a wide tuning range of 0 to 18 GHz, and in state-of-the-art technology this can be upgraded to 40 GHz. Moreover, the highest-bandwidth SDRs in the market can reach up to 3 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth per channel, with MIMO operation offering several channels in one RFE. The RFE is also responsible for filtering, amplification, and impedance matching. The digital backend, on the other hand, is responsible for performing most of the signal processing functions (such as DSP algorithms, modulation/demodulation, upconverting, and down-converting) and communication functions, including the radio protocols, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and packetization. The digital backend typically consists of a high-performance FPGA with onboard DSP capabilities. Finally, the mixed-signals interface performs the connection between the RFE and the FPGA, and it is composed of multiple channels of ADCs and DACs. Both backend and ADC/DACs require high synchronicity to work properly, so a powerful time board is crucial. The implementation in high-end SDRs consists of an oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO), that provides a stable (5 parts/billion) and accurate 10 MHz signal for clock, with low noise floor and phase noise. One fundamental aspect of satellite electronics are that they are designed for worst case scenarios, as hardware replacements, maintenance, and adjustments are, almost always, impractical. This makes the design significantly expensive and overcomplicated. Moreover, the space conditions are highly variable due to the atmospheric and ionospheric effects, particularly in Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
One fundamental aspect of satellite electronics are that they are designed for worst case scenarios, as hardware replacements, maintenance, and adjustments are, almost always, impractical.
applications, so the “worst-case design” does not provide optimal channel performance. Therefore, satellite applications cannot rely on fixed designs based on hardware, as they require on-the-fly adaptation of the communication parameters. This flexibility is easily provided by SDRs, where the modulation, carrier frequency, power modes, the signal processing functions, and even the communication protocol can be modified without any hardware change. Moreover, the digital nature of the SDR provides much more robustness over different environmental conditions, which is crucial in space. Onboard SDRs are widely used in data transfer, navigation, and, ground-based tracking, telemetry, and control (TT&C). However, onboard SDRs need to meet several requirements for satellite applications. First, the SWaP is crucial: there is limited space and power inside the satellite, and any increase in weight can significantly impact the launching. So compact and light devices with low-power modes are required. Furthermore, the device must also be designed to endure the high temperature variations of space and the intense forces and temperatures of the launching process (i.e. extreme thrust/gravitational forces and vibrational motion during launch, as well as temperature ranges depending on various factors including sun exposure and orbit type). It also needs to withstand ionizing radiation and solar storms, so the enclosure must be radiation hardened to avoid damages in the electronics. This is because the high-energy particles have a cumulative effect on the semiconductor, and the Total Ionizing Dose (TID) is an important parameter to measure the impact. For instance, the storage capacity of charge-based memory modules, including NAND, Flash, and DRAM, can be significant-
ly affected by the TID, because of the defects caused in the silicon dioxide (SiO2) layers. Finally, the RFE must provide enough signal flexibility to adapt the RF communication to the highly variable atmospheric effects, including scattering, reflection, and refraction. Even when radiation protection is implemented, high energy particles coming from the solar events can penetrate the shields and reach the electronic components of the satellites. In critical events, the interaction between the particles and the silicon from the electronics can be disastrous for the communication module. For instance, the Galaxy 15 spacecraft (a GEO satellite) was submitted to a solar anomaly on 5 April 2010, that caused an electrostatic discharge (ESD) on the digital backend circuitry, resulting in a failure in the communication with the ground station. The station regained control over the satellite again only at December 2010, after resetting the Baseband Equipment Command Unit. The Galaxy 15 case can be classified as a Single Event Effect (SEE). Different from the TID, SEEs are caused by single particles (high energy protons and cosmic rays) with enough energy to impact the device functionality. Semiconductor-based electronics are particularly prone to suffer from SEE, so exposed electronic parts must be protected with proper shielding. Figure 2 shows the effect of a SEE cosmic ray in the depletion region of a simple MOSFET. To evaluate if the SDR is ready to withstand the orbital environment, a space qualification assessment must be performed. For satellite onboard components, the space-qualification process is divided in four domains: mechanical, thermal, electro-magnetic, and lifetime qualifications. The mechanical one verifies vibration
and shock endurance, to check if the device can withstand launching and release conditions. The thermal test verifies if the device can endure wide variations in temperature in a controlled vacuum. The electro-magnetic qualification basically verifies the EMI and EMC performance of the device, to evaluate how compatible it is with the rest of the satellite equipment. The lifetime verification estimates how long the device will be operational, or how many cycles of a task it can perform without failure. Furthermore, parts screening and material analysis must be performed to ensure that the devices are adequate for space. Radiation hardening techniques can significantly improve the robustness of the device: Silicon on Insulator (SOI) substrates can eliminate the latch-up events, and package shielding can reduce the radiation exposure significantly. The hardening can also be obtained through software, by using error correction, redundant digital blocks, failure detection algorithms, hardened latches, and watchdog timer/reset. Applications of SDRs in Space Now that we covered the basics of SDRs and how they can be designed to comply with onboard satellites, let us can discuss some of the main COTS SDR applications for space systems. One basic example is in satellite sensing, especially in atmospheric monitoring applications. In these cases, the satellite is loaded with several sensors, which readings are then digitized and transmitted using an SDR. The SDR provides functions such as channel commutation, data packetization, and signal modulation. The onboard processor of the SDR can be even used to perform signal processing on the readings. COTS SDRs can also be used in ground stations to manage atmospheric data coming from space, providing flexible demodulation COTS Journal | May 2022
date version of the software. Furthermore, the communication module in cubesats must be significantly efficient, to account for the small power availability and bandwidth restrictions. Therefore, COTS SDRs are a perfect choice for small satellites, due to its flexibility and the variety of SWaP options in the market.
Figure 2: Effects of SEE in a MOSFET transistor.
schemes and embedded intelligence to decode signals transmitted by different satellites. Nanosatellites, also called cubesats (due to the typical cubic geometry), are becoming extremely popular in the space community. They are desirable due to the lower building cost, reduced design and manufacturing time, and easier launching processes, that allows many satellites to be launched into orbit with only
one rocket. These advantages attracted small companies and universities to join the space development community, rapidly increasing the knowledge base for space electronics. COTS SDRs are highly popular in cubesats, as their compact SWaP allows easy implementation and integration in the small volume. Moreover, the flexibility provided by the FPGA gives the cubesats the ability to perform on-orbit upgrades, by simply uploading the up-to-
Finally, COTS SDRs present advantages that are desirable in basically any type of satellite application. Firstly, the flexibility provided by the FPGA gives the satellite the ability to use multiple modulation schemes in a single device, including AM, FM, FSK, ASK, and QAM. This increases greatly the application range of the satellite. Moreover, by changing the modulation scheme and carrier frequency, the satellite can easily adapt to environmental conditions, including atmospheric and ionospheric effects, maximizing channel capacity without losing the robustness and reliability of “worstcase scenario” design. The FPGA can also performs encryption/decryption algorithms for both uplink and downlink communication, which is fundamental in military applications. Satellites using COTS SDRs can also be reconfigured on-the-fly, eliminating the need for complicated and costly upgrades in loco. Finally, SDRs can significantly reduce the complexity of the radio system, by incorporating basically all signal processing blocks into one single module. Conclusion SDRs are able to significantly improve the flexibility and adaptability of a radio system, by incorporating almost all signal processing functions into the digital domain. They can also be easily obtained as COTS products, reducing the design cost and time. In the satellite industry, SDRs are the best choice for the communication system, providing the robustness, adaptability, and performance required. Moreover, the large variety of SWaP makes them suitable for any application, from large GEO communication satellites to cubesats used in space research. However, satellite systems require SDRs that are space-qualified for onboard operations, as the harsh space environment can easily damage the electronics and jeopardize the mission. Nonetheless, techniques such as radiation hardening and shielding can be easily applied in SDRs, so space qualified COTS are available in the market. About Us Per Vices has extensive experience in designing, developing, building, and integrating SDRs for space-based and ground station applications. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today to see how we can help you with your SDR needs.
COTS Journal | May 2022
COT’S PICKS NVIDIA Announces Availability of Jetson AGX Orin Developer Kit to Advance Robotics and Edge AI
son. The availability of Jetson AGX Orin will supercharge the efforts of the entire industry as it builds the next generation of robotics and edge AI products.”
NVIDIA announced the availability of the NVIDIA® Jetson AGX Orin™ developer kit, the world’s most powerful, compact, and energy-efficient AI supercomputer for advanced robotics, autonomous machines, and next-generation embedded and edge computing.
Customers using Jetson AGX Orin can leverage the full NVIDIA CUDA-X™ accelerated computing stack, NVIDIA JetPack™ SDK, pre-trained models from the NVIDIA NGC™ catalog, and the latest frameworks and tools for application development and optimization such as NVIDIA Isaac™ on Omniverse™, NVIDIA Metropolis, and NVIDIA TAO Toolkit. This reduces time and cost for production-quality AI deployments, allowing developers to access the largest, most complex models needed to solve robotics and edge AI challenges in 3D perception, natural language understanding, multisensor fusion, and more.
Jetson AGX Orin delivers 275 trillion operations per second, giving customers over 8x the processing power of its predecessor, Jetson AGX Xavier while maintaining the same palm-sized form factor and pin compatibility — all at a similar price. It features an NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPU, Arm Cortex-A78AE CPUs, next-generation deep learning and vision accelerators, high-speed interfaces, faster memory bandwidth, and multimodal sensor support to feed multiple, concurrent AI application pipelines. “As AI transforms manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transportation, smart cities, and other essential sectors of the economy, demand for processing continues to surge,” said Deepu Talla, vice president of Embedded and Edge Computing at NVIDIA. “A million developers and more than 6,000 companies have already turned to Jet-
Broad Customer and Ecosystem Support Jetson AGX Orin has received strong feedback from the robotics and embedded computing ecosystem, including Microsoft Azure, John Deere, Medtronic Digital Surgery, AWS, Hyundai Robotics, JD.com, Komatsu, Meituan, and many more. • “We are extending the powerful Microsoft Azure platform to the intelligent edge. Combining Azure’s advanced capabilities with performance and software development tools such as NVIDIA
Jetson AGX Orin helps give developers a seamless experience to easily build, deploy and operate production-ready AI applications.” — Roanne Sones, corporate vice president, Microsoft Azure Edge + Platforms • “With the global population expected to reach nearly 10 billion people by 2050, farmers have a steep challenge of feeding the world and they can’t do it alone. With less available land and labor, and many variables to work through, deploying and scaling advanced technology like autonomy is key to building a continually smart, evolving, and more efficient farm. Our fully autonomous tractor, featuring two NVIDIA Jetson GPUs for quick and accurate image classification at the edge, will be on farms this year, supporting farmers in overcoming challenges and providing for our growing world.” — Jahmy Hindman, chief technology officer at John Deere. • &quot; As a recognized medical technology leader, Medtronic continues to innovate and advance solutions to improve surgical patient care. We recognize the key role of AI in the digitization of surgery through quantitative analytics and real-time clinical decision support systems. The latest NVIDIA Jetson platform brings us a new level of computational performance in the operating room and enables us to advance intraoperative systems to better support surgeons, through data-enabled solutions.” — Dan Stoyanov, chief scientific officer at Medtronic Digital Surgery. • “Advances in edge AI and robotics are reshaping entire industries by overcoming rising costs and limitations in labor and materials. Every industry will benefit from AI and robotics in the future, and 2022 is proving to be a key tipping point. Combined with NVIDIA pre-trained AI models, frameworks like TAO toolkit and Isaac on Omniverse, and supported by the Jetson developer community and its partner ecosystem, Jetson AGX Orin offers a scalable AI platform with unmatched resources that make it easy to adapt to almost any application.” — Jim McGregor, principal analyst at TIRIAS Research The Jetson™ embedded computing partner ecosystem encompasses a broad range of services and products, including cameras and other multimodal sensors, carrier boards, hardware design services, AI and system software, developer tools, and custom software development. NVIDIA www.nvidia.com
COTS Journal | May 2022
COT’S PICKS wolfSSL supports Post-Quantum Cryptography
cryptography on TLS (Transport Layer Security), a standard Internet security protocol, without having to make changes to their applications.
WolfSSL Inc. announced that its flagship product, wolfSSL, a security library for embedded systems, supports post-quantum cryptography. As a result, users who use the wolfSSL library can communicate using post-quantum
The era of quantum computing is becoming a reality, and ensuring secure network communication is beginning to appear a real challenge. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in the competition for Post-Quantum
Cryptography Standardization is in Round 3, as of 2022, of narrowing down four encryption/key exchange and signature algorithms, centering on lattice-based crypto candidates. The results are expected to be announced shortly. Open Quantum Safe (OQS), an open-source project, provides these finalist algorithms as a library, liboqs. This post-quantum cryptography support for wolfSSL implements the algorithms provided by liboqs in wolfSSL, a TLS library product, and provides it as a product that can be used in embedded systems. This allows device manufacturers using wolfSSL to easily incorporate post-quantum cryptography protocols into their network connectivity capabilities without changing the structure or development environment of their products. wolfSSL software is available in two licensing models: open source and commercial licensing. Incorporating wolfSSL products into devices and commercial software products requires a commercial license agreement. WolfSSL Inc. www.wolfssl.com
DATA MODUL presents special night vision displays for aerospace applications DATA MODUL is expanding its display portfolio with a new 11.6” high-resolution Full HD and 10.4” Industry Standard XGA night vision displays (NVIS display) that are ideally suited for aerospace applications. Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) displays have a very high sensitivity to light of wavelengths from 600 nm to 930 nm ( from red/orange to near-infrared). By converting photons from the night environment into a visible image, they amplify the night scene by 1500 to 2000 times, allowing clear vision even in dark environments. NVIS displays use special filters that absorb about 20 to 30% of visible light, reducing the transmission of the screen. As a result of this conversion, wearers of night vision goggles (NVG) can read NVIS displays perfectly even at night. In comparison, non-NVG compatible displays often have the disadvantage that screen contents are displayed too brightly and may blind the user. “With the new 11.6” Full HD night vision display, we offer for the first time a display in our portfolio that is perfectly suited for night vision. 26
COTS Journal | May 2022
This display is unique in the market due to its FHD resolution and high contrast values and thus clearly stands out from other NVIS models. Following the MIL-STD-3009 standard, the display meets all requirements for the emission properties of lighting and display devices in aircraft, which are necessary for operation at night. Thanks to dual-mode backlighting and luminance of 1500 cd/m2, the display can be used not only in dark but also in extremely bright environments,” explains Kirk Frederick, Head of Product Management USA at DATA MODUL.
The new 11.6” NVIS display is characterized by an extremely wide temperature range from -40°C to +85°C, a contrast ratio of 1300:1, and a backlight lifetime of 70k hours. On request, DATA MODUL also offers touch solutions, controller cards as well as a variety of additional services for the realization of customized complete solutions DATA MODUL www.data-modul.com
COT’S PICKS Galleon Releases New Rugged Computing Solution, The XSR Half Rack Server
Galleon Embedded Computing is excited to introduce its latest product, the XSR Half Rack Server. This robust and highly adaptable system has been designed specifically for deployed C5ISR applications where high performance and extreme ruggedness are essential requirements. With its compact 3U half-width 19” form factor and innovative cooling architecture, the XSR Half Rack Server offers state-of-the-art reliability while occupying a minimal installation footprint. Whether you’re looking to capture large amounts of sensor data, process intense analytic workloads, or deploy mission-critical software, the XSR Half-Rack Server will meet and exceed your mission requirements.
Industry’s First COTS Mezzanine with 64 GSps ADC/DAC Sample Rates Is Introduced by Annapolis MicroSystems Annapolis Micro Systems announced the availability of the industry’s first COTS FMC+ Mezzanine Card to feature Jariet Technologies’ Electra-MA chip with 64 GS/s, 10-bit ADC, and DAC capability. It is targeted at demanding applications requiring direct sampling frequency coverage anywhere from 0.1 to 36 GHz, and/or wide instantaneous bandwidths. This breakthrough, direct sampling Jariet
The extremely rugged XSR Half-Rack Server boasts sixcore Intel Xeon E3 CPUs with up to 96GB SDRAM supporting ECC. Its flexible I/O architecture allows for easy integration with existing infrastructure and can serve as an ideal solution for deployed Network Attached Storage (NAS) applications. Espen Bøch, CEO of Galleon Embedded Computing, states, “We’ve designed the XSR Half-Rack Server with our customer’s needs in mind. It offers all the performance, flexibility, and reliability needed to meet and exceed the mission requirements. The XSR Half-Rack Server is a powerful and versatile addition to the XSR family of rugged computing products, and we are pleased to offer it to the C5ISR market.”
transceiver performs frequency conversion and filtering in the digital domain, eliminating the need for costly analog frequency conversion. The WILD FMC+ DME1 ADC & DAC Card thus provides an unprecedented level of performance and integration for RF and microwave systems: 2-Channel, 40 to 64 GSps, 10b ADC 2-Channel, 40 to 64 GSps, 10b DAC It has a usable analog bandwidth of 36 GHz and a maximum instantaneous bandwidth of 6.4 GHz on both channels simultaneously. All transceiver channels feature onboard digital downconverters (DDCs) and digital upconverters
Galleon Embedded Computing is a military-focused leader in the development of high-performance, high-quality storage solutions and small, rugged data recorder systems, servers, and network-attached storage devices. Galleon has been part of the Spectra Aerospace & Defense group since August of 2021, a trusted collective of defense electronics companies providing innovative solutions in support of national security requirements around the world. Galleon Embedded Computing https://galleonec.com/
(DUCs), including sub-band channelizers for dynamic frequency selection. “We are excited to be the first company to use Jariet’s Electra-MA transceiver in a COTS mezzanine,” said Noah Donaldson, Annapolis Micro Systems Chief Technology Officer. “This daughter card integration allows for maximum flexibility of use, and for significantly higher performance than adding the transceiver directly to a baseboard.” “The DME1 WFMC+ from Annapolis Micro Systems represents a significant milestone in the maturity of direct sampling transceiver products,” said Craig Hornbuckle, Chief Technology Officer of Jariet Technologies. “While ADC and DAC prototypes sampling at tens of Gigasamples per second have existed in the lab for a few years, the technology has finally reached the level of maturity necessary to practically deploy it for the warfighter. Flexible spectrum access from VHF through Ka-band will be a gamechanger in the competition to control the electromagnetic spectrum.” The DME1 is available for use with 3rd party FMC+ baseboards or with Annapolis’ WILDSTAR 3U OpenVPX Baseboards (one WFMC+ mezzanine site) or 6U OpenVPX Baseboards (two WFMC+ mezzanine sites). Annapolis WILDSTAR Baseboards utilize up to three high-performance FPGAs. Annapolis Micro Systems www.annapmicro.com
COTS Journal | May 2022
COT’S PICKS SynQor® Releases an Advanced FieldGrade High Voltage DC Adjustable Output Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS-1250)
SynQor, Inc., announces its new full power, High Voltage DC Adjustable Output, Field-Grade, fully isolated Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). The new DC3 1250 W high voltage DC adjustable output can deliver any output voltage between 25 Vdc and 325 Vdc; at full power, it can deliver between 210 and 325 Vdc. The output voltage and current limit are both user-configurable. The DC3 output of multiple units can be paralleled or configured in an N+M redundant configuration for increased output power. The UPS can also be configured to deliver simultaneously to the high voltage DC output, a 24 Vdc or 28 Vdc through its DC2 port (1250 W max) and either 12, 15, 24, 28, 40, or 50 Vdc at 500 W through its DC1 port. The UPS can seamlessly draw power from a wide range of AC input voltages and frequencies, or a 28 Vdc power source and deliver up to three different, fully isolated DC output voltages. This compact, ultra-light, fully isolated, rugged UPS is specifically designed for military and aerospace applications. Battery charging applications are also possible with the current limit feature. It is designed to withstand harsh and extreme elec-
New Abaco DEVPX3 OpenVPX Development Chassis Cuts Costs and Time to Market AMETEK Abaco Systems announces the new DEVPX3 development chassis, aligned to both OpenVPX and SOSA™ standards, providing a flexible, cost-effective platform for open-standardsbased application development, integration, and testing. The chassis helps you maintain a robust, fast-paced development program by being able to quickly demonstrate and prove the end capability of your 3U VPX solutions at a system or board level. The lab-ready DEVPX3 development chassis allows sensor and system solutions providers to shorten lab and demonstration schedules by providing a fast and efficient way to stay up to date on VPX advancements from Abaco and its partners. By re-using existing boards or purchasing economical in-stock air-cooled variants, software and firmware time to market is also shortened. With eight individual slots, the DEVPX3 sup28
COTS Journal | May 2022
trical, shock/vibration, and environmental conditions. The power backup is provided by an advanced, highly efficient, low weight, compact, sealed lithium polymer battery pack. SynQor’s battery packs significantly outperform other market solutions in the same class. This UPS also includes a variety of features that simplify its operation such as the SNMP ethernet base module that allows real-time remote system monitoring with trap/email features that warn users and monitors consoles for important system events. Another feature allows a wide dynamic input frequency range of operation (47 to 800 Hz) for varying frequency input AC applications. These UPS models have a droop share option in the DC2 port which allows for load sharing and redundant (N+M) configurations between multiple UPS units at low output voltages. In addition, the extended battery pack model has a 2U enclosure that increases battery run time from 10 to 24 minutes. SynQor’s U.S.-based design and manufacturing team has delivered another game-changing product that outperforms other products in its class in output power, efficiency, reliability, flexibility, weight, and size. SynQor’s products have a proven record of satisfying military specifications while going above and beyond these specifications to deliver the most efficient and dependable solutions in the market. Features • High voltage DC regulated adjustable output ports both conduction and air-cooled Abaco 3U modules aligned to OpenVPX and SOSA standards. The open frame and backplane are quickly configured with off-the-shelf cabling or rear transition modules. “The DEVPX3 OpenVPX development chassis gives our customers an easy and economical way to solidify and accelerate their systems as well as
25 Vdc to 325 Vdc • Adjustable current limit 0 to 6 A • Built-in Load Sharing and Redundant (N+M) capabilities • >10 min. or >24 min. battery run-time at full power • Universal AC input: 80-265 VAC; 47-65 Hz or 47-800 Hz • 1U High Rack-Mount unit (17” x 22.25” x 1.73”) • Optional DC1 output at 12, 15, 24, 28, 40, 50 Vdc • Optional DC2 output at 24, 28 Vdc (takes place of DC input) • Optional DC input (takes place of DC2 output) • Specification Compliance MIL-STD-461F MIL-STD-704F MIL-STD-810G MIL-STD-1275D MIL-STD-1399-300B SynQor, Inc. www.synqor.com
enable future products and programs,” says Pete Thompson, vice president of product management, Abaco Systems. “The introduction is yet another example of how Abaco supports our customers by providing exactly what they need from board to lab to rugged production solutions.” AMETEK Abaco Systems www.abaco.com
COT’S PICKS Lanner Electronics Launches Falcon H8 PCIe AI Accelerator Card, Powered by Hailo-8™AI Processors
Lanner Electronics announced its first Hailo8™AI-powered PCIe accelerator card, the Falcon H8. Lanner collaborated with leading AI (Artificial Intelligence) chipmaker Hailo to design the Falcon H8, enabling scalable and powerful intelligent video analytics applications for multiple industries operating at the edge, including intelligent transport systems (ITS), smart cities, smart retail, and Industry 4.0. The Falcon H8 is one of the most cost-efficient PCIe AI accelerator cards on the market, with low power consumption and a record high of up to 156 tera operations per second (TOPS) to allow high-end deep learning applications on edge servers. Lanner Electronics & Hailo collaborate on one of the most cost-efficient PCIe accelerator cards on the market, with record-high tera operations per second (TOPS), enabling high-end deep learning applications on an edge server
VIAVI Releases ALT-9000 Radio Altimeter Test Solution, Designed for a New Era of Secure Aviation
L a n n e r Electronics & Hailo collaborate on one of the most cost-efficient PCIe accelerator cards on the market, with record-high tera operations per second (TOPS), enabling high-end deep learning applications on an edge server Lanner’s Falcon H8 modular, PCIe FHHL form factor provides a compact and easily deployable solution for engineers looking to offload CPU loading for low-latency deep learning inference. With highdensity AI processors, the Falcon H8 accommodates 4, 5, or 6 Hailo-8™ AI processors, offering a modular, cost-effective Edge AI solution with high processing capabilities and power efficiency. Through a standard PCIe interface, the Falcon H8 AI Accelerator Card enables legacy devices such as NVRs, Edge AI boxes, Industrial PCs, and robots to run video-intensive, mission-critical Edge AI applications such as video analytics, traffic management, access control, and beyond. The Falcon H8 delivers unprecedented inference
VIAVI Solutions Inc. announced the launch of the ALT-9000 universal radio altimeter (RADALT) flight line test set. As manufacturers release RADALTs with more sophisticated waveforms to address safety and security issues in the aviation industry, the ALT-9000 adds fiber optic delay to traditional radio frequency (RF) testing, enabling it to test all types of RADALTS on the market. The RADALT measures an aircraft’s altitude above the terrain, by transmitting a radio frequency (RF) signal down to the ground and receiving a reflection. To prevent potential spoofing or jamming of the return signal, modern RADALTs use more complex waveforms, and the U.S. military has transitioned a majority of its aircraft to these models. Also, as 5G networks begin to use C-band frequencies, older RADALTs may lack the required interference protection. These trends call for updated testing technology and procedures to address legacy and new RADALT types and to enable rapid retesting to identify issues that can disrupt flight operations. The VIAVI ALT-9000 is a portable test set that utiliz-
processing of over 15,000 Frames Per Second (FPS) for MobileNet-v2 and 8,000 FPS for ResNet-50. Its performance is up to 4x more cost-effective (TOPS/$) and 2x more power-efficient (TOPS/W) compared to leading GPU-based solutions. “Optimized for AI functionality, performance, and ease of deployment, Lanner is pleased to partner with Hailo to design a next-gen AI accelerator card that brings top-performing AI computing to the edge of industrial IoT,” said Jeans Tseng, CTO of Lanner Electronics. “Our expertise in creating high-density hardware platforms, combined with Hailo’s stateof-the-art neural chip and software framework, provides service providers and system integrators a best-in-class AI accelerator that enables running deep learning applications most efficiently with the lowest total cost of ownership.” Lanner Electronics www.lannerinc.com
es fiber-optic delay to allow it to work with all types of radio altimeters. It tests the complete RADALT system, allowing the operator to isolate a problem with the antenna, coaxial cable, line-replaceable unit (LRU), or indicator, eliminating unnecessary swaps or replacements of system components. The ALT-9000 performs complete closed-loop system tests, replicates in-flight conditions, and creates profiles for dynamic altitude simulations. The comprehensive, efficient, and user-friendly test process enables more frequent testing of flight systems, reducing the cost of takeoff failures. “After two years of the global pandemic, the aviation industry is planning for increased demand and a return to normal operations,” said Guy Hill, Director of Avionics Test Products, VIAVI. “Aircraft operators, avionics system manufacturers, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul service providers should adopt best practices to prevent further disruption, especially with an increased focus on safety, security, and efficient operation of radio altimeters. The ALT-9000 has been designed to support those best practices for all RADALTs on the market.” VIAVI Solutions Inc. www.viavisolutions.com
COTS Journal | May 2022
COT’S PICKS Supermicro Accelerates AI Workloads, Cloud Gaming, Media Delivery with New Systems Supporting Intel’s Arctic Sound-M and Intel Habana Labs Gaudi®2
Rapid Prototyping for MIL-STD-1553 C-Code Generation using PBA.pro DMIL-STD-1553 interface cards for test, simulation, and embedded applications are
Super Micro Computer, Inc. supports two new Intel-based accelerators for demanding cloud gaming, media delivery, AI, and ML workloads, enabling customers to deploy the latest acceleration technology from Intel and Intel Habana. “Supermicro continues to work closely with Intel and Habana Labs to deliver a range of server solutions supporting Arctic Sound-M and Gaudi2 that address the demanding needs of organizations that require highly efficient media delivery and AI training,” said Charles Liang, president, and CEO. “We continue to collaborate with leading technology suppliers to deliver application-optimized total system solutions for complex workloads while also increasing system performance.”
Supermicro can quickly bring to market new technologies by using a Building Block Solutions® approach to designing new systems. This methodology allows new GPUs and acceleration technology to be easily placed into existing designs or, when necessary, quickly adapt an existing design when needed for higher-performing components. “Supermicro helps deliver advanced AI and media processing with systems that leverage our latest Gaudi2 and Arctic Sound-M accelerators,” stated Sandra Rivera, executive vice president, and general manager of the Datacenter and AI Group at Intel. “Supermicro’s Gaudi AI Training Server will accelerate deep learning training in some of the fastest-growing workloads in the datacenter.” Super Micro Computer, Inc. www.supermicro.com
typically supplied with some form of an API interface (Application Programming Interface) for ‘C’ or ‘C++’ which enables users to write application specific software within their programming environment. The programming environment is selected by each user, so the challenge is for software engineers and developers to quickly become familiar with the specific programming structure and API calls offered by the 1553 manufacturer. All operational modes will need to be programmed including Bus Controller, Multiple Remote Terminals, Monitoring, and other general features like Bus Coupling and more. This task has just become simplified using a smart approach called Auto C-Code Generation. This advanced capability is implemented using the PBA.pro Databus Test and Analysis Software (costed option for use with AIM’s MIL-STD-1553 cards) in conjunction with the Test and Script Manager option. For example, Bus Controller messages, RT simulations, and Monitor functions are easily created with the high-level graphical user interface of PBA. pro. At a push of a button, these set-ups are converted to AIM API compatible ‘C’ source code files which are ready for compilation and creation of an executable program. The C-Code generated can be re-used to simply set up the MIL-STD-1553 card from an external customer application and of course edited for each customer’s specific need. This allows application developers the luxury to create programs for rapid prototyping, debugging, maintenance, and familiarization and is an excellent training aid for the API interface. AIM www.aim-online.com
COTS Journal | May 2022
V1163 12-Port Rugged XMC ACAP Card from New Wave DV The V1163 is a powerful heterogeneous computing XMC with high bandwidth IO featuring the Xilinx® Versal™ Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform (ACAP) and rugged optical and electrical IO. The V1163 provides options for Versal Prime or Versal AI Core part selection. In a single mezzanine card, the V1163 provides 100G optical interfaces, FPGA fabric, ARM processor cores, and optional AI engines. The V1163 is designed for applications requiring any combination of the following: high-speed optical/electrical interfaces, FPGA processing resources, ARM processing cores, and AI engines. Use cases include sensor interface design, digital signal processing, video processing, application co-processing, and multi-level secure networking. Radar, SIGINT, video, storage, medical imaging, and embedded communications systems all can benefit from the V1163 module. The V1163 provides electrical and optical IO options supporting 10/25/40/50/100Gbs Ethernet. By leveraging the Versal hard silicon Ethernet interfaces, PCIe controllers, DMA engines, and associated software drivers Xilinx® has enabled a robust ecosystem for high-bandwidth Ethernet performance. In addition to the Ethernet interfaces described, the FPGA fabric provided within the ACAP part is capable of hosting New Wave DV IP cores for Fibre Channel, ARINC-818, sFPDP, Aurora, and others. This makes the V1163 an ideal hardware platform for mixed interface protocol needs or protocol bridging applications. The convenient XMC form factor and rugged design of the V1163 can turn a VPX-based single-board computer into a single-slot sensor interface and heterogeneous computing solution. The V1163 mounted on an x86-based single board computer will provide 100G optical interfaces, FPGA fabric, ARM processor cores, AI Engines, and x86 processor cores all in a single slot solution. V1163 is also available from New Wave DV in a 3U VPX form-factor instead of XMC if desired. New Wave DV https://newwavedv.com/
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