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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

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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 customerpaid minor modification to standard COTS products to meet the customer’s unique requirements. —Ant. When applied to the procurement of electronics for the 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.

Military Comms and Networking Pick Up the Pace

CONTENTS September 2011

Volume 13

Number 9

SPECIAL FEATURE Next-Gen Military Comms and Networking Solutions

10 Military Comms and Networking Pick Up the Pace Jeff Child

20 10 Gbit Ethernet Offers an Alternative to Bus-Based Slot Cards

Departments 6 Publisher’s Notebook The Perfect Storm 8

The Inside Track


COTS Products

82 Editorial UAV Innovation in All Sizes

Angsuman Rudra, D-TA Systems


Coming in October See Page 80

Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs

30 Laptops and Panel PCs Muster for Rugged Military Duty Jeff Child

44 Rugged Military Computers Bulk Up for Harsh Environments Mark Holleran, Xplore Technologies

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Secure Embedded Systems

56 Solutions Emerge to Meet Secure Embedded System Needs Jeff Child


62 Rugged Box Systems Widen Their Scope of Functionality Jeff Child


Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Digital subscriptions available:

On The Cover: This summer Lockheed Martin delivered its secure AMF JTRS to the U.S. Army’s AH-64D Apache Avionics Integration Lab. The delivery included the Engineering Development Model (EDM) of the Joint Tactical Radio-Small Airborne two channel radio running the Link-16 waveform and 200W Link-16 power amplifier. Shown here, an Army AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter flies over Rodriguez Live Fire Range, South Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson/ Released)


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

For Military and Avionics Applications

Publisher PRESIDENT John Reardon, PUBLISHER Pete Yeatman,

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child,

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Art/Production ART DIRECTOR Kirsten Wyatt, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Maream Milik, LEAD WEB DEVELOPER Hari Nayar,

Advertising WESTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Stacy Mannik, (949) 226-2024

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Editorial office Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief 20A Northwest Blvd., PMB#137, Nashua, NH 03063 Phone: (603) 429-8301 Published by THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2011, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders. POWER SPECIALISTS FOR MOBILE COMPUTING

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Notebook The Perfect Storm


remember when in these columns we would wax poetically about things that were going on with the technology for the military—parallel buses vs. serial buses; custom build vs. COTS; VME vs. CompactPCI vs. PC104 and so on. Those were the good old days. Nowadays the only thing that people want help reading the tea leaves on is budget issues. The concerns now are: How will my company cope? Will I have a job? Will my position change? etc., etc. In February I titled my column “Military Meteorology” in keeping with my attempt to try to figure out where the money is going to go. In that same theme, this month I’ve had to upgrade to “The Perfect Storm.” In talking to everyone from the largest prime to the smallest military supplier, it seems like they’re more uncertain now about things than they were prior to August 2nd and the budget ordeal. So once again I’m thrust into writing about the military budget crisis. If after reading the rest of this column you are confused about where things are going in the military, you should be. Anyone who thinks they are not should think again. Let’s start with this basic concept: Anyone who thinks that the recent outcome of increasing the federal spending cap and setting to cut military spending by another $350 billion over 10 years is anything more than politics to set the stage for the next election is kidding themselves. We increased the amount of deficit spending, and there’s only been one outcome: the different political elements posturing for the elections. Nothing substantial will change. Anyone with a liberal slant will think that this will start some real reduction in military funding. And anyone with an anti-liberal slant will think this will curtail spending on social expansion. Both will be fooling themselves. The different political factions are betting that the next election will change the current political balance and they then can alter the debt cap and the direction of the federal budget. So between now and November 2012 we will see a lot of huffing and puffing and some token changes, but nothing significant will happen—and that’s a big problem. This political gamesmanship is devastating not only to the military but also to the suppliers of the military. On the table right now are significant reductions to the military budget over the next 10 years. Over the 10 years, will the reductions end up being linear or will they balloon in year nine? When we get a defense policy out of the administration, will it include plans for operations like Libya, Yemen, Syria and any other things that creep up—while scaling back in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do we just stick our heads in the sand about China’s slow and highly deliberate military expansion? Is China’s buildup because they [ 6 ] COTS Journal September 2011

fear India or Russia, or are they doing that so they can assert their economic and political will wherever and whenever they choose? Do we change manpower and systems in the military to suit small police actions, or do we boost technology to maintain a positive balance against major powers? As a contractor supplying material to the military, what strategy do you put in place for your company and your employees? The only thing remaining for the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) is someone to hold a eulogy for it. The F-35 is just asking to be cut severely. And what are the odds we’ll see another aircraft carrier start? Even UAVs will be under a watchful eye, and which ones do we need and for which defense policy? Prime contractors now have their feet firmly planted about 20 feet in the air. They don’t know what’s going to survive, when funds will be released, and won’t really know until November 2012. Do they go back to the mid 90s strategies and buy someone or look to be acquired? Do they buy small companies looking for specific expertise and wait for 2012? Do they downsize to ride out the storm of uncertainty? Whether big or small, everyone has to be reading the cancellation clauses in their contracts and getting ready to fight for the money or trade for new contracts. All that sounds like doom and gloom. And I hate to change the mood, but smaller companies with a diverse backlog of upgrade and tech insertion contracts will do much better than the larger organizations with all their eggs in a few new programs. Over the last few months even the large primes have seen the handwriting on the wall and have made significant reductions in manpower, and have been closing or consolidating facilities. Because shipments against contracts extend over many months—if not years—2011 will still show a growth in shipments of embedded electronic products to the military over 2010 shipments. Afghanistan, Libya (no boots on the ground but plenty of money), even Iraq won’t go away no matter how hard we want it to. We will have to continue to support and supply our troops and any perceived failure to do so will be political suicide. So, there will be opportunities for upgrades and tech insertions until this political perfect storm passes.

Pete Yeatman, Publisher COTS Journal


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Inside Track Parker Aerospace Wins Thermal Management Contract for Global Hawk Aerospace has signed a production contract for thermal management systems for the U.S. Air Force’s Global Hawk and U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Northrop Grumman awarded a contract valued at more than $4 million for production of Parker’s SprayCool chassis and support hardware as part of the company’s Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) program. ASIP is a next-generation signals intelligence (SIGINT) sensor for the U.S. Air Force that delivers enhanced signals intelligence capabilities to the warfighter, detecting, identifying and locating radar, communication and other types of electronic signals. The contract includes hardware for the ASIP systems on Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk (Figure 1) and Lockheed Martin’s U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. The U-2 aircraft uses six SprayCool chassis per aircraft; the Global Hawk UAV uses two. The products are scheduled for delivery later this year. Parker Aerospace’s thermal management systems (TMS) organization is located in Liberty Lake, Washington and Mentor, Ohio, and is part of the Parker Aerospace Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division. Part of the organization is comprised of the former SprayCool, which was acquired by Parker Aerospace in 2010. The team specializes in liquidcooled, environmentally sealed enclosure and cold plate products for harsh environments in defense, aerospace and industrial applications.

Two SprayCool chassis are part of the Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) systems on each RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. Parker Hannifin Cleveland, OH. (216) 896-3000. [].

Saft Tasked to Build Li-ion Batteries for MEXSAT-1 & 2 Satellites

Lockheed Martin Team Starts Work on Nation’s Fifth Littoral Combat Ship

Saft has won a multimillion dollar contract from Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems to supply lithium-ion (Li-ion) satellite batteries for MEXSAT-1 and MEXSAT-2. The satellites are part of the new MEXSAT communications system, which will provide government and civilian broadband communications to Mexico. The new order marks the third contract issued under Saft’s Long Term Agreement signed with Boeing in 2009 for Li-ion GEO satellite batteries. Saft will provide high-energy Li-ion batteries consisting of Saft’s qualified VES140S cells. With a 15-year life-span, the battery packs will power the satellites with 14 kw of onboard power during eclipse season, [ 8 ] COTS Journal September 2011

which is two 45-day periods per year in GEO orbit. The MEXSAT communications system will consist of two 702 HP Geomobile satellites, MEXSAT-1 and 2, and one Fixed Satellite Service (FSS), MEXSAT-3. Boeing will design and deliver MEXSAT-1 and 2 in an end-to-end L-band mobile satellite services system. Boeing selected Orbital Sciences Corp. to provide the FSS MEXSAT-3 spacecraft. In addition to civil communications, the MEXSAT system will provide mobile, voice and data services for the Mexican Federal forces. The satellite system will operate over Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Saft America Cockeysville, MD. (410) 771-3200. [].

Figure 1

A Lockheed Martin led industry team has begun construction on the nation’s fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) at Marinette Marine. The team plans to deliver LCS 5, the future USS Milwaukee, to the U.S. Navy in 2014. The industry team recently received approval for full production of LCS 5 after finishing a successful review with the Navy that demonstrated the team’s ability to begin construction based on production readiness criteria including design completion, staffing and material readiness. LCS 5 is the first of 10 Freedom-variant ships awarded to Lockheed Martin by the Navy in December 2010. Marinette Marine Corporation, a

Figure 2

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter prepares to land aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom. Fincantieri company, will construct the 10 ships in Marinette, Wis., and naval architect Gibbs & Cox will provide engineering and design support. The Lockheed Martin industry team designed and constructed the nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom (Figure 2). Since its commissioning in 2008, USS Freedom has sailed more than 55,000 nautical miles and demonstrated its capabilities. Based in its homeport of San Diego, Calif., the ship completed

Inside Track

a highly successful maiden deployment in 2010 and is now fully integrated into the fleet. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. [].

DRS Technologies Contracted to Build Laser Range Finders for Weapon Systems DRS Technologies has been awarded a five-year indefinitedelivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, valued at up to $514.3 million by the U.S. Army Contracting Command to qualify and manufacture the Small Tactical Optical Rifle

pointer and illuminator, and the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) to simulate tactical engagement in training exercises. It is designed to operate on an array of Army weapons including the M16A4, M4, M107 and M110—as well as on the Stryker Remote Weapon Station and the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS II). DRS Technologies Parsippany, NJ. (973) 898-1500. [].

Event Calendar October 10-12

AUSA 2011 Washington, D.C. October 11

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Figure 3

STORM sight combines a laser range finder with a digital compass and a processor that computes and displays targeting data, an infrared aiming laser, a visible pointer and illuminator, and a simulator for training exercises. Mounted Micro-Laser Range Finder (STORM-mLRF). The contract calls for a minimum delivery of 150 and a maximum of 32,000 rifle mounted microlaser range finders from DRS Technologies. Integrated into a single system, the STORM sight (Figure 3) combines a laser range finder with a digital compass and a processor that computes and displays targeting data, an infrared aiming laser, a visible

Portland, OR October 13

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Seattle, WA October 28

Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference Toronto, ON, Canada November 7-10

MILCOM 2011 Baltimore, MD November 17

MILESTONE, the Military Electronics Development Conference Los Angeles, CA To list your event, email:

Military Market Watch The worldwide Slot SBC market is projected to expand over the forecast period, driven by growing demand from the communications segment and by continued technology upgrades and retrofitting in the military, aerospace and defense sectors, according to market research firm VDC Research Group. This summary is part of VDC’s 2011 Embedded Hardware & Systems Market Intelligence Service, which analyzes the markets for maTotal Global Market, Slot SBCs & CPU jor embedded board and integrated comBlades, 2010-2012* (US$ in millions) puter system solutions. VDC predicts the total worldwide SBC market (Figure 4) is $2,000 on track for continued expansion, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 11.2%. $1,500 The improved performance of embedded processors is also creating $1,000 expanded opportunities for active backplane systems versus traditional passive backplane systems. The sacrifices $500 in size caused by multi-board systems cannot be justified as easily, however, $0 now that active backplane systems can 2010 2011 2012 provide similar performance. Pricing Figure 4 pressure will remain an issue as suppliers with lower cost models continue to VDC predicts the total worldwide enter the market. Although commoditi- SBC market is on track for continued zation of the market has become a well- expansion, growing at a 5-year CAGR of defined threat to product gross margins, 11.2%. The complete five-year data is value-added services introduced by available in the full report. leading SBC vendors help to differentiate respective brands. Finally, the March 2011 Japanese earthquake crisis also had a measurable impact in terms of availability of components for SBCs, delaying some manufacturing efforts. The Americas (comprising approximately 45% of total market) will retain the largest regional market percentage of dollar volume shipments over the forecast period. In fact, the Americas region is expected to increase in percentage of the market slightly to 47% of the overall market by 2013. The Americas remain the largest consumer of SBCs due, primarily, to the large vertical market segments of Communications and Military/Aerospace in the United States. While the DoD budget is facing significant scrutiny in 2011 and into the future, overall government spending on new military and defense command, control, communications technologies, and cyber-security will likely grow at a very moderate pace through 2015. Therefore, VDC sees the Military/Aerospace market in the U.S. will continue to consume high-end board architectures such as VME and CompactPCI. In other regions, APAC markets typically consume more PCI-ISA, PCI and ISA architectures, which are generally less expensive. For further information about the SBC report, part of VDC Research Group’s 2011 Embedded Hardware Market Intelligence Service, contact: Richard Dean, program manager at VDC Research Group, Natick, MA. (508) 653-9000. []. September 2011 COTS Journal [ 9 ]

Special Feature

Next-Gen Military Comms and Networking Solutions

[ 10 ] COTS Journal September 2011

Special Feature

Military Comms and Networking Pick Up the Pace Together tactical radios, military mobile networks and satellite systems are entering a new phase of real usability and performance. These technologies are making the goal of a network-centric military a reality. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


major portion of today’s U.S. military platforms is either directly or indirectly involved in communications or networking critical information between warfighters. This means enabling land, sea and ground military platforms to easily share data, voice and even video between all levels of DoD operations. Along the way, next generation embedded computing solutions—in the form of single board computers, box-level systems and special-function subsystems— are part of sophisticated compute-intensive radio and network nodes—each suited for a different environment, platform or user. A report by Frost & Sullivan titled “Defense Communications: Funding Trends and Prospects,” says that defense communications technologies such as tactical radios and military satellite and network-centric communications are the key technologies driving funding in the defense communications market. The next generation of technological development for military communications will be greatly influenced by the goal of a fully interoperable solution. Network-centric warfare, enhanced situational awareness and the use of commercial COTS technology are all enjoying increases in funding and technology development, according to the report.

A New Phase for Communications Clearly the defense industry is entering into a new phase where huge R&D efforts are being concentrated on defense communications, as an increasing number of defense establishments realize the need for empowering their defense forces with the latest communications technologies available. The long road to sophisticated software defined radios is finally getting real as the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program moves into deployment phase. JTRS encompasses ground, airborne, vehicular, maritime and small form factor variants of the radio hardware; 17 Increment 1 waveforms for porting into the JTRS hardware; and network management applications. All JTRS products are being developed in a joint environment, enhancing hardware and software commonality and reusability. FY 2011 plans for JTRS include funding the design, development and manufacture of JTRS engineering development models (EDMs) and low rate initial production (LRIP), to include hardware and software, as well as sustainment of fielded radios and certified waveforms. September 2011 COTS Journal [ 11 ]

Special Feature

Figure 1

The F/A-18E/F aircraft will use the MIDS JTRS terminals. The MIDS JTRS adds three programmable channels to the legacy Link-16 and TACAN capabilities of the MIDS-LVT.

Airborne JTRS Flies In March ViaSat was awarded a Limited Production order valued at $6.8 million for Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) terminals for the U.S. government. The award resulted from a competitive procurement through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The order was awarded under the MIDS Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract initially executed in March 2010. The MIDS JTRS terminals are for F/A-18E/F (Figure 1), RC-135 Rivet Joint and EC-130H Compass Call aircraft. MIDS JTRS is a joint development of ViaSat and Data Link Solutions and provides a migration path from the MIDSLow Volume Terminal (LVT) to a certified, reprogrammable, software-defined radio architecture for tactical data links. The terminal has completed contractor and government qualification testing, [ 12 ] COTS Journal September 2011

and ViaSat expects to enter full production and fielding this year. The MIDS JTRS adds three programmable channels to the legacy Link-16 and TACAN capabilities of the MIDS-LVT. The three new channels are designed to host future advanced airborne networking waveforms. MIDS JTRS is “plug-and-play� backward compatible with MIDS-LVT so it can easily replace the MIDS-LVT, but remain interoperable.

JTRS on the Ground More recently, this summer General Dynamics C4 Systems received an order from the DoD for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) Rif leman radio (AN/PRC-154) and Manpack (AN/PRC-155) radio (Figure 2). Following a recent Milestone C decision, the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) order, which has an initial value of approximately $56.4 million, calls for the

production of 6,250 Rif leman and 100 Manpack radios and includes expenses for non-recurring startup costs, accessories, training, related equipment and supplies. The JTRS HMS networking radios are the first ground-domain radios that will be fielded by the U.S. military that meet the full suite of JTRS requirements. Department of Defense documents indicate that the Army plans to purchase more than 190,000 Rifleman and approximately 50,000 Manpack radios. JTRS HMS Rifleman radios will enable soldiers on the battlefield to have secure, mobile voice, video and data communications capabilities that are similar to those available through commercial cellular networks. For the LRIP order, General Dynamics and Thales Communications will manufacture the Rifleman radios while General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins will build the Manpack radios. When the radios are






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The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) family includes the Rifleman radio (AN/PRC-154), Manpack radio (AN/PRC-155) and HMS Core Radio. approved for full rate production, the JTRS Acquisition Strategy states that at least two qualified vendors will compete for production.

Helicopter-Based JTRS Deployed This summer also saw AMF JTRS radios deployed. Lockheed Martin delivered the first secure Joint Tactical Radio to the U.S. Army’s AH-64D Apache Avionics Integration Lab. The Airborne, Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System (AMF JTRS) delivery included the Engineering Development Model (EDM) of the Joint Tactical Radio-Small Airborne two channel radio running the Link-16 waveform and 200W Link-16 power amplifier. AMF JTRS is designed to allow airmen, sailors, Marines and soldiers to

seamlessly share secure (NSA Type 1) voice, data and video communications, in real time. Once completely fielded, AMF JTRS will link more than 100 platforms, providing connectivity to areas where no communications infrastructure previously existed. Airmen and sailors will be able to synchronize with the soldiers in the foxhole, providing near instantaneous awareness of the combat environment. The delivery of this radio allows the Apache integration team to begin integrating the Joint Tactical Radio command and control functions onto their platform architecture. The Apache Avionics Integration Lab will use the EDM unit for software integration and testing for incorporation into the AH-64D Block III upgrade.






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Special Feature

Figure 3

Hughes researched DoD COTM requirements and scenarios using processing satellite architectures such as those employed by its SPACEWAY 3 satellite.

Comms On-the-Move Meanwhile, communications-onthe-move technology continues to advance with a variety of companies offering solutions. For its part, ViaSat has deployed airborne communications-onthe-move (COTM) terminals on board several dozen U.S. Air Force Project Liberty aircraft to support ISR operations. L-3 Integrated Systems is the system integrator for the Liberty program, which in[ 16 ] COTS Journal September 2011 Untitled-2 1

8/3/11 9:49:30 AM

cludes ViaSat ArcLight COTM terminals and secure network services. The MC-12 Liberty is a small, twin-turboprop plane, based on the Beechcraft King Air 350ER. The ArcLight Ku-band mobile broadband system is designed to provide high-speed, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications, configured in this application for data rates up to 1 Mbit/s off the aircraft to support ISR activities. The system is based on the successful ArcLight

AMD is ushering in a new era of embedded computing. The AMD Embedded G-Series processor is the world’s first integrated circuit to combine a low-power CPU and a discrete-level GPU into a single embedded Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). Unprecedented level of graphics integration High performance multi-media content delivery Small form factor and power efficient platform Learn more about new levels of performance in a compact BGA package at : Stop by AMD’s booth (#801) at ESC Boston to learn first-hand about this new APU (accelerated processing unit) architecture and how it can be leveraged to help you deliver innovative low-power and value-oriented solutions for a variety of embedded applications. ©2011 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All rights reserved. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. DirectX is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other jurisdictions. Other names are for informational purposes and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Special Feature

mobile satellite communication system, which has approximately 1500 terminals delivered worldwide. The ViaSat system is also providing broadband BLOS ISR and Command and Control (C2) communication links for several other U.S. military organizations. In another significant COTM technology push, this past spring the DoD awarded Hughes Network Systems a contract to conduct an architectural study of commercial communications satellite (COCOMSAT) systems capabilities. Under the terms of the agreement, Hughes conducted research on DoD COTM requirements and scenarios using processing satellite architectures such as those employed by the Hughes commercial SPACEWAY 3 satellite (Figure 3), which today provides service to more than 400,000 Ka-band terminals in North America. Additionally, Hughes studied COTM applications using transponded satellite architectures such as those being employed by the high-capacity Hughes commercial Jupiter satellite,

a 100+ Gbit/s Ka-band satellite system, which is under development for launch in 2012. The study also includes analysis of commercial satellite system acquisition processes and how they may be applied to future satellite acquisitions by the military, including various lease or buy options.

WIN-T Feeds BCT Modernization Another key military networking program is the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T). WIN-T is the Army’s on-the-move, high-speed, high-capability backbone communications network, linking warfighters in the battlefield with the Global Information Grid (GIG). This network is intended to provide C4ISR support capabilities. The system is being developed as a network for reliable, secure and seamless video, data, imagery and voice services for the warfighters in the theater to enable decisive combat actions. The WIN-T program consists of four increments. Last year the Army awarded

General Dynamics C4 Systems a contract to enable a General Dynamics-led team to begin Low Rate Initial Production of the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2. Increment 2 will equip vehicles with onthe-move broadband communications enabling command and control from anywhere in the battlespace. The 2011 plan calls for WIN-T Inc 1 procurement and continues to field to the Army, with a Ka satellite upgrade, and for WIN-T Inc 2 entering into LRIP in anticipation of its Initial Operational Test in FY 2012. WIN-T Inc 3 continues in its System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase to deliver the full networking on the move, including the airborne tier of the program. In March the Army awarded delivery orders to a General Dynamics-Lockheed Martin team to procure Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 systems for five additional brigade combat teams (BCTs). The Army has now ordered Increment 2 systems for a total of eight BCTs under a three-year contract that was awarded in March 2010. The first WIN-T Increment 2 fielding is scheduled to take place in November. General Dynamics C4 Systems Scottsdale, AZ. (480) 441-3033. []. Hughes Network Systems Germantown, MD. (301) 428-5500. []. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD. (301) 897-6000. []. ViaSat Carlsbad, CA. (760) 476-2200. [].

[ 18Untitled-5 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

9/7/11 8:22:13 AM


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10 Gbit Ethernet Offers an Alternative to Bus-Based Slot Cards By using 10 Gigabit Ethernet as a system interconnect in demanding sensor processing applications, military system designers can avoid many of the limitations inherent to systems built with bus-based boards. Angsuman Rudra, CTO/CEO D-TA Systems


ith the advent of the 10 Gbit Ethernet network as a high-speed data transfer mechanism, demanding military sensor interfacing and processing are seeing a seismic shift. The large bandwidth and exceptional scalability of the 10 Gbit Ethernet network offer an incredible way of designing solutions that can seamlessly scale up with increasing channel count and bandwidth. It offers a standards-based server solution that takes advantage of processing power gain and market pressures for driving down processing costs. The 10 Gbit Ethernet network simplifies system architecture and provides easy partitioning of data acquisition and data processing, providing high sensitivity by separating the sensitive analog mixed signal front end from the digital back end. The advantages of this are huge. It allows simplified acquisition devices to be placed near the antenna that pipes the data to processing platforms in a sheltered location. Virtually limitless synchronized scalability is possible by simply adding fibers for additional 10 Gbit Ethernet links. A 10 Gbit Ethernet system also handles real-time bandwidth in excess of 1 GHz on a continuous and sustained basis. There’s also a seamless increase of processing power in the future for providing feature upgrade without re-architecting the entire system. Adoption of 10 Gbit Ethernet as a data transfer mechanism leads to a range [ 20 ] COTS Journal September 2011

Figure 1

Radar is an example of the kind of demanding sensor processing applications that could benefit from the 10 Gbit Ethernet systems approach. of solutions that are ultra fast, scalable and synchronized, targeting a wide variety of demanding sensor interfacing and processing problems. Synchronized, large multichannel applications are extremely difficult to deploy with a bus-based architecture but are extremely easy with 10 Gbit Ethernet technology. Table 1 lists the ad-

vantages of the 10 Gbit Ethernet network in demanding sensor processing applications over bus-based slot card approaches.

Simplification of System Architecture Demanding sensor processing applications, like radar (Figure 1), sonar,

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The 10 Gbit Ethernet network attached approach provides a clear isolation between the analog and digital (record) sections, thereby enhancing analog performance. The 10 Gbit Ethernet connection at the back end offers a high throughput rate—close to 1 Gbyte/s per link. SIGINT, communications and MIMO, share some common traits: large channel counts, ever increasing demands on bandwidths and heavy processing demands. Scalable sensor processing systems require a flexible architecture like the one shown in Figure 2. The architecture must include front-end signal conversion or conditioning (like synchronized RF up and down converter), an IF digitizer with FPGA for specific front-end processing, and backend digital processing implemented in standard GPP-based units (servers). The demarcation shown in the figure is the optimal method of ensuring scalability and maintaining the sensitivity of the system. It separates sensitive RF and mixed signal design from the digital noise generated in high-speed digital processing equipment. It also allows seamless upgrade of processing equipment based on the processing requirements without expensive reintegration effort of the front end (always the most risky in any system upgrade), and allows users to take advantage of processing power gain and cost reduction. The biggest advantage of this is the possibility of adding and upgrading features and functionalities without worrying about

the need to source a new data acquisition front end that will be compatible with the back-end server. This frees military system designers to choose a processing platform based on the compute horse power needed, and not based on the number of PCI/PCIe slots that the computer/server has. That’s a strong motivation to move away from busbased solutions.

Why 10 Gigabit Ethernet? From its inception in the eighties, Ethernet has made great strides and has progressed beyond the original intent of being a computer-to-computer transfer mechanism. The advent of the PCI bus was to overcome the small bandwidth of the Ethernet during the early days. However, each generation of Ethernet has increased the speed by an order of magnitude, which has allowed Ethernet to far surpass the speed of other connectivity options, with a growth plan that is still maintaining the same growth rate (Figure 3). Fast: The advantage of such a “big fat pipe” is obvious to the system integrator deploying demanding sensor processing applications: more channels at higher bandwidth becomes a reality. This makes

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10 Gbit Ethernet Network Attached:

Slot Card Bus-Based Boards:

√ Today’s Network Speeds are higher and are thus able to handle large numbers of channels at higher bandwidth

хB  us Boards have speed, power and size restrictions that result in compromises in functionality & performance

√ Amenable to better system partitioning making it easier to build configured solutions

х P roblems often encountered integrating boards from multiple vendors

√ Easier to isolate analog and digital functions for better noise and spurious performance

х P erformance degradation due to pick up of computer noise in mixed signal applications

√ OS & processing platform agnostic with network being ubiquitous

х Separate drivers for different OS / platform

√ Relatively easy to integrate with PC / Server as the user is shielded from having to learn the intricacies of the network device

х Migration of processing platforms extremely difficult

√ Rapid prototyping and quick deployment controls cost

х Cost & Time Overruns are common

Table 1

In demanding sensor processing applications, the 10 Gbit Ethernet network approach offers several advantages over bus-based slot card approaches.

theoretical concepts a reality. The simplicity of the architecture also ensures a commonality across multiple applications: phase array radars, direction finding, SIGINT, COMINT, smart antenna, MIMO and so on. This design reuse creates significant cost reduction and saves deployment time for complex systems. Scalable: Scalability with 10 Gbit Ethernet-based systems means simply adding more links. Thus adding more channels is simply adding more acquisition and

processing hardware. The network-based infrastructure—on the control and data path—allows for seamless integration and virtually limitless scalability. An example of this scalability is shown in Figure 4, where multiple D-TA recorders operate over multiple 10 Gbit Ethernet links. All the configurations shown are systems that have been delivered and are examples of seamless integration. Synchronized: The 10 Gbit Ethernet links that are used in the sensor process-

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10 Gbit Ethernet implementation at the data acquisition end is usually performed via an FPGA, and thus exact synchronization across multiple 10 Gbit Ethernet links is very easy to maintain. The other major advantage is the separation distance that is allowed, which is a crucial factor for applications requiring acquisition at or near the antenna. A 10 Gbit Ethernetbased solution allows users to place RF and acquisition functionality near the antenna, thereby preserving sensitivity and transferring the digitized data to the processing unit in a somewhat sheltered environment, which reduces the cost of deployment.

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Ethernet has come a long way from the early days of 10 Mbits/s. Currently 10 Gbit Ethernet is routinely used in server infrastructure and is fast becoming commonplace in server class machines. The most common way is to add a 10 Gbit Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC). However, some manufacturers have recently introduced 10 Gigabit LAN-onMotherboard (LOM) products that eliminate the need to have a separate NIC, leading to further cost reduction. The scalability and general acceptance of the Ethernet standard is a compelling reason for its use in the sensor processing arena. With scalability and widespread use comes an unprecedented processing cost reduction and allows system users to utilize the widely available multicore, multiprocessor systems. The standardization of 100GbE will no doubt lead to further cost reduction and commoditize 10 Gbit Ethernet technology. The last few years have seen prolific growth of low data rate networked devices due to the wide acceptance of the 1GbE network. The commoditization of 10 Gbit Ethernet technology will usher in the same rapid growth and field deployment of higher data rate, more capable sensor processing systems.

Processing Data from the Stream The major concern that systems designers raise is the processing ability of a 10 Gbit Ethernet stream. However, this is not a difficult problem to address. There has been a wide variety of successful 10 Gbit Ethernet network-based sensor pro-


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cessing solutions. Using the right kind of Software Development Kit (SDK) simplifies development of real-time processing modules for today’s high-performance multicore servers. A multithreaded SDK allows users to harness the immense and ever-increasing processing power of multicore servers, and enables users to develop applications that are scalable with server performance, thereby keeping ahead of the obsolescence curve. This al-

lows processing costs to be driven down and allows the user to continuously add more processing functionality without changes to the data acquisition front end. A well-designed SDK would typically have three components: A control SDK to control and configure the product; a data SDK to handle the high-speed data, and optional real-time DSP Modules to process the acquired data. POSIX compliance and the availability of full source and ex-

tensive example codes make the user’s job very simple. A networked-based architecture ensures software commonality across multiple products and applications. For its part, D-TA System’s record / playback solutions can handle data at high speeds. As previously discussed, systems have been deployed that record / playback at 3.2 Gbytes/s over four 10 Gbit Ethernet links. The 10 Gbit Ethernet actually allows system designers to fully harness the power of these multicore processors and solve sensor processing problems that were impossible to contemplate even a few years ago.

Network Latency As opposed to standard file/data transfer over the network, sensor processing applications require low data latency. Ethernet offers immense flexibility in terms of packet sizes. The network latency comes from higher layer protocols (primarily TCP/IP) that are inherent in any computer network. The network-based sensor processing systems implement UDP/IP protocol that has extremely low latency. The latency can also be controlled by use of programmable packet size: from very small packets to jumbo frames. Slot card bus-based boards also suffer from latency. The data transfer mechanism for these boards depends on large PCI buffers for data transfer. Usual buffer sizes are few Mbytes, which is higher than the largest UDP/IP datagram size (64 Kbytes) used. There are many advantages of the 10 Gbit Ethernet network in demanding sensor processing applications compared to bus-based approaches. Synchronized large multichannel applications are extremely difficult to deploy with bus-based architecture but are extremely easy with 10 Gbit Ethernet technology. 10 Gbit Ethernet technology allows users to harness the enormous processing horse power available in commercial off-the-shelf servers and reduce system deployment costs. D-TA Systems Ottawa, Ontario Canada. (613) 745-8713. []. [ 28Untitled-4 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

2/16/11 9:51:50 AM

Tech Recon Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs

Laptops and Panel PCs Muster for Rugged Military Duty The military continues to push toward an ever increasing infrastructure of human interface displays. Rugged laptops and panel PCs are filling those needs, with solutions that marry high performance with the toughest physical construction possible. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


here’s been a major upward trend in the military toward systems that require sophisticated graphical user interfaces. Often in the form of rugged laptops and panel PCs, this is where the warfighter gets the complex situational awareness data—maps, video, images and text—interfaced directly to military weapons platforms on networks. The driving force behind this trend is the U.S. military, evolving as it transforms itself to Network-Centric operations. The grand scheme of a networked military means that every vehicle, every aircraft, every ship, every UAV and every soldier on the ground will be able to quickly share data, voice and even video with almost any level of the DoD’s operation. A variety of technology areas are part of the overall puzzle to make that happen. But where the network meets the users is on the displays and the display subsystems that drive them, and as such those technologies are becoming critical enablers (Figure 1). User interface devices like rugged laptops and panel PCs are being tasked as facility-based and mobile-based tools for providing whole new levels of real-time situational awareness and command control. On the panel PC side, there’s a growing base of product solutions—some designed for industrial use—that provide a PC embedded within a flat panel. These can be [ 30 ] COTS Journal September 2011

Figure 1

User interface devices like rugged laptops, panel PCs and tablet computers are being used to provide whole new levels of real-time situational awareness and command control. simply connected to a keyboard or used as touchpad panels if that feature is available.

NEMA 4/IP65 Environmental Specs A number of offerings are available that are environmentally sealed to comply with NEMA 4/IP65 specifications to prevent damaging moisture, dust and dirt from getting in. WinSystems last month rolled out four industrial-grade panel PCs available with 12-, 15-, 17- or 19-inch

diagonal displays and touch screens. The PPC65 family (Figure 2) of panel PCs from WinSystems is powered by a fully integrated 1.6 GHz Intel Atom-based single board computer (SBC). The front bezels on these panel PCs are environmentally sealed to comply with NEMA 4/ IP65 specifications. The PPC65 family of panel PCs has design features that allow each unit to meet and exceed industry standards for RF emissions, conducted susceptibility and shock/vibration. The

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SBC includes 2 Gbytes of system memory with either or both an optional customerinstalled SATA drive and CompactFlash SSD. I/O support includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 and two RS-232 serial channels. Also offering a panel PC solution is Advantech, with two new fanless panel PCs powered by Intel Atom N270 processors. The PPC-L128T and PPC-L157T from Advantech are 12.1” and 15” fanless

panel PCs that deliver high performance while consuming low power. They operate with low noise levels and provide display resolutions up to 1024 x 768 (XGA) pixels. The PPC-L128T and PPC-L157T PCs are both equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet connectors that support either failover or LAN teaming. The PPC-L128T optionally supports a sunlight-readable display, making it suitable for outdoor use. The PPC-L128T and PPC-L157T are designed Figure 2

The PPC65 family of panel PCs is powered by a fully integrated 1.6 GHz Intel Atom-based SBC. The front bezels are environmentally sealed to comply with the NEMA 4/IP65 specification to prevent damaging moisture, dust and dirt from getting into it. with the Atom 1.6 GHz N270 processor combined with 945GSE + ICH7M chipsets. The chipsets are rated at 2.5W, 4W and 1.5W respectively. The system’s fanless design provides passive cooling, and its low noise operation makes the PPC-L128T and PPC-L157T suitable for many environments.

Touch Screen Panel PCs Examples of rugged touch screen panel PC solutions are two fanless touch screen panel PCs from Via Technologies. They feature durability with IP65compliant LED backlit panels that can withstand temperatures of -20° to 60°C. Device interactivity is assured with touch panel navigation, an integrated two megapixel autofocus IP camera, microphone and speakers. The 6.5-inch VIPRO VP7806 and 15-inch VIPRO VP7815 Via VIPRO series are based on the Via ART 3000 embedded box PC, adding a highquality touch screen display to the flexible and complete embedded box systems. This uniquely modular design strategy offers customers faster time-to-market and design cycles compared to traditional panel PC designs. The Via ART 3000 combines a 1.3 GHz 64-bit Via Nano processor with the Via VX800 media system processor, providing DX9 integrated graphics, crystal 1 [ 32Untitled-15 ] COTS Journal September 2011

9/7/11 9:01:25 AM




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Tech Recon

clear HD audio, Gigabit networking, four COM ports and four USB ports. Both the Via VIPRO VP7806 and VP7815 support one external VGA port plus a 24-bit LVDS signal through DB-26 connector. Via VIPRO products use high-quality 700 cd/ m2 luminous backlit LED displays that are fully IP65 compliant against water and dust, providing 800 horizontal and 700 vertical viewing angles.

Rugged Laptops Get Tougher Looking at the laptop side of rugged computing, product vendors continue to roll out systems that offer the latest and greatest office PC capabilities in rigorously tested and ruggedly designed units. For its part, Panasonic Solutions Company in May announced a series of upgrades to its Toughbook 31 fully rugged laptop. The updated device features new Intel Core i5 and i3 processors, inFigure 3

This newly upgraded Toughbook 31 fully rugged laptop features Intel Core i5 and i3 processors, increased RAM and hard drive capacity as well as speed, up to 20 hours of battery life and a brighter sunlight-viewable screen. creased RAM and hard drive capacity as well as speed, up to 20 hours of battery life, a brighter sunlight-viewable screen and more. The unit is both MIL-STD810G and IP65 certified. The availability of discrete graphics from an ATI Radeon HD6750 card also delivers significant improvements in 3D graphics, important for GIS and other graphic-rich applications. The Toughbook 31 is the sixth generation of flagship Toughbook clamshell notebooks, boasting the lowest failure rates in the industry according to Panasonic. The device is certified by an independent thirdparty testing lab to meet nineteen MILSTD-810G tests, including shock, drop, vibration, extreme temperature and high altitude. The Toughbook 31 offers protection from drops of up to six feet and has achieved an IP65 rating for unparalleled protection from water and dust. The device also meets requirements for use in high-vibration (ASTM D4169-04) environments. The 13.1-inch XGA LCD touch screen on the Toughbook 31 features optional Panasonic CircuLumin technology, allowing for full-circle viewability from the brightest sunlight to pitch darkness. Panasonic has increased the brightness on the standard screen to 1,200 nits, offering excellent viewability, even in direct sunlight. Screen brightness can also be dropped as low as 2 nits for concealed [ 34Untitled-1 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

9/17/09 3:09:10 PM

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Tech Recon

nighttime use, which is critical to the safety of military and public safety users. By leveraging Panasonic’s advanced battery technology, the Toughbook 31 now offers up to 13.5 hours of battery life despite its brighter screen and more powerful processor. With the optional extended life media bay battery, the device can deliver up to 20 hours of life. The laptop offers a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n,

optional Bluetooth 2.1 and Gobi2000 3G mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm. The Toughbook 31 also supports numerous security features, including options for an insertable SmartCard reader and fingerprint reader, using biometrics to protect mission-critical data.

Workstation-Level Systems For some military applications, more than just a laptop level of computing is

NEW INTEL PROCESSORS EXTEND THE LIFE OF VME INFRASTRUCTURE XV2™ Board Level Computer tHigh-performance Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor LC5518 tHigh-speed Intel QuickPath® interface tUp to 24 GB ECC DDRIII SDRAM memory tUp to two PMC/XMC expansion slots on board tPCIe expansion to XMC/PMC carrier card tUp to four Gigabit Ethernet ports tTwo slot VME 64 solution

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[ 36Untitled-1 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

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9/12/11 2:35:37 PM

needed in the field. For Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications, commercial notebooks do not possess the required performance, power, or storage capabilities. And transporting bulky, fragile servers that can’t hold up in a harsh environment and that consume large amounts of electrical power is only a liability when the stakes are high. Designed specifically for battle management operations, NextComputing offers systems that can do tasks like effective video capture, storage and playback so warfighters can undertake high-bandwidth, realtime visualization, streaming and analysis under the most demanding and extreme conditions. Earlier this year NextComputing announced its latest rugged portable workstation computer, the Vigor EX. Built to withstand harsh environments and handling, the Vigor EX packs high-end workstation performance in a durable chassis for anyone who needs to run demanding software applications in the field. The Vigor EX features: a dual-chassis design featuring shock-mounted internal chassis suspended in a rugged, milanodized external chassis with no metalto-metal contact. The system supports single- or dual-processor low-power Intel Xeon architecture or single Intel Core i7 processor. Memory includes up to 48 Gbytes ECC or 24 Gbytes non-ECC DDR3 memory (RAM). Over 7 Terabytes of internal mass storage capacity is provided with upwards of 1.2 Gbyte/s sustained RAID write performance when using twelve 600 Gbyte hard drives. Up to seven full-length, full-height PCI Express and PCI expansion slots are provided along with support for multiple high-end graphics cards (GPUs). The integrated 17inch HD display has optional 2nd and 3rd fold-out displays. A removable back panel allows full access to hot-swappable drives and all internal components for easy service and upgrades. Weight starts at 35 pounds, depending on configuration.

Full Security Encryption Also taking the rugged workstation approach is Rave Computer. It adds a twist with the first portable workstation to fea-

X-ES 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor Solutions: Delivering Innovation In 2010, Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) developed more Intel® Core™ i7 processor products based on VPX, CompactPCI, VME, CompactPCI Express, and XMC form factors than anyone in the industry. This year, X-ES has added solutions based on the 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor. Providing products customers want, when they want them – that truly is innovation that performs. X-ES offers an extensive product portfolio that includes commercial and ruggedized single board computers, high-performance processor modules, multipurpose I/O modules, storage, backplanes, enclosures, and fully integrated systems. 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor solutions available in a variety of form factors. Call or visit our website today.

Tech Recon

ture Full Disk Encryption. The company’s RM-4103 is ideal for applications such as military base and field operations, geophysical exploration, field service and diagnostics, and can even be used as a portable server. The system features solid state drives for extreme performance and reliability. It has a 17-inch 1920 x 1200 16:10 LCD display and supports Intel Socket 1156 processors and Quadro FX, GeForce, FirePro and Radeon graphics cards.

The Rave RM-4103 is constructed of heavy duty metal to provide high reliability in mission-critical applications. This rugged workstation gives you the portability of a laptop but with the processing power of a full desktop. The Rave RM-4103 also features Full Disk Encryption Solid State drives. This provides the best security available for sensitive data while delivering unmatched performance and resistance to extreme shock and vibration.

At one time full disk encryption was only available on spinning disks and typically only supported by laptops. Rave offers full disk encryption on desktop and portable systems. Unlike software-based full disk encryption, which leaves the Master Boot Record portion of the disk unencrypted while requiring a portion of the CPU’s processing power, these systems encrypt the data at the hardware level so 100% of the data is encrypted while requiring no overhead from the CPU.

Rugged Tablet PCs

COTS POWER SOLUTIONS FROM THE COMPANY THAT HELPED WRITE THE BOOK There’s a good reason that every product TDI Power designs conforms to the NAVSO power supply guidelines: we’re a charter member of the Navy ad hoc committee that actually wrote those guidelines. Our military roots – which include 45 years of custom design, engineering and manufacturing – ensure that our commercial products are inherently more robust and reliable than you might expect from a typical COTS supplier. From the most basic applications to mission critical systems, the solution is always as close as TDI Power. DEMANDING APPLICATIONS DEMAND TDI POWER

Advantech Irvine, CA. (800) 866-6008. [].

908.850.5088 36 Newburgh Road Hackettstown, NJ 07840

DRS Tactical Systems Melbourne, FL. (321) 727-3672. [].

© 2008 TDI Power

[ 38Untitled-1 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

One of the newest areas in rugged computing is the emergence of tabletstyle rugged PCs. DRS Technologies earlier this year unveiled its newest Armor rugged mobile computer, the Armor X7 (Figure 4) compact tablet. This all-new small mobile computer is specifically designed for those mission-critical tasks that require connectivity, handheld mobility, ease of use and the durability to support all-weather operations. Built with integrated non-slip handgrips, the Armor X7 utilizes dual, hot-swappable battery options to exceed nine hours of operating time. The device is certified to MIL-STD-810G for extremes in temperature, vibration, shock and drops. It is highly resistant to dust and moisture, earning an IP65 rating for ingress protection, while providing a 7-inch sunlight readable touch screen display. It includes a range of connectivity options such as Gobi 2000 WWAN, Bluetooth wireless, integrated GPS and 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi, at a weight of only 2.8l pounds. It features a single-core Intel Atom processor N450 and runs Windows Microsoft Windows 7 Professional. SATA SSDs on board are offered in both 40 Gbyte and 80 Gbyte capacities.

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Tech Recon

NextComputing Nashua, NH. (603) 886-3874. []. Panasonic Solutions Company Secaucus, NJ. (888) 223-1012. []. Rave Computer Association Sterling Heights, MI. (800) 966-7283. []. Via Technologies Fremont, CA. (510) 693-3300. [].

Figure 4

The Armor X7 is a compact tablet computer that is specifically designed for mission-critical tasks. Built with integrated non-slip handgrips, it uses dual, hot-swappable battery options to exceed nine hours of operating time. The device is certified to MIL-STD-810G for extremes in temperature, vibration, shock and drops.

WinSystems Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553. [].

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Tech Recon Rugged Laptops and Panel PCs

Rugged Military Computers Bulk Up for Harsh Environments Rugged PC and tablet computers must meet a variety of test standards in order to be suitable for deployed military use. But there’s a host of “real world” factors that should be considered that go beyond the established standards. Mark Holleran, President and COO Xplore Technologies


ropelled by the rigorous needs of the U.S. Defense industry, rugged computing technology has come a long way in the last ten years. MIL-STD461F, RE102 and 810G are the prevailing standards for military rugged computing technologies. However, in some instances there is a discrepancy between technologies that meet these heightened standards in a controlled testing environment versus the “real world.” A rugged (or ruggedized) computer is specifically designed to reliably operate in harsh usage environments and conditions that cause strong vibrations, shocks, drops, extreme temperatures and wet or dusty conditions. However, the demands on rugged technologies continue to evolve with expectations for increased mobility, superior wireless capabilities, improved display readability in any lighting condition, and secure in-field repair/replacement options. Environmental factors take on a new meaning behind enemy lines in Iraq or Afghanistan, inside a submarine, or working on a flight line. Systems need to deal with shock, vibration, extreme heat and sun glare that renders displays unreadable, and the need for quiet, low emission technologies. There is a crucial argument—given the mission-critical nature of military operations—to be made for elevated testing standards that more

[ 44 ] COTS Journal September 2011

accurately account for these “real world” circumstances.

Tablet or Notebook? Rugged tablet and notebook computers are both suited for military computing. Rugged notebooks have long been a military staple. However, unlike a notebook, a tablet computer does not require a surface for keyboard operation in the field and eliminates concerns about failures or damage due to high impact to hinged displays on notebooks. Tablet PCs were originally developed for field work. Back in the 1990s, slate tablet pioneers began developing early implementations of the pen tablet—PCs resembling bulky Etch A Sketches—for workers in warehousing, transportation, utilities and first responders in police, fire and EMTs. Tablet computers are defined by their touch screen technology, now more familiar to users due to the explosion in smartphone technologies and the popularity of consumer media tablet devices. Some tablets are dual mode, meaning that the user has the option of pen stylus or touch inputting of data. Tablets are mobile, are more compact to mount in limited spaces, and have larger, more readable displays than tiny portable handhelds. In situations where mobility is not required, the military may prefer notebook computers and keypad-based inputs. A common use of rugged mobile tablet and notebook PCs is the management and tracking of inventory assets

Figure 1

A common use of rugged mobile tablets is the management and tracking of inventory assets through all the phases of the military supply chain. From RFID tags and bar codes to images, mobile devices need to communicate data in remote areas where fixed RFID readers cannot reach. through all the phases of the military supply chain—sourcing, procurement, conversion and logistics. From RFID tags and bar codes to images, mobile devices need to communicate data in remote areas where fixed RFID readers cannot reach. In submarines, tablet PCs are used with special add-on devices as a diagnostics tool to test legacy equipment, a process that would be cumbersome with less portable technology. Tablet and notebook PCs are used also by maintenance on military flight lines (Figure 2) for data in-

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Tech Recon

put and real-time texting with other crew members for repair coordination.

Emissions and Susceptibility

Figure 2

Tablet and notebook PCs are used also by maintenance on military flight lines for data input and real-time texting with other crew members for repair coordination.

Reliable communications and battlefield management systems are critical to military operations. Efficient, unfettered communication is necessary to keep all units working in unison, both on the front lines and in tactical command and control centers in the rear element. MILSTD-461F and RE102 standards establish limits on conducted and radiated emissions—the intentional and unintentional release of electromagnetic energy from an electronic device—and determine how data is measured. This measurement includes bandwidth, antennae, test procedure and equipment. Without limits on radiated emissions, the resulting “noise” can be tracked and targeted putting military personnel at risk. Computing technology must be tested to RE102 compliance to ensure that radiated emissions are sufficiently low for field operations—from 10 kHz to 18 GHz.

VersaLogic Tiger, Strength & Performance! Low power Intel Atom Z5xx processor on a PC/104-Plus form factor VersaLogic’s Tiger is a compact single board computer on a rugged 3.6” x 4.5” PC/104-Plus form factor. Featuring the low power Intel® Atom™ Z5xx (Menlow XL) processor, Tiger packs powerful 1.6 GHz performance backed by legendary VersaLogic quality. Available in both commercial (0º to +60ºC) and industrial (-40º to +85ºC ) temperature versions! Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q

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Add VersaLogic’s long-term (5+ year) product availability guarantee and customization options and feel the power of the Tiger! With more than 30 years experience delivering extraordinary support and on-time delivery, VersaLogic has perfected the art of service, one customer at a time. Experience it for yourself. Call 800-824-3163 for more information!

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[ 46Untitled-5 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

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Tech Recon

Figure 3

The display characteristics of a tablet PC are critical when used by personnel in any deployed location. Features like sunlight-readable and quiet mode display technologies are key, as well as an anti-reflective surface and the option to turn off LED light indicators.

[ 48Untitled-1 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

Some computers even have a quick quiet mode option that turns radio noise off. Susceptibility is the other major issue. Susceptibility refers to a computer’s ability to reject unwanted electromagnetic interference and unwanted radio frequency (RF) signals prevalent in the environment. An automobile radio is a good example of a susceptibility problem. When the radio is tuned to a particular station and another station keeps “drifting in,” the condition is normally referred to as “radio frequency interference.” It shows the radio’s inability to reject the unwanted RF signal. An unplanned system shutdown or failure due to unwanted electromagnetic interference can potentially jeopardize the safety of personnel and the success of a mission. System uptime, continued deployed operation and data protection is paramount. No one needs a critical technology failure during the take-off of an F-22.

810G Drop Tests To meet MIL-STD-810G requirements, a rugged device must be able to

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[ 50 ] COTS Journal September 2011 Untitled-17 1

9/7/11 9:04:15 AM

Figure 4

An important aspect for military tablet PCs is a removable SSD cartridge to facilitate quick replacement when swapping for security purposes and data recovery is necessary. Also the cartridge itself should be able to withstand the elements so it can be replaced in the field, without jeopardizing its ability to function. withstand 26 drops from three feet to a piece of 2 3/4-inch thick plywood over concrete. Many COTS products test to this minimum requirement in a controlled testing environment. But what would happen in the real world? In a hypothetical example, a man six feet in height would typically hold the computer at approximately four feet in height to maximize viewability. Now, the MIL-STD-810G testing requirements only require a three foot drop to occur and only in non-operating mode. However, in the real world, it is more probable that the drop would occur at the height described above and when the computer is in operating mode than when it is off. It is also more likely that the drop would take place on concrete or hard ground rather than on plywood. Rugged computers should exceed current

drop test requirements to account for real world military uses and environments.

810G Environmental Extremes Military environments, on base or in war-torn regions, are as hard on technology as they are on human personnel. In Iraq, temperatures can exceed 150°F with unexpected blowing sandstorms. In the mountains, temperatures drop to the low 20s in the mountains with snowcover. Afghanistan is known for its extreme range of temperature in limited periods with lows of -11°F. In the summer, a shade maximum of 122°F is not uncommon, especially in the Oxus regions. In Kandahar, where summer heat is particularly intense, equipment has to withstand the intense storms of dust and sand that produce a suffocating effect, which they call a Simoom, which means “poison wind” in Arabic.

Tech Recon

To be adopted by the Department of Defense, rugged computing technology must be certified to MIL-STD-810G. MILSTD-810G is used for determining the effects of natural and induced (man-made) environments on products intended for use in harsh outdoor or mobile environments. It includes guidance for accelerated or aggravated testing during the design process to assess product suitability for the environmental conditions anticipated throughout its lifecycle.


To be 810G compliant, computers must be able to withstand, among other specifications: vehicle vibration in operating mode, blowing rain with a 40 mph wind source, blowing sand and dust for 30 mph, five percent saline exposure for 48 hours, and temperature extremes (operating mode) from -4°F to 140°F. Procurement should be on the lookout for technology that has been certified by an independent third-party testing source,


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HazLoc Certified HazLoc certification is important because arcs, sparks and high temperatures can ignite flammable atmospheres. An equipment failure can set off a disastrous explosion. To be HazLoc certified, hardware must be designed and constructed to be suitable for hazardous locations. It is also important to understand the device’s HazLoc class and division. For example, the National Electrical Code (NEC) defines a Class I hazardous environment as one in which “flammable gasses or vapors are present in the air in sufficient quantities to be explosive or ignitable.” Consequently, Class I-certified devices must be sufficiently strong to contain an internal explosion. The hardware must also provide a way for problem vapors to escape after they have cooled. Sealing the device is also essential. Proper sealing can prevent flammable dusts from entering dust-ignition-proof enclosures. For military use, a rugged computer should be HazLoc certified to a minimum of Class I, Division I or II, and have an ingress protection rating (IP) suitable for the intended location. For instance, an IP67 rating indicates that a device is fully protected against dust and immersion between 15 cm and 1 meter. The higher the IP rating, the more rugged the device.

Displays for Military Duty


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and that the outsourced company can back up its claims with credible warranties.

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To best serve personnel in any deployed location, sunlight-readable, quiet mode display technologies are also mission critical (Figure 3). When choosing the right display for operations, there are important questions to ask: Is the display viewable in intense desert sunlight? From every angle? Does the display have an anti-reflective surface? Is it viewable at night? Is the device night vision compatible or compliant (NVIS)? Is there an option to turn off LED light indicators? A display should be readable in intense sunlight from any angle. It should be matte with minimal reflection. It should also be viewable at night and NVIS compliant or compatible with goggles. A device should have brightness control set-

Forward deploy high-performance COTS-based blade technology for rugged, mil-spec applications. s,EVERAGETHEPOWEROF#/43 BASEDBLADETECHNOLOGY to reduce the cost of custom solutions, including APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING AS WELL AS ongoing platform support and technology refreshes.



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4RACEWELL2"3(IGH PERFORMANCE$ELIVERED Available in 3 and 5 slot conďŹ gurations in 3 standard levels of ruggedization. Level 2 and 3 RBS is designed for applications that require the following speciďŹ cations: Mil-704 Power, MIL-810 Environmental and Mil-461 Shielding. Custom options are available including integrating additional industry standard technologies (boards, devices, etc.), form factor modiďŹ cations to meet the needs of unique platforms and special I/O interface designs.

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Tech Recon

tings for NVIS mode. Moreover, the user should be able to adjust to very low ambient light—if normal display settings are too bright—and still maintain the contrast ratio required to read the display. A “quiet mode” option is also important. For instance, in a special ops situation, personnel would be well served to assign a “quiet mode” to a hot button so that it can be instantly implemented. This would allow adjustment of system behavior: brightness

settings, fan operation (noise), LED (automatically toggles off if NVIS is selected), radio toggle, audio and system beeps. The user should also be able to eliminate blinking LCD indicators when in NVIS mode. The “ruggedness” of the display is also an issue. Is the display itself rugged? Is it 3H hardened or chemically strengthened and scratch resistant? If the display cracks, will the computer still be operational? Anti-glare and hard coating are

applied on the surface to control the reflection of fluorescent light and sunny light and to prevent scratches. With some hardware, if the screen breaks, the unit shuts down. However, more rugged devices will continue to function without a working screen, enabling the user to complete his or her assigned task, which could be essential in a military operation.

Turnkey Repair No technology is indestructible. Repairs are a fact of life. However, for military operations, service and repair issues are a complicated exercise in supply chain and security issues. Some rugged computers are serviceable in-field, others are not. With military budgets being trimmed, keeping technology operational and in the field is a significant concern. Some RMA centers are equipped with a service technician to repair devices. In other instances, faulty computers need to be shipped to an RMA Center (where the data is wiped) and then sent to a non-secure civilian agency for repair. This is a time-consuming and expensive process. Some critical questions to ask are: Does the computer protect the user’s data with RAID capability? Does the computer system have a removable SSD cartridge to facilitate quick replacement when swapping for security purposes and data recovery is necessary (Figure 4)? Can the user remove the cartridge without tools? Can the cartridge be replaced in the field, without jeopardizing its ability to withstand the elements? If the answer isn’t yes to all of these questions, then one must ask if “realworld ruggedness” is being provided? Over the last 10 years, rugged computing technology has become a necessity for military operations. Rugged tablet and notebook computers have been pushed to provide technology solutions that effectively serve military field personnel. However, MIL-STD-461F and 810G standards have to be fully understood and manufacturers need to be challenged to test equipment to real-world circumstances, not simply to what works in the test lab. Xplore Technologies Austin, TX. (512) 336-7797. [].

[ 54Untitled-2 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

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System Development Secure Embedded Systems

Solutions Emerge to Meet Secure Embedded System Needs As security and hostile tampering concerns become more severe, demands are high for product solutions that enable the design of secure military embedded systems. Responding to those needs, several chip, board and system technologies are now becoming available. Jeff Child Editor-in-Chief


mong the more challenging areas of today’s military system development is that of security. Building ploration your goal secure embedded systems is definitely k directly high on the priority list of many program age, the efforts, but the technologies supporting source. such efforts have only recently become nology, d products productized. Security spans a range of concerns across the chip, board and sysd tem levels of military systems. There’s the demand for secure networking technologies as military systems become increasingly linked and designed to share data. Meanwhile, military systems that employ advanced new technologies nies providing solutionselectronics, now and technologies encryptedand digital systems, ion into products, companies. Whetherare youralways goal is to researchFigure the latest 1 ation Engineer, jumpof to abecoming company's technical page, the goal ofReGet Connected is to put you atorrisk perishable items. you require verse for whatever type of technology, Secure embedded systems technology is particularly critical on platforms like the UH-60M engineering exploitation of lost, and products you are searching for. upgrade helicopter that features state-of-the art electronic instrumentation, flight controls captured and “misplaced” military tems threatens our national security and and aircraft navigation control. billions of dollars of R&D investment. This is a problem that has now moved front and center to the design process of of DoD Directive 5200.39, the mission been able to get waivers allowing them to military systems. of anti-tamper in electronic design is to use anti-tamper ICs in their systems. But For several years anti-tamper tech- deter (or delay) reverse engineering of some predict that within five years, those nology has been required in all new mili- critical program information (CPI), de- waivers will no longer be given. tary programs per the 5000-series direc- fined as “information, technologies, or tives from the U.S. DoD. In the language systems, which, if compromised, would Anti-Tamper FPGA Solutions degrade combat effectiveness, shorten the Some of the most developed chipexpected combat-effective life of a sys- level anti-tamper solutions today are ofGet Connected tem, or alter program direction.” For the fered by leading FPGA vendors such as with companies mentioned in this article. past several years, system developers have Altera and Xilinx. Altera’s design

End of Article

[ 56 ] COTS Journal September 2011

System Development

rity feature in Stratix III and Stratix IV FPGAs offers a 256-bit advanced encryption standard (AES) algorithm (FIPS197 certified) and non-volatile key storage that can be used to encrypt military IP that is programmed into the FPGA. SRAM-based FPGAs are volatile and require external memory to store their configuration files, which results in three security risks: copying, reverse engineering and tampering. To provide design security—taking the Stratix III FPGA for example—Stratix III FPGAs use a 256-bit security key for configuration bitstream encryption. The secure configuration flow can occur after synthesis, fitting and timing analysis in the Altera Quartus II software. The first step in providing security is to program the security key into the Stratix III FPGA: The Quartus II software requires the user to enter a 256-bit user-defined key, which is then used to generate a key programming file. The key programming file containing the key information is then loaded into the Stratix III FPGA through the JTAG interface. The key is then stored in the 256-bit key storage, which can either be volatile (SRAM-based) or non-volatile (poly fuse-based). After that, the configuration file is encrypted and stored in the external memory: The Quartus II software requires the same 256-bit user-defined key used in step 1 to encrypt the configuration file. The encrypted configuration file is then loaded into the external memory, such as a configuration or flash device. At system power-up, the external memory device sends the encrypted configuration file to the Stratix III FPGA. The Stratix III built-in AES decryption engine then uses the key to decrypt the configuration file and configure itself.

Integrated Encryption On its FPGAs, Xilinx offers an integrated Type-1-capable single-chip cryptography (SCC) solution. In support of U.S. DoD Instruction 5200.39, Xilinx offers Security Monitor IP as well as key hardware features. These offerings help designers meet security and tamper-resistance requirements aimed at protecting U.S. critical technology from exploita-

Crypto Boundary


Cipher Text (CT)

Crypto Module SW Programmable

Xilinx SCC

Crypto Boundary

Plain Text (PT)


Figure 2

Single-chip cryptography (SCC) technology on Xilinx Spartan-6Q FPGAs puts the entire Type 1 cryptographic function on one chip, which enables more efficient processing and a decrease in system size, weight and power.

Figure 3

The TSB7053 is a PCI Express PICMG 1.3 board from Trenton Technology that is based on the new Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 family. It has an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) to provide secure storage of encryption keys for system and data protection. tion and loss. Xilinx anti-tamper features can reduce development cycle times and contribute to the progress of a programspecific anti-tamper plan. Historically, using FPGAs in Type 1 cryptographic equipment resulted in inefficient processing and an increase in system size, weight and power. Redundancy and functional isolation required physically separate devices. This SCC technology (Figure 2) allows those features to be integrated into a single chip, enabling the information assurance industry to maximize the value of FPGAs. Released last year, Xilinx’s defensespecific FPGA offerings are its Spartan6Q family and Virtex-6Q family. Xilinx defense grade FPGAs are one hundred percent pin compatible to their commercial equivalent for seamless migration

between prototyping and low rate initial production. They are fully tested and qualified to operate in extreme temperatures, while the Virtex-6Q device’s ruggedized plastic packaging using standard lead content eliminates tin-whiskering concerns and protects against caustic processes. Xilinx’s Spartan-6Q family is the company’s first FPGA family in its class to provide a low-power, low-cost Information Assurance (IA) and Anti-Tamper (AT) platform.

Secure Networking and Trusted Encryption At the board level, security is a key part of embedded networking solutions. The latest example is Curtiss-Wright’s VPX3-683 FireBlade, available with 24 GbE SerDes ports and up to two x10 GbE September 2011 COTS Journal [ 57 ]

System Development

Security Toolkits SSL TLS DTLS



IPSec IKE v2


ISS Crypto API ISS High Assurance Software Crypto Toolkit INTEGRITY 3rd Party CPU ARM, MIPS, PPC, x86

ISS Hardware Crypto Cores

3rd Party Hardware Crypto Providers

Figure 4

The High Assurance Embedded Cryptographic Toolkit (HA-ECT) provides a complete set of cryptographic algorithms for developers requiring a FIPS 140-2 level 1 validation and NSA Suite B-enabled cryptographic module. The kit supports hash functions, random number generators, and secret-key and public-key cryptography including Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC).

[ 58Untitled-3 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

XAUI ports, and is ideal for system integrators architecting secure high-performance IPv4/v6 Intra-Platform Networks (IPNs). This rugged, compact 3U VPX card, which can operate as a fully managed switch/router, provides significant performance and configuration advantages to developers building Layer 2 and Layer 2/3+ networks. VPX3-685 Secure Router is currently undergoing a stringent Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 Level 2 cryptographic validation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP). Another level of security thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s showing up in board-level products is the inclusion of an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) to provide secure storage of encryption keys for system and data protection. Two recent examples along those lines are the Express-LPC, a COM Express module from ADLINK Technology, and the TSB7053 (Figure 3), a PCI Express PICMG 1.3 board from Trenton

7/5/11 11:42:36 AM

System Development

Technology based on the new Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 family and the latest Intel Platform Controller Hub (PCH) technology.

System Level Security Embedded software vendors have been improving their security offerings for the past several years. At last month’s AUVSI Unmanned Systems Conference 2011, Green Hills Software announced

its new Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Open Platform as a solution targeted specifically for the security and management of Autonomous Vehicles and Universal Control Segments (UCS) in the embedded computing market. Targeting the autonomous systems community, the platform is designed to provide a secure, highly reliable and safe software foundation for Autonomous Vehicle and UCS developers to host their UAS (Unmanned

Autonomous Systems) applications. At the heart of the solution is Green Hills Software’s INTEGRITY-178B realtime operating system (RTOS). This multi-level secure operating system meets the software safety requirements of RTCA/DO-178B Level A for safety and total reliability, and the information assurance requirements of the U.S. Government’s EAL6+ Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) for absolute security. The platform also includes a FIPS-validated Embedded Cryptographic Toolkit (Figure 4). Other components include the MULTI Integrated Development Environment, ISS µSSL, µSSH, µVPN (IPSec/ IKEv2) and µLoad Secure Boot Toolkits. Optional features include a TCP Networking Stack, web server, Layer 3 IP Routing, USB and Management Stacks, and Anti-Tamper Platform. ADLINK San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200. []. Altera San Jose, CA. (408) 544-7000. []. Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Ashland, VA. (703) 779-7800. []. Green Hills Software Santa Barbara, CA. (805) 965-6044. []. Trenton Technology Gainesville, GA. (770) 287-3100. []. Xilinx San Jose, CA. (408) 559-7778. [].

[ 60Untitled-5 ] COTS1Journal September 2011

2/17/09 4:47:07 PM

PC/104 Consortium Boards & FPDP and Serial FPDP Boards Gallery

PC/104-Plus Watchdog Timer Board Temperature measurement, monitor, and alarm Fan status and speed control PCI/104 power monitor / limit alarm interrupt Opto-isolated input to trigger reset General purpose opto-isolated input, two outputs Two general purpose 8-bit A/D inputs External fused 5V and 12V power Light sensor for enclosure security

Featuring the latest in PC/104 Consortium Boards & FPDP and Serial FPDP Boards technologies ACCES I/O Products, Inc. Phone: (858) 550-9559 Fax: (858) 550-7322

High-Speed USB/104 Module Provides 96 Lines of Optimized Digital I/O

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High-speed USB 2.0 device Twelve or six 8-bit ports independently selectable for inputs or outputs All I/O lines buffered with 32 mA source, 64mA sink current capabilities Jumper selectable I/O pulled up to 5V for contact monitoring, down to ground, or floating Resettable fused +5VDC outputs per 50-pin connector PC/104 module size and mounting compatibility E-mail: Web:

ADLQM67PC – First Ever Sandy Bridge in PC/104 Form Factor Intel Core i7, 2.2 GHz PCIe/104 SBC Up to 4GB DDR3-1333 DRAM SoDIMM204 Type 1 Bottom-Stacking PCI/104 Express V2.0 with Gen2 protocol (2.5 to 5GT/s) 2x SATA 600 Ports with RAID 2x 10/100/1000Mbit Ethernet LAN Port Separate Onboard VGA, LVDS, HDMI / DVI, Display Port Windows XP, XPe, Windows 7, Compact Embedded Support Download White Paper!

Advanced Digital Logic (ADL) Phone: (858) 490-0597 Fax: (858) 490-0599


Phone: (888) 294-4558 Fax: (858) 677-0898

Modular design ensures rapid customization Designed, manufactured and certified in the US Wide temperature range -40°C to 75°C MIL-810F shock and vibration Best-in-class shock mount Meets ISO-7637 & MIL-1275B

Octagon Systems E-mail: Web:

Phone: (303) 412-2013 Fax: (303) 426-8126



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QuiXilica-V6 Signal Processor

Four channel Serial FPDP module Selectable bit rates, in PMC, XMC, and PCI Express form factors Available in commercial and rugged versions, both air and conduction cooled Drivers for Linux, VxWorks and Windows FPGA Developers Kit also available if customization required

Phone: (978) 244-9200 Fax: (978) 328-5951

E-mail: Web:

RMB-C2 Rugged Mobile Computer

Kontron PMC-sFPDP is a 64-bit PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) that supports the sFPDP standard. The Serial FPDP functionality is achieved using a FPGA from the ALTERA Stratix GX family. Kontron PMC-sFPDP features two 2.5 Gbits/s high-speed channels with flow control via Nicomatic front panel connector. PMC-sFPDP operates in a Rugged Air-Cooled environment from -40°C to +75°C


E-mail: Web:

Signal acquisition and Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA processing blade 6U form factor, can integrate with VME / VXS cards or be used as a standalone module Twelve fibers on front panel can be used for Serial FPDP output Up to 9.6 GB/s aggregate

Tekmicro E-mail: Web:

Phone: (978) 244-9200 Fax: (978) 328-5951

E-mail: Web:

Technology Focus Rugged Box Systems

Rugged Box Systems Widen Their Scope of Functionality As vendors mature their product lines, a new wave of more complete rugged box-level system solutions are emerging. Military system developers are reaping the benefits of new levels of pre-integration and prequalification provided in these products. Driving the function-specific system demand is the notion that prime ver the past several years, tracontractors are placing an ever greater ditional embedded board venreliance on embedded computing supdors hvave added stand-alone pliers. They’re asking for integration rugged box-level systems to their miliexpertise and a level of software develtary market offerings. These complete opment as part of those integration efsystem boxes often support standard forts. This is driven in part by the need form factor boards inside them. The for primes to contain their costs. And result is a complete, tested and enthat’s expected to continue as more and closed computing solution that elimimore military programs are structured nates complex integration chores for as fixed-price rather than cost-plus. customers. The rugged stand-alone Also fueling all this are DoD probox—a term coined by COTS Journal curement policies that drive a growing Figure 1 a couple years ago—now exists as a interest in preconfigured subsystems staple in the embedded computing infrom COTS vendors. These new policies The Arrow UAV built by Neany employs rugged box dustry. These box-level systems often demand more demonstration of new computer systems from the Crystal Group as part of resemble the end deliverable systems technologies. They also push for those its onboard electronics. that prime contractor manufacturers demonstrations earlier in the program have in the past pieced together themdevelopment phase. Technologies used selves—sometimes using off-the-shelf boards and enclosures. to also have to show higher technology readiness levels (TRLs) than In parallel with the rugged box-level system phenomenon is an- previously required. The result is ever greater demand for prepackaged other trend toward “pre-integrated subsystems.” These are defined as and prequalified subsystems as primes find themselves without the a set of embedded computing and I/O boards put together and deliv- time or the DoD funding to develop a prototype subsystem internally. ered as a working system to provide a certain function, but intended Rugged box systems are ideal for a variety of military applicato be used in a military customer’s larger system. Some of these are tions, but especially those where size, weight and power (SWaP) are function-specific, whereas others are more generic computing/net- deciding factors. These include everything from UAVs to vehicle sysworking platforms. The emergence of the function-specific type of tems to airborne radar gear. The Arrow UAV (Figure 1)—built by system doesn’t mean that the more general-purpose approach is go- North East Aeronautical (Neany), for example—uses a rugged box ing away. Most vendors that offer function-specific offerings also system from the Crystal Group as part of its onboard electronics. continue to develop a robust set of general-purpose pre-integrated Arrow was developed by Neany as part of a Navy Broad Agency Ansystems. Meanwhile, there’s a handful of companies—Octagon Sys- nouncement (BAA) program. Neany is the prime contractor for this tems, Parvus, Quantum 3D, Rave Computer, RTD Embedded Tech- effort, which includes L-3 Communications and Navmar as subconnologies for example—that were doing box-level products before the tractors. The Arrow can be operated as either a UAV or a manned traditional board vendors joined the game. aircraft, allowing for fast prototyping of potential payloads. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


[ 62 ] COTS Journal September 2011

Harness improved processing and SWaP efficiency in the free-air-cooled Aitech NightHawk RCU™ Rugged Computing Unit – without sacrificing durability or versatility. The Remote Interface/Data Concentrator capabilities of this PC-based embedded unit are ideal for demanding applications in defense, aerospace, and rugged industrial environments, such as CBM, GPS, and RFID monitoring in manned or unmanned vehicles.

Take rugged to greater extremes... with an environmentally sealed, extruded aluminum housing and innovative convection/ radiation cooling design that dissipates more than 22 W at +55°C. With MIL-DTL 38999 connectors, the sealed NightHawk protects against windblown fine dust and sand particles, while numerous EMI/RFI features meet MIL-STD 461 emission and susceptibility limits, all in a shock-, vibration-, and corrosion-resistant design for harsh mechanical, climatic, chemical and electrical environments.

Minimize weight... at just 4.5 lbs., this space-saving unit delivers

Limitless applications... maximize your options with the

exceptionally efficient SWaP performance in a slim-profile 195-in.3 package.

Expand I/O versatility... with 18-36 vdc input, standard PC I/O interfaces, video-cam input, independent hi-def XGA and standard TV video outputs, plus extensive internal expansion support to add peripheral I/O interfaces for military/industrial embedded apps.

Enhance your processing efficiency... with a low-power Intel® Atom™ (Navy Pier) 1.6 GHz RISC microprocessor, 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM and 8 GB SSD memory, plus optional CompactFlash or 250 GB Solid State Disk (SSD) storage with room for customization. Photography Courtesy of Lockheed Martin

flexibility to configure the NightHawk RCU™ into the control unit you need it to be. Contact us today for detailed power and I/O specifications. Aitech Defense Systems, Inc. 19756 Prairie Street Chatsworth, CA 91311 email: Toll Free: 888-Aitech8 - (888) 248-3248 Fax: (818) 407-1502

Technology Focus:

Rugged Box Systems Roundup Rugged Box PC with Modular I/O Serves Cost-Sensitive Apps The stand-alone rugged box trend has hit all levels of product types. A new I/O server industrial PC is targeted at reducing costs as an alternative to PC/104 or CompactPCI embedded computers. Field I/O signals in the IOS-7200 Industrial PC from Acromag are interfaced through an internal carrier card with related plug-in I/O modules. Working together, the rugged, fanless box computer and conduction-cooled I/O modules provide a truly integrated system for many measurement

loration our goal k directly age, the source. ology, products

Rugged Fanless Embedded Computer Boasts 100G Shock Resistance

Lightweight Rugged Systems Blend Convection Cooling, Expanded I/O

A new fanless embedded computer with rich integrated I/O is equipped with the Intel Atom D510 1.66 GHz processor. The MXE-3000 from Adlink Technology delivers twice the performance of the previous N270 platform. Featuring maximum operating shock tolerance up to 100G, minimal footprint with a small profile, and innovative thermal design with zero cable management requirements, the MXE-3000 provides reliable performance in mission-critical and harsh environments for a variety of applications. Leveraging the advantages of enhanced RF function, dedicated I/O features, 9-32 VDC wide range power input and LVDS &

Aitech Defense Systems offers the NightHawk RCU, an extremely rugged, compact Intel Atom-based, self-contained control unit that weighs only 4.5 pounds, almost half that of similar models currently available. This weight reduction, combined with a slimmer profile and natural convection/ radiation cooling that dissipates up to 22W

and control projects. A low-cost Geode CPU processes the I/O signal data and manages numerous interface connections for peripherals and networking. Inserting a mix of up to four mezzanine IOS modules on the slide-out carrier VGA dual display support, the MXE-3000 card enables A/D, D/A, discrete monitoring/ with ease of mounting capability—VESA control, counter/timer, serial communication or DIN rail—is a suitable match for diverse and FPGA computing functions. applications. With changes in the market d A Windows development package provides trend toward smaller fanless configurations, API development software and Win32 DLL the MXE-3000’s compact 210 mm (W) x 170 drivers, plus examples for C, Visual Basic, mm (D) x 53 mm (H) size suits it ideally for .Net and LabView environments. The Linux applications requiring limited storage space and software includes a library of I/O function demanding zero-noise, dustproof performance. routines to speed code development. Both A unique cable-free structure and extended packages include nies providing solutions now demonstration programs temperature functionality enable the MXEwith C source code to test and exercise the I/O 3000 the series to greatly benefit customers with on into products, technologies and companies. Whether your goal is to research latest module operation. An I/O Server with four high-performance tion Engineer, or jump to a company's technical page, the goal of Get Connected is to put youcomputing, lowered total IOS modules reliably across wide you require for whatever typeoperates of technology, cost of ownership and long-term durability. The ranges and productstemperature you are searching for. between -40° to 75°C (-40° MXE-3000 is priced at $672. to 167°F) with 0-90% relative humidity, ADLINK Technology condensing. Acceptable storage temperatures range from -40° to 85°C (-40° to 185°F). Power San Jose, CA. usage depends on the I/O modules used, but is (408) 360-0200. typically about 30 watts. A Model IOS-7200 I/O []. Server PC starts at $1,695.

Acromag Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310. [].

End of Article Get Connected

with companies mentioned in this article.

[ 64 ] COTS Journal September 2011

at +55°C in stagnant (non-flowing) air, or at up to 71°C with an optional low pressure fan or baseplate, makes the rugged control unit ideal for a variety of military, aerospace and commercial environments. Based on the low-power Intel Atom processor operating at 1.6 GHz, the new NightHawk provides up to 2 Gbytes of DDR2 SDRAM as well as between 4 and 8 Gbytes of SSD memory with an optional expansion up to 250 Gbytes for extended and remote data collection and storage applications. With a complete set of standard PC I/O interfaces, the NightHawk also provides two Gbit Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 ports and four multi-function RS-232 serial ports, dual graphics/video ports, keyboard/ mouse and stereo audio in/output ports as well as an I/O set specifically tailored for embedded military applications. Optional I/O includes MIL-STD-1553B, ARINC-429 and ARINC-708, CAN Bus, Wi-Fi and WAN ports as well as video capture and processing, discrete and analog I/O and an eight-port Gigabit Ethernet switch.

Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. [].

Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Rugged Box Marries 1553 and PowerPC

Mission Computer Subsystem Embeds 3U CompactPCI

Ultra-Small Form Factor ATR System Meets SWaP Needs

The trend toward complete box-level systems has broadened to include some offerings that target specific needs like avionics. Along those lines, Ballard Technology offers its Avionics BusBox 2000 (AB2000) systems—a family of over 30 small, lightweight, conductioncooled, embedded computers for rugged environments. These systems have many built-in standard peripherals and interfaces for various avionics databuses, as well as PMC expansion capability. Typical applications for the AB2000 include data and protocol conversion, databus and network bridging, data

CompactPCI has become well accepted in the military. It’s one of the more popular choices as an embedded form factor within box-level systems. Along those lines, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (CWCEC) has introduced a new family of compact, natural convection-cooled rugged ½ ATR-style 3U CompactPCI systems, the MPMC-9320-x

In many of today’s military applications, reducing every bit of size, weight and power matters. Serving that trend, Extreme Engineering Solutions has rolled out the XPand6000, a rugged ATR system measuring just 4.88 in. x 1.9 in. x 7.7 in. A fully loaded XPand6000 utilizes three types of industrystandard Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) components: rugged COM Express modules, PMC/XMC modules, and solid-state storage. With COTS components, the XPand6000 can be deployed quickly into airborne or ground vehicles. Its natural convection-cooling and

servers, data recorders, communications, power controllers, federated controllers and multiple net-centric applications. The AB2000 is suited for helicopter, fixed wing and ground mobile platforms. At the heart of the AB2000 is a userprogrammable PowerPC processor that runs the software application and controls the various standard—serial, Ethernet, USB and discrete—and avionics databus—MILSTD-1553, ARINC 429/708/717—interfaces. The high level of functionality implemented in the hardware interface circuitry ensures full use of the PowerPC processor for the software application. At power-on the embedded application boots from the flash memory and runs without host intervention. The tethered case is where a separate computer runs the application and controls the AB2000 over Ethernet.

Ballard Technology Everett, WA. (425) 339-0281. [].

family of Multi-Platform Mission Computers. The MPMC-9320 features a built-in power supply and can be configured with either a DCP-124P SBC PowerPC 7448 or an Intel DCP1201P SBC. The standard MPMC-9320 system configuration (MPMC-9320-0001) is equipped with an integrated 28 VDC power supply unit, one DCP-124P SBC, three SPMC Serial PMC cards, and one NAII 75C2 DIO card. The MPMC-9320 provides the highest functional density available in a small package. As a natural convection-cooled system, the MPMC-9320 is designed for reliable operation in harsh environments without the need for base plate or forced-air cooling. Packaged in an ultra compact 3U cPCI form factor and equipped with reliable PowerPC processing, the MPMC-9320 has all the elements required of modern mission computers in spaceconstrained applications. Optimal system cooling is ensured via thermal transfer between card edges of its conduction-cooled 3U cPCI cards and the side walls of the system enclosure. EMI filters and gaskets are employed for system security and increased reliability. The MPMC9320 uses advanced packaging techniques to provide advanced processing power in a rugged enclosure that measures a compact 600 cubic inches yet is able to operate and survive external air temperatures of 55°C using only natural convection.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing Ashburn, VA. (703) 737-3660. [].

small size allow the XPand6000 to be bolted to any available surface; and with a fully loaded weight of less than 4.5 lbs., it is perfect for small UAV ATR applications. Virtually any conduction-cooled PMC or XMC can be integrated into the XPand6000, which also supports an optional 1.8-in. or Slim SATA Solid-State Disk (SSD) for applications requiring ruggedized, non-volatile storage. Initially, the XPand6000 will support COM Express modules based on the Intel Core i7 and Atom processors, with Freescale QorIQ support to follow. To meet a wide variety of application needs, the XPand6000 is available in three configurations: a horizontal orientation with natural convection-cooling, a horizontal orientation with conduction-cooling, and a vertical orientation with natural convectioncooling. Using the COM Express form factor for the CPU card allows for modules from third-party vendors. Most importantly, it provides a thermally superior solution because the CPU is located on the opposite side of the module connectors, allowing for direct contact between the CPU’s die and the system’s external cooling interface. The PMC/XMC form factor was chosen for the plug-in I/O card because of the wide ecosystem of PMC/XMC I/O modules available from a number of vendors.

Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. [].

September 2011 COTS Journal [ 65 ]

Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Rugged Box Systems Feature Intel Core Processors

Rugged Box System Smaller Than ATR-Short

18-Blade VPX HPEC Platform Targets Military-DSP Applications

Rugged box-level systems have become a staple in the military embedded systems market. GE Intelligent Platforms has announced a further expansion in its growing range of rugged systems. Designed for control applications in challenging environments such as unmanned vehicles, launch vehicles, and commercial helicopters and aircraft, the CRS-C2I-3CC1 (shown) and CRS-C3I3CB1 2-slot and 3-slot rugged CompactPCI systems are a highly cost-effective alternative

Today’s level of electronics integration allows for extremely high levels of compute density into small footprints. Makers of rugged box systems are translating that advantage into system level solutions. With that in mind, General Micro Systems offers a fast, powerful, rugged computer system that packs features and options into a small, easily mounted package that is one-quarter the size and weight of a ½ ATR-Short package. With a Core2 Duo processor running at up to 2.256 GHz and 8 Gbytes of main memory, the Golden Eye II from General Micro Systems is a super lightweight, rugged system that brings high

A twist on the function-specific approach is to tailor the system for a particular kind of technology such as digital signal processing (DSP). With that in mind, Kontron offers a system designed for the needs of computeintensive DSP-based systems. The Kontron HPEC platform is a VPX-based super computer-like system that accommodates up to

to in-house development—eliminating costly NRE—and provide off-the-shelf, packaged, self-contained solutions that shorten design, development, integration and testing time. They also provide a quicker path to a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL), giving system developers a superior capability at lower cost, in less time and with reduced risk. The CRS-C2I-3CC1 and CRS-C3I-3CB1 feature Intel Core processors. GE had earlier announced the CRS-C2P-3CC1 and CRSC3P-3CB1 2-slot and 3-slot pre-validated, application-ready, CompactPCI-based computer systems based on the Freescale MPC7448 processor. All are available in a wide range of application-specific configurations that can be delivered in a rugged, convection or base plate cooled 3U chassis. The systems are configured with a single board computer featuring Intel Core processors, together with 1 Gbyte of RAM and 4 Gbytes of Flash memory. These computers feature I/O capabilities including Ethernet, serial, USB, CANbus, MILSTD-1553 and ARINC 429 as well as discrete I/O. The CRS-C2I-3CC1 has dimensions of (H x W x D) 3.96 x 7.15 x 9.03 inches (excluding connectors) and weighs only 11 pounds; and the CRS-C3I-3CB1 has dimensions of (H x W x D) 5.60 x 4.25 x 8.76 inches (excluding connectors) and weighs only 9 pounds.

performance in harsh environments together with advanced graphics processing capabilities, making it suitable for vehicular and avionic programs. Standard configurations include: S802-R with one removable Solid State Drive (SSD) offering up to 500 Gbytes of storage, and S802-R4, which has four removable SSDs for a total of 2 Terabytes of storage. S802-R4 units are available with a combination of drive bays for removable SSD and PCMCIA slots to accommodate Army legacy systems. Golden Eye II in its S802-R configuration measures only 5.25 x 5.2 ”x 2 inches, and weighs just 2.5 pounds. The unit literally can replace four 6U cards offering equivalent or better performance, and its peak drain on the system’s power bus never exceeds 25 watts. GMS’s patent-pending cooling design enables its systems to easily operate in environments from -40° to +85°C. Because of its small footprint it is well suited for UAVs and vetronics applications. Golden Eye II was designed for rugged, military applications and is compliant to MIL-STD-810F, MIL-STD-704E and MILSTD-461E. Completely validated and certified, it also uses GPS for time stamping every data packet within the stringent Army requirements of less than one micro second. Single unit price (S802-R) starts under $10,000.

GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [].

General Micro Systems Rancho Cucamonga, CA. (909) 980-4863. [].

[ 66 ] COTS Journal September 2011

18 Kontron 6U VPX VX6060s, powered by Dual Intel Core i7 processor computing nodes, and employs 36 tightly coupled processors. Using its VXFabric technology, the system uses a simplified API that allows high-speed socket-based communication between blades by using multiple switched fabric interconnects within the backplane. The 72 core, 18-blade Kontron HPEC platform provides a breakthrough in compute density, up to 1.44 Teraflops (1.44 Trillion Floating Point Operation per second) in a small 19-inch footprint that delivers the high-performance computing power that is a critical capability for many of today’s military systems. Potential applications include radar, sonar, SIGINT and video processing for various aircraft or UAV programs. Demonstrating its viability for military systems, a major government contractor has selected Kontron’s VPX HPEC platform for its airborne classified data system. The company won the program based on its ability to successfully integrate multiple high-performance COTS products to meet the immense throughput and processing requirements of the space-constrained airborne system that must handle more than a teraflop of data. Kontron’s VPX HPEC platform is available now for military system OEMs in air-cooled (0° to +55°C) and conduction-cooled versions (-40° to + 85°C).

Kontron Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. [].

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Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Rugged Box System Provides Manpack-Sized Computing Platform The stand-alone rugged box trend has pervaded all corners of the military embedded computing space. Many product lines have even moved on to second-generation, smaller spin-off versions. An example along those lines is Mercury Computer Systems’ new, rugged, manpack-sized system. Enhancing the Ensemble 1000 Series family of computing systems, the 2-slot PowerBlock 15 has a convection-cooled or cold-plate mountable design, suitable for deployment on small platforms operating in harsh environments. Approximately the size of an external hard

drive, the portable system can be configured with any of the processing, I/O, or storage modules currently used in the 6-slot PowerBlock 50 chassis. Ensemble 1000 Series systems, using either the PowerBlock 15 or the PowerBlock 50 chassis, are scalable and optimized for real-time applications. A point-to-point PCI Express connection delivers high-throughput, non-blocking, serial connectivity between processing and I/O nodes. External I/O can be customized to accommodate virtually any type of digital or analog I/O. Processing options include the Intel x86 architecture (LDS1100) Intel Core i7-620LE (Arrandale) dual-core processor at 2.0 GHz. Memory includes 2 Gbytes of DDR3-1066 ECC SDRAM, 4 Mbytes of BIOS flash and 4 Gbytes NAND flash for Linux file system. Available FPGA Modules include an FPGA Altera Stratix-IV GX230 FPGA card. Available External I/O includes Gigabit Ethernet and RS-232/485, USB Graphics DVI display interface, FPGA Gigabit Ethernet, RS-232/485, 22x LVDS pairs, 8x LVTTL and well as custom engineered modules.

Mercury Computer Systems Chelmsford, MA. (866) 627-6951. [].

[ 68 ] COTS Journal September 2011

Rugged Box-Level System Offers Low Power Solution Octagon Systems has announced the Fleet CORE M, a rugged computer that excels in demanding applications requiring more robust I/O connectors. The total integrated thermal design provides fanless operation over a -30° to 70°C temperature range. The Fleet CORE M incorporates the field-proven, Octagon Hedgehog power supply technology providing superior protection for noisy and unstable

mobile applications. The unit is ideally suited for size-, weight- and power-constrained applications. The standard I/O includes Ethernet, USB, COM and DVI-D, with resolutions to 1920 x 1440 and four inputs and two outputs of digital I/O. The processor is a 1.1 GHz Intel ATOM. Memory includes 1 Gbyte industrial temperature grade DDR2 DRAM. Typical dissipation is under 10W and transient compliance exceeds SAE J1113-11 and ISO7637-2-2004. Vibration exceeds MIL-STD-214A while shock exceeds MIL-STD-202G. Operating temperature is 30° to 70°C and storage temperature is -40° to 85°C.

Octagon Systems Westminster, CO. (303) 430-1500. [].

Mission Computer Targets SWaPSensitive Refresh and Upgrade Programs Optimizing for Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) is a major requirement in many of today’s military systems. Eurotech subsidiary Parvus has introduced the DuraCOR 830, a rugged tactical mission processor subsystem for constrained military/civil unmanned and manned air, ground and shipboard technology refresh programs. The unit features a modular, COTS PC/104Plus architecture with an ultra-low-power Intel Atom CPU (running at 1.6 GHz), dual avionics interfaces (MIL-STD-1553), I/O expansion

capabilities and mechanically compact chassis. With two open expansion slots for PC/104, PCI-104, or PC/104-Plus cards, along with more than 100 spare connector pins on lightweight MIL-38999 connectors, the DuraCOR 830 is primed for tailoring to application-specific I/O configurations. To reduce program risk, cost and time to deployment, Parvus offers professional subsystems integration services to rapidly tailor this computing platform using COTS technologies to program-specific I/O requirements. The DuraCOR 830 is designed for use under extended temperature (-40° to +71°C) and other demanding MIL-STD810G environmental conditions (shock, vibration, altitude, humidity, immersion). Its corrosion-resistant, sealed aluminum chassis incorporates protection from water and dust ingress, as well as MIL-STD-461F emissions and susceptibility. Designed for avionics and ground vehicle platforms to enhance situational awareness and computational capabilities, the DuraCOR 830 delivers processing and multimedia performance similar to Pentium M-based DuraCOR subsystems, but with less power consumption, double the RAM memory capacity, and dual Flash SSDs. The system is also equipped with a 28V power supply compliant with MIL-STD-1275 and MILSTD-704 voltages, spikes and surges.

Parvus Salt Lake City, UT. (801) 483-1533. [].





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Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Field-Deployed Ruggedized Computers Boast Advanced Graphics Graphics and video display/capture have become critical technologies in many of today’s advanced programs. Serving such needs, Quantum3D has announced two new additions to its award-winning Thermite family of embedded computers, the Thermite XVG 4000 and Thermite TL 2000. The new Thermite XVG 4000 offers state-of the art processing and performance, and the Thermite TL 2000 breaks mobility and power efficiency barriers to meet the computing and operation needs of demanding military and aerospace environments.

ATCA Platform Targets Command and Control Apps

PC/104-Based Box Systems Boast High Reliability

ATCA has secured a solid niche in the military market, particularly for applications that stress high-performance communications and networking. RadiSys has announced the Promentum C2 Server, the industry’s first preintegrated, portable ATCA platform designed to provide the performance and features required for rugged, ground mobile applications in the Mil/Aero industry. The C2 Server leverages LCR Electronics’ ruggedized ATCA chassis and Astute Networks’ Edge Storage Blades

Driven by the desire for a more complete system, stand-alone, ruggedized systems have become a go-to for military system developers who need solid, turnkey solutions. RTD Embedded Technologies makes box-level PC/104-based systems qualified for demanding applications like military vehicles. RTD’s rugged HighRel line of systems is built using frames milled from solid aluminum blocks to exacting specifications ensuring that the solution is rugged and reliable. Frames for thermally sensitive components have internally milled heat sinks and embedded heat pipes to move heat to the outside walls of the enclosure,

The Thermite XVG 4000 offers state-ofthe-art graphics and processing technology for applications ranging from real-time sensor signal processing to situational awareness. The Thermite XVG 4000 is the most powerful fanless, graphics-based, rugged computer available, and features a modular design that allows the system to be optimized to meet specific project requirements, including tailoring of the CPU, GPU, video processing, networking, I/O and storage features, using Commercial-off-theshelf modules. Its processor is an Intel Core i7-610E 2.53 GHz with Turbo Boost to 3.2 GHz (Dual Core) and other CPU options, with up to 8 Gbytes of system memory. Graphics include a CUDA-capable NVIDIA FX880M for midrange workstation performance, or NVIDIA FX2800M for high-end performance. The Thermite TL 2000 rounds out Quantum3D’s line of rugged Thermite family computers as the lightest and smallest embedded system. The Thermite TL 2000 offers lower power consumption for a range of markets, including man-wearable applications, robotics, real-time signal processing applications like GPS and radar, as well as embedded sensor signal processing applications such as LIDAR/LADAR.

in a rapidly deployable, higher performance platform with more than 30 percent weight decrease and lower power consumption than current rackmount servers. RadiSys’ C2 Server provides integrated computing, switching and storage in one easy-to-manage platform that scales to meet most environmental and performance challenges presented to the Mil/ Aero market. The C2 Server has been designed to meet the demanding environment requirements of MIL-STD-810 and can quickly be deployed and serviced in the field. The computing modules are certified with VMware ESXi, which allows the use of multiple operating systems for consolidation of application, and the use of VSphere to provide cost-effective fault tolerance for critical applications. This pre-integrated RadiSys platform is based on best-of-breed technologies from three trusted industry experts and allows Mil/Aero contractors to focus primarily on their value-add of software and services, while reducing time-to-market. The pre-integrated C2 Server consists of a Ruggedized 6U 6-slot AC LCR Chassis, two RadiSys Promentum ATCA-2210 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch and Control Modules with optional COM Express module, which can support platform management functions, up to four RadiSys Promentum ATCA-4500 series single board computers (SBCs) and Astute Networks’ Caspian R1100 Edge Storage Blades.

Quantum3D San Jose, CA. (408) 361-9999. [].

RadiSys Hillsboro, OR. (503) 615-1100. [].

[ 70 ] COTS Journal September 2011

allowing operation from -40° to +85°C without the use of active cooling. Optional shock-mount bases withstand specific shock and vibration specifications. RTD’s IDAN box-level product consists of any RTD PC/104, PC/104-Plus, or PCI-104 board mounted in its own frame and wired to the standard PC connectors on that frame, thus eliminating the need for module-tomodule wiring inside the case. This solution maintains PC/104’s modularity and lets system designers configure a system as rapidly as one would configure a stack of boards. The product line is also available in a watertight version, HiDANplus, with environmental sealing and EMI suppression O-rings coupled with MIL I/O connectors. HiDANplus does inter-module communications via a custom wiring harness that is enhanced by an internal 100-pin stackable signal raceway.

RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA. (814) 234-8087. [].


MILITARY ELECTRONICS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE YOU’RE INVITED MILESTONE - Military Electronics Development Conference is a single-day conference focused on the challenges and solutions critical to mission success for the most rugged and decisive computing environments. This conference is fertile ground for engineers, project managers and vendors of military and defense electronic projects to discover, discuss and demonstrate the computing technology that will shape future battlefields. • EDUCATION: Learn about technology trends and design issues in the conference sessions • RESOURCES: Interact face-to-face with suppliers of critical embedded electronics and computing technologies • NEWS: Learn about new products, vendors, acquisitions and other significant changes in the military electronics design industry

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6250 MHz Coaxial Resonator Oscillator Offers Frequency Doubling Crystek’s new CVCO55CXT-6250-6250 Coaxial Resonator Oscillator (CRO) is a coaxial-based VCO with an internal proprietary frequency doubler. The CVCO55CXT family’s frequency doubling, 2X fundamental technology reaches new performance levels of lower phase noise and much lower harmonics over the competition, while achieving lower current consumption in the process. The CVCO55CXT-6250-6250 operates at 6250 MHz with a tuning voltage range of 0.5 VDC to 4.5 VDC. This coaxial VCO features a typical phase noise of -100 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset and has good linearity. The CVCO55CXT-6250-6250 CRO exhibits an output power of 2.0 dBm typ. into a 50 ohm load with a supply of +8.0 VDC and a current consumption of 35 mA (max).

Crystek Corporation, Ft. Myers, FL. (239) 561-3311. [].

Firmware for Rugged Ethernet Switches Facilitates Data Management

High-Speed Strain Gage Input Boards Offer Four Channels

MEN Micro offers an extended firmware package for its rugged Ethernet switches. The new firmware fulfills all requirements of highly demanding applications. Individual port configuration via the command line interface and SNMP (version 3) as well as through an HTTP web server helps facilitate data management within an embedded system. These customizable, low-power industrial Ethernet switches can be used as stand-alone units or in CompactPCI systems for harsh and mobile environments with intense communication requirements. Typical applications include those found in commercial, transportation, industrial and agriculture environments. Managed switches are equipped with a fully featured software package to professionally manage even complex network infrastructures, including Layer-2 switching functionalities such as VLANs, QoS, LLDP and link aggregation. Dynamic reconfiguration scenarios are managed by protocols including IGMP snooping and filtering, RSTP and DHCP. The switches are available as unmanaged models. The Ethernet switches are fully compliant with the EN 50155 railway standard and designed for operating temperatures from -40° to +70°C (up to +85°C for 10 minutes) without the need for cooling (fanless operation). Hardened against shock and vibration, the PCBs have no socketed components and are ready for coating, with some versions conformally coated as standard.

Data acquistion technology is vital for when the digital world meets the real physical world. United Electronic Industries (UEI) has announced the release of the DNA/DNR-AI-224, high-speed, four-channel strain gage input boards for UEI’s data acquisition and control Cubes and RACKtangle I/O racks respectively. The boards provide an ideal combination of high speed, accuracy and connection flexibility and are suitable for use in a wide variety of applications. The analog inputs offer 18-bit resolution at sample rates up to 100 ksamples/s. Each channel has an A/D converter and all four channels are sampled simultaneously. The combination of the 18-bit resolution with the board’s automatic offset zeroing and automatic gain calibration ensure the measurements are extremely accurate. UEI’s “Cube” architecture is a compact (4 x 4 x 4” or 4 x 4 x 5.8”) Ethernet-based I/O platform. It may be deployed in four different configurations. These are: 1) Ethernet I/O systems slaved to a host PC, 2) Stand-alone Data Logger/Recorder, 3) Linux-based Programmable Automation Controller (PAC), or 4) Modbus TCP-based I/O slave. Each Cube consists of a core module (that holds the processor and network interface) along with three or six open I/O slots. Users select the deployment option that meets their requirements. Pricing ranges from $2,750 to $2,900.

MEN Micro, Ambler, PA. (215) 542-9575. [].

United Electronic Industries, Walpole, MA. (508) 921-4557. [].

3U OpenVPX Smart Power Supply Provides 279W The tidal wave of new OpenVPX products continues to flow as several product areas enter the OpenVPX arena. Adding power supplies to the list, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems (CWCES) has introduced a new 3U OpenVPX (VITA 62) and VPX (VITA 48.2) Smart Power Supply. This small form factor, rugged power supply module provides up to 279W of power to mission-critical OpenVPX systems. Designed for demanding deployed military applications, the CWCES Smart Power Supply includes advanced features such as an integrated Nuclear Event Detector (NED) and crowbar for radiation tolerant applications, and a holdup circuitry for full protection against MIL-STD-704 and MILSTD-1275 transients. This open architecture smart power supply module speeds and simplifies the integration and maintenance of intelligent rugged power supplies into applications such as ground vehicles, fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft, shipboard equipment, and integrated modular systems. The Smart Power Supply conforms to the 3U VPX (VITA 48.2 / VITA 62) form factor and is offered in a 1.0” pitch single slot configuration. Fully rugged, the module is available in conduction-cooled and Level 2 maintenance variants. This fully featured intelligent power supply supports Built-in Tests (BIT) and software programmability to enable rapid system development. The device offers 80% efficiency and an 18-36 VDC input range. Input reverse polarity protection and over/under voltage, short-circuit and under/over temperature protection are supported. AWhite Sand Missile Range (WSMR)-tested Nuclear Event Circumvention circuit is included.

Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems, Santa Clarita, CA. (661) 257-4430. []. [ 72 ] COTS Journal September 2011

COTS Products Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Compact SBC Serves up 200 Mips ARM CPU Sealevel Systems has introduced a smaller RISC embedded computer—the compact SBC-R9-2100 ARM9 RISC single board computer. The SBC-R9-2100 is an application-ready platform for your Getproduct Connected companies productsEthernet, featured inserial, this section. next design.with Standard I/Oand includes USB, audio and digital I/O. For wireless connectivity, an 802.11b/g option is available. Based on the 200 Mips Atmel AT91SAM9263 microcontroller boasting a 32-bit ARM instruction set for maximum performance, the system is the perfect platform for embedded applications requiring small size, wide operating temperature range and flexible I/O connectivity. Measuring just 4.9” x 3.9” in size, the SBC-R9-2100 is small enough to fit in most embedded applications and is rated for a full -40° +85°C operating temperature range.

Sealevel Systems, Liberty, SC. (864) 843-4343. [].

3U OpenVPX-REDI Cards Deliver Advanced Video and Network Processing Demanding video and network processing applications can’t be your ordinary desktop stuff if they’re to be deployed in harsh environments, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ground vehicles. With that in mind, GE Intelligent Platforms announced the 3U OpenVPX-REDI GFG500 Gigabit Ethernet Video Processor and the 3U OpenVPX-REDI MCP500 Processor. Both sport the Tilera TILEPro64 many-core processor. The GFG500 is designed for demanding video processing applications and is pre-loaded with GE’s powerful and sophisticated algorithms for capturing and processing multiple simultaneous video streams from Gigabit Ethernet-compliant video sources, providing optimum speed of implementation and time-to-market. The MCP500 is a general purpose, many-core processor platform designed to provide customers with a powerful, flexible platform that can accelerate software applications through multiprocessing. The MCP500 is an ideal rugged processing engine for net-centric applications such as packet processing, intrusion detection/deep packet inspection, unified threat management, network monitoring and forensics in tactical wireline and wireless environments. Both cards offer four banks of 512 Mbyte DDR2 800 SDRAM together with two 10 Gigabit Ethernet XAUI interfaces and two 4-lane PCI Express interfaces. Operating in conjunction with a single board computer and graphics processing unit, such as GE’s SBC340 and GRA111, the GFG500 has been successfully integrated into multi-sensor vision systems, capable of simultaneously processing ten 1392 x 1024 GigE Vision video streams at 30 Hz.

Input Power Line Conditioner Boasts Holdup Capability North Atlantic Industries (NAI) has announced the availability of its latest 3U, cPCI power product—NAI 44LS1 Power Conditioner / Holdup Unit, ideally suited for rugged land, sea and air applications. The 44LS1 protects downstream DC/DC converters from MILSTD-704A-F and MIL-STD-1275 transients, including high and low voltage transients as well as power interruptions lasting up to 50 ms. In addition, the 44LS1 provides reverse polarity protection for downstream electronics. The 44LS1 is designed to meet standard 3U cPCI mechanical requirements and is a perfect companion unit for all NAI 3U DC/DC converters. Open Collector Signals monitor holdup capacitor’s internal storage energy, input voltage and output status. The internal storage can support 100W load for 50 ms. Connections for additional external holdup capacitance are provided for applications requiring greater than 50 ms of holdup. Pricing starts at $1,759 in quantities of 100+.

North Atlantic Industries, Bohemia, NY. (631) 567-1100. [].

GE Intelligent Platforms, Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738. [].

Graphics XMC and PMC Enable Dual Processing of Independent Video Streams Mezzanine modules remain an ideal solution for mixing and matching functions on military embedded computing systems. Aitech Defense Systems has expanded its family of M59x graphics boards designed for a wide variety of rugged avionics applications with the M595 PMC and M597 XMC. These highperformance, rugged boards simultaneously drive two independent video streams in a wide variety of graphics and output formats for flexible video input and frame grabbing formats to meet users’ specific application needs. Both single-width mezzanine boards integrate multiple supporting 2D/3D hardware engines. This includes LVDS, SDI, HDI, SMPTE 292 and H.264 and graphics languages including DirectX, OpenGL and OpenCL. The new M595 and M597 use the advanced AMD/ATI E4690 graphics processing unit (GPU) operating at 600 MHz with a 512 Mbyte on-chip GDDR3 SDRAM frame buffer. The E4690, which enables multiple video outputs from its native video ports eliminating the need for external transmitters or encoders, works with an integrated, onboard FPGA to support a wide variety of additional video output formats, overlay, underlay and keying features as well as multiple video input formats and signal conditioning options. The M595, a dual-head display XMC, transfers graphics and video to the host system via a high-speed eight port PCIe link. Interfaces include two RGBHV (CRT) channels, an HDTV/TV out port, an LVDS channel and four single-link DVI/HDMI/DP channels through the E4690. Both these DO-178/DO-254-certifiable mezzanine products are available in vibration- and shock-resistant versions as well as in conduction-cooled and air-cooled versions and to commercial, rugged and military specifications with a maximum operating temperature range of -55° to +85°C.

Aitech Defense Systems, Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248. []. September 2011 COTS Journal [ 73 ]

COTS Products Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

Mil-Spec Real-Time Analog Recording and Analysis System Targets UAVs UAVs electronics have such unique requirements and the design activity around them is so active that many technology suppliers are tailoring products specifically for UAV needs. Along those lines, Pentek has announced the first in a planned family of instruments targeting operation in harsh environments, the Modelwith RTR 2746 real-time datafeatured recording and Get Connected companies and products in this section. playback instrument. The configurable, multichannel instrument can digitize analog inputs at up to 200 MS/sec per channel and stream data to mass storage at an aggregate rate of 1600 Mbytes per second. In the playback mode, it can also reproduce real-time analog outputs from the recorded data files. Remote users can control operation and visualize recorded data, making it suitable for installation in unmanned vehicles. The instrument is designed to meet MIL-STD810F requirements for operation in harsh environments. The RTR 2746 provides real-time 16-bit data capture on multiple simultaneous channels using 200 MHz ADCs and can play back recorded data through 1.25 GHz 16-bit DACs to reproduce the captured signal. Handling signal bandwidths to 80 MHz, the instrument includes built-in digital up- and down-converters that allow a direct interface to IF signal frequencies up to 700 MHz. The instrument supports up to eight data channels with a customer-specified mix of recording and playback capabilities. The RTR 2746 streams data at 1600 Mbytes/s to or from an array of up to 48 drives in a RAID configuration, providing up to 24 Terabytes of storage. Based on Crystal Group’s 4U server family chassis, the RTR 2746 functions reliably under extreme conditions. Operating temperature is -15°C to +55°C and can stretch to -40°C to +71°C with the use of solid-state drives and a high-temperature CPU. Construction techniques include multiple attachment points on the motherboard, locking mechanisms on all connectors and fasteners, and secured cable dressing to prevent chafing. Pricing for the RTR 2746 starts at $64,995.

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [].

48-Channel PWM Generator with 12-Bit Resolution A pulse width modulation (PWM) generator offers 48 independent channels. Each channel has an individually adjustable 12-bit (4,096 steps) PWM register and a 6-bit (64 step) ±50% correction register. All controls are programmable via a simple TTL/CMOS 50MHz serial data interface. The LT8500 from Linear Technology can be used in a wide variety of PWM-intensive applications such as LED control, as well as industrial and robotic applications. For example, the LT8500 can be used with three LT3595As, 16-channel LED drivers, to deliver 48-independently dimmed LED strings for locally dimmed LED backlighting for large LCD displays. The correction resister allows matching light output of each LED string. The LT8500 operates from a 3V to 5.5V input range, enabling it to operate from a wide range of standard power buses. For LED applications, each channel has individual 6-bit dot correction current adjustment and 12-bit gray scale PWM dimming. The 40 ns on-time of the LT8500 offers very wide dynamic contrast ratios. The LT8500EUHH is available in a 56-lead 5 mm x 9 mm QFN package, priced starting at $2.95 each, in 1,000-piece quantities. The extended temperature version, the LT8500IUHH, or I-grade, is also available, priced starting at $3.25 each in 1,000-piece quantities.

Linear Technologies, Milpitas, CA. (408) 432-1900. [].

Type 6 COM Express Module Features ECC RAM Support A new Type 6 COM Express embedded computer module uses Intel’s second-generation quad-core and dual-core Intel Core i7/i5 processors. The PCOM-B217VG-VI-ECC from American Portwell has a type 6 connector pin assignment, which is the successor to Type 2. It adds the DisplayPort and high-speed USB 3.0 peripheral support contained in the latest high-performance processors and chipsets in place of parallel PCI and IDE interfaces that are no longer present in most new chipsets. The PCOM-B217VG-VI-ECC module features an error-correcting ECC memory controller for higher system and data reliability, and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which dynamically increases the operating frequency of processor cores beyond baseline levels. Expansion options on the developer PCOM-C210 COM Express Type 6 carrier board include: more PCIe 2.0 add-on cards and devices are supported with one PCIe x16 2.0 (configurable as two x8 or two x4 and one x8), and six PCIe x1 2.0 (configurable to one x4); LPC interface; SMBus/I2C interface; and high definition audio interface. The faster x16 interface improves the performance of commercial market graphics cards (GPUs) for gaming, imaging and surveillance applications.

American Portwell, Fremont, CA. (510) 403-3399. [].

Bluetooth Modules Provide Short Distance Wireless Links Two new Bluetooth modules are targeted for OEM integration for short-range wireless data connectivity. Manufactured to fulfill OEM needs for embedded short-range communication in products, the low-cost RB4000 and RB4000HM modules from Radicom Research act as RS-232 cable replacement and offer an affordable, easy alternative for wireless point-to-point communication across distances up to 60 feet. Featuring Serial Port Profile (SPP), the RB4000 Series is a full Bluetooth system solution with an integrated controller, antenna and Bluetooth transceiver. Utilizing the BlueCore4-External Chipset from CSR, these Class 2 modules are Bluetooth V2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) compliant for increased throughput, reduced battery consumption and improved security.

Radicom Research, San Jose, CA. (408) 383-9006. []. [ 74 ] COTS Journal September 2011

COTS Products

Rugged Sever Provides IP Video Streaming Advanced Micro Peripherals has introduced a modular IP streamer / server for remote video monitoring applications in defense and critical infrastructure. The HYDRA system supports up to 9 channels of video streaming along with a single audio input channel. HYDRA has been designed and tested for both fixed and mobile applications in the toughest conditions, making use of military grade MILDTL-38999 connectors (with dust covers), input power protection for compatibility with vehicle power systems and infra red reflective paint. The system was also created as a modular solution to facilitate the integration of other functions and application code to meet the requirements of specific applications—a service option not available on most streamer products.

Advanced Micro Peripherals, New York, NY. (212) 951-7205. [].

4U Rackmount Server Provides Long-Term Operation Rackmount server form factors are rapidly gaining mindshare in military systems thinking. Kontron announced the 4U rackmount server KISS 4U PCI760 MIL-STD, the latest addition to the KISS server family, which is specifically designed for long-term operation in land- and navalbased defense applications. This server platform has been tested and certified according to the MIL-STD-810F and 461E specifications. In addition to operational readiness in extremely high and low temperatures (-5° to +60°C operating, -25° to +85°C non- operating), repeated tests for shock and vibration resistance were also carried out. Further testing included the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electro-magnetic radiation (EMS) tests, which were executed according to the MIL-STD-461E norm and test specifications. The Kontron KISS systems, designed for continuous operation, offer an MTBF of 50,000 hours (approximately 5.7 years non-stop operation), high availability and low maintenance costs. The Kontron KISS 4U PCI760 MIL-STD offers scalable processor performance ranging from 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 right up to the Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q9400 with 4x 2.66 GHz cores for high parallel data processing with up to 8 Gbyte DDR2 dual channel RAM. For data storage, Kontron integrates a robust 64 Gbyte SSD to host the operating system and the program data as well as up to three 3.5” SATA HDDs with 500 Gbyte in the Kontron removable disk carrier DA135. For top level data security the media can be connected in RAID 0,1,5,10 arrays via hardware RAID controller or onboard Matrix RAID. For application-specific configurations the modular KISS System offers 1 x PCIe x16, 4 x PCIe x1 and 7 x PCI 32 bit. Two USB connections on the front panel and 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x LAN 10/100/1000, 1 x VGA und 2x RS-232 on the back panel are also available.

SSD Series Does Optimized RAID for Higher Data Transfer A series of industrial grade solid state drives (SSDs) feature a SATA 6 Gbit/s (SATA III) interface with fast read/write speeds. The ASD Series from Adlink is available in 2.5”, 1.8” and JEDEC MO-297 (Half-Slim) form factors. Product highlights include low latency with less than 1 ms access time, power consumption as low as 2 watts, high reliability and high storage capacity. The Adlink ASD Series of SSDs is designed for use in rugged embedded applications, supporting a wide operating temperature range from -40° to 85°C and with shock and vibration tolerance to 1,500 G, 0.5 ms duration and 3.08 Grms, 7-800 Hz, respectively. In addition, the Adlink ASD Series supports firmware optimized RAID function and TRIM commands to maximize overall data transfer rates and minimize performance degradation over the life of the of the product.

ADLINK, San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200. [].

Kontron, Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558. [].

Conduction-Cooled PMC Ethernet Switch Card Targets Avionics Applications A new 10-port managed/ unmanaged Ethernet switch PMC for embedded use in the aerospace and defense industries features advanced management functions, health monitoring, onboard magnetics, and an integrated Ethernet controller (NIC). The MPR-ES-1 from Ballard Technology includes two Gigabit ports and eight 10/100 Mbit/s ports. One Gigabit port routes directly to the integrated Ethernet controller and provides the host computer with a direct connection to the switch for easy system expansion. The second Gigabit port can act either as a straight 1 Gbyte path for the host single board computer, as a high-speed uplink to other switches, or as a standard 10/100/1000 Mbit/s port. The CCPMC form factor allows easy integration with modern embedded computers, including VME, VME-64, cPCI and VPX systems. The MPR-ES-1 combines an advanced Marvell switch controller with onboard magnetics for high performance and reliable operation. It provides IEEE 802.1X MAC-based authentication and support for up to 8K MAC address entries with automatic learning and aging. Management functions include VLAN, QOS and ingress/egress limiting. In addition, the switch includes health monitoring and diagnostic features such as Built-in Test (BIT), temperature monitoring, port mirroring and Virtual Cable Tester. Low power consumption and high MTBF ratings make the MPR-ES-1 an ideal choice for rugged, high-availability systems. The MPR-ES-1 is suitable for both conduction- and convection (air)-cooled systems.

Ballard Technology, Everett, WA. (800) 829-1553. []. September 2011 COTS Journal [ 75 ]

COTS Products Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

100 kHz Data Acquisition Modules Leverage USB 2.0 with companies and products featured in this section. Get Connected

Data Translation has announced the addition of three new low-cost, USB-powered data acquisition (DAQ) modules to its popular ECONseries: the DT9812A, DT9813A and DT9814A. These new devices offer the affordable multifunction capability of the ECONseries with the added benefit of USB 2.0 compliance and faster sampling rates of up to 100 ksamples/s. The devices provide 12-bit resolution for analog input/output subsystems. 8, 16, or 24SE analog input channels provide flexibility. It supports 2 analog output channels to generate sine, rectangle, triangle, or DC waveforms. A counter/timer performs event counting, frequency measurement, edge-to-edge measurements and generates continuous pulse output operations. Included are software and drivers compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7. Pricing ranges from $475 to $575.

Data Translation, Marlboro, MA. (508) 481-3700. [].

System-on-Module Pack Offers Ultra-Small Form Factor

Rugged Server Brings Workstation Computing to the Battlefield

A new system-on-module (SoM) is implemented in an ultra-small form factor of only 15 x 27 x 3.8 mm using the Texas Instruments DaVinci DM3730 and Sitara AM3703 processors running at up to 1 GHz. The Torpedo SoM from LogicPD can also enter a suspend state in which it consumes less than 5 mW. The DM3730 Torpedo is available in several configurations, including TI’s Sitara AM3703 version of the ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor. It is also footprint compatible with LogicPD’s existing OMAP35x SoM to extend the roadmaps of existing products. The Torpedo includes a programmable color LCD controller that supports XGA 1024 x 768 with 24-bit color along with 256 Mbyte of Mobile DDR and 512 Mbyte of NAND Flash memory. Additional interfaces include a parallel camera interface, audio codec, one USB 2.0 port, serial I/O in the form of UARTs, SPI and I2C.

A new rugged portable server solution for forward deployed military environments, or any remote location that requires enterprise computing resources, is able to run on its own internal power for up to 4 hours. The Vigor EX-B from NextComputing is designed to support tactical operations centers and other mission-critical environments. The rugged anodized aluminum chassis with both interior and exterior rubber shock absorbers ensures that the system will hold up to the rigors of field use. With its integrated Lithium-ion battery, the unit is able to run for up to 4 hours on battery power alone. Key features include dense, small form factor, rugged chassis (7.92” D x 17.53” H x 19.75” W) weighing less than 35 lbs. with easy access to internal components for field service and upgrades. The unit has a 320W power supply with removable Lithium-ion battery pack. The processor is a Xeon E3-1200 series Quad-Core processor with up to up to 32 Gbyte DDR3 memory.

LogicPD, Minneapolis, MN. (612) 672-9495. [].

Next Computing, Nashua, NH. (603) 886-3847. [].

COM-Express Compact Module Boasts Low Power Performance A low-power COM-Express compact module is powered by the Intel Atom processors 400 and 500 Series. The new SOM 6763 B1 from Advantech B1 with Intel Atom processor N455 (512K Cache, 1.66 GHz) and Intel Atom processor D525 (1M Cache, 1.80 GHz) migrates its memory from DDR2 to DDR3 along with both 18-bit and 24-bit LVDS. The SOM-6763 B1 is suitable for portable devices, medical equipment and rugged applications. The SOM-6763 B1 complies with COM R2.0 type 2 specification for customers targeting lower power consumption, higher performance applications. The compact design (95 x 95 mm) is suitable for applications such as portable POS, transportation, entry-level gaming machines, patient monitoring and factory automation. SOM6763 B1 allows customers to choose from 18-bit or 24-bit LVDS, which makes available a greater variety of displays to choose from. Advantech iManager provides a valuable suite of programmable APIs such as Multi-level Watchdog, Hardware Monitor, Smart Fan and more; all with user friendly interfaces following the EAPI 1.0 standard. Since this is a built-in solution on chip, iManager ensures functions operate even if the OS fails.

Advantech, Irvine, CA. 949-789-7178. []. [ 76 ] COTS Journal September 2011

COTS Products

Embedded FPGA Development System Uses AXI4 Protocol A Xilinx Virtex-6-based XMC module supports pluggable daughter cards for customizable I/O. In conjunction with the XPedite2300, introduced by Extreme Engineering solutions, is an embedded FPGA development environment based on the AXI4 interface protocol, the XPedite2300 FPGA Development Kit (FDK). The FDK simplifies the development of highperformance, real-time, streaming data applications that run on the XPedite2300 FPGA board. The FDK includes IP blocks, example FPGA designs, and software to control and communicate with FPGAs. All of the IP blocks included in the FDK interface to the industry-standard AXI4 interconnect. Xilinx supports the AXI4 interface standard in the Virtex-6 to facilitate plug-and-play FPGA design with the goal of shortening time-to-market for customers. The AXI4 interface standard finally brings true reuse to the FPGA industry. Customers can easily integrate FPGA logic based on the AXI4 interconnect from X-ES, Xilinx and other third-parties without having to make any modifications, making it much easier to create working FPGA designs. The use of the AXI4 interface standard has made reuse of IP blocks simple and straightforward for developers. The XPedite2300 is a conduction-cooled XMC module well suited to Untitled-1 data streaming applications that require real-time signal processing, such as video surveillance, signals intelligence and infrared threat detection. It supports the Virtex-6 LX130T, LX195T, LX240T, LX365T, SX315T and SX475T FPGAs. There are initially two daughter cards that can be mounted on the module: a 10-bit, dual, 1.5-GSPS (or single 3.0-GSPS) A/D daughter card and a 14-bit, dual, 2.5-GSPS D/A daughter card.


8/4/11 9:16:01 AM

Solid as a Rock... and twice as Cool!

Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155. [].

ARM-Based SBC Offers Standard and Custom Versions A high-performance, low-power single board computer is available with a wide range of peripherals such as GPS, GPRS, networking, camera, audio, USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a powerful graphics capability. The RE2 from Blue Chip Technology uses the ARM Cortex A8 and a Texas C64x DSP, enabling it to handle high-quality graphics such as moving media or 3D, while also managing complex tasks and a broad range of peripherals. The board is also available in an â&#x20AC;&#x153;extended temperatureâ&#x20AC;? version, making it suitable for rugged industrial and scientific applications. Although the RE2 is available off-theshelf in its standard form, Blue Chip also offers a customization service, enabling it to provide hardware specific to the needs of its customers. Blue Chip Technology also offers extensive software support and a complete product manufacturing and testing service.

Blue Chip Technology, Cheshire, UK. +44 (0) 1829 772000. [].

Ruggedized 3U Multi Protocol R AID Systems No matter how you shake it, bake it, or configure it, everyone knows the reputation, value and endurance of Phoenix solid state and rotating disk products. Leading the way in rugged COTS data storage technology for decades, Phoenix keeps you on the leading edge with very cool products!

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September 2011 COTS Journal [ 77 ] Untitled-5 1

9/9/11 6:35:00 PM

COTS Products Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

1500VA UPS Uses Lithium-Ion Batteries Get to Reduce Weight Connected with companies and products featured in this section.

For applications like the military, weight is a major issue. Technologies that can provide the same or better function at a smaller weight are always welcome. With that in mind, Falcon Electric has added Lithium-ion batteries as an option to its 1500VA model of its SSG Series Industrial Grade UPS Plus. Lithium-ion chemistry offers several advantages over valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries including less weight, longer runtimes and higher energy density. By using Lithium-ion batteries, the device can reduce over 15 pounds of weight from the overall UPS system, while providing twice the amount of battery runtime. That’s significant especially for use in military aircraft and Humvees. The SSG Series is a true double-conversion on-line sinewave regenerative UPS, which is an advanced, robust and rugged solution. It provides military and aerospace applications with a high level of power protection that suited for many of the elements found in these harsh environments. Due to its rugged design, the U.L. listed SSG Series is capable of withstanding elevated temperatures of up to 131° Fahrenheit (F) (55° Celsius). The SSG Series, which is available in 1500VA, 2200VA and 3000VA configurations, can be placed in an equipment rack or installed as a stand-alone tower in close proximity to the critical load. The SSG Series UPS is designed to give users the highest level of protection against a wide spectrum of power problems. It provides a continuous, clean, tightly regulated power source from the most polluted incoming AC power source. Unlike off-line and line-interactive UPS designs, the SSG Series acts as an electronic firewall between incoming “dirty” power and sensitive micro-processor-based Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), computers and automated systems found in these industrial environments. The Lithium-ion battery option to the 1500VA SSG Series is available now.

Falcon Electric, Irwindale, CA. (626) 962-7770. [].

3U PXI High Density RF Card Provides 500 MHz Switching Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of PXI RF switches with the introduction of the 40-754 SPDT switch module. The 40-754 supports up to 17 off SPDT RF switches in a single module and is available in two different versions based on a common switch design. The high density version occupies just one slot of a 3U PXI chassis and uses a high density MS-M RF multi-way connector that is suitable for switching frequencies to 500 MHz. The two models use a switch design based around high quality electro-mechanical relays, and in addition to being supported in any PXI-compliant chassis, can be supported in Pickering Interfaces Modular LXI Chassis.

Pickering Interfaces, Grants Pass, OR. (541) 471-0700. [].

Comms Solution Offers Three Functions in One Board Tri-M’s TCB1000 series is a high density design board that integrates CANbus controllers, serial ports, and wired/wireless functionality into a single board solution. The TCB1000 significantly reduces the size, weight and cost of embedded solutions while increasing performance and functionality. Incorporating dual isolated CANbus controllers, two MultiTech-compatible universal sockets, four isolated RS-232 serial ports and one isolated RS-485 serial port, the TCB1000 is truly a versatile, all-in-one communication solution. All Tri-M products are built for outstanding performance and reliability in harsh environments. The same rugged design features are used in the TCB to make it well suited for operating in harsh environments where temperature, shock and vibration are factors.

Tri-M Technologies, Coquitlam, BC, Canada. (604) 945-9565. [].

Digital I/O Module Offers PXI Solution for Signal Critical Applications PXI has become a well established form factor in the military test and instrumentation market. Feeding that need, Goepel Electronic has introduced the PXI5396-DT/x, two additional JTAG Digital I/O Modules on PXI bus. The PXI5396-DT/x modules support structural JTAG/Boundary Scan tests as well as dynamic I/O operations up to 100 MHz for functional test executions. They feature an impedance controlled VPC interface for direct coupling to signal critical load boards or other verification environments. The PXI 5396-DT/x modules are based on a two-component solution, consisting of a PXI supported interface module (IFM) and an offset desktop module. The separation of the modules can be up to 2m without loss of performance. The desktop module is equipped with a front connector developed by Virginia Panel Corporation, which allows the module to be connected directly to the test environment. Due to this, an optimum reliability of the I/O signals is achieved by fully controllable line impedance. Two variants are available, which differ in the onboard memory depth of 72 Mbytes with the PXI 5396-DT and 144 Mbytes with the PXI 5396-DT/XM. Both variants provide 96 single ended channels, configurable as input, output and tri-state, which allow simultaneous driving and measuring, as well as real-time comparison.

Goepel Electronic, Jena, Germany. +49 3641-6896-739. []. [ 78 ] COTS Journal September 2011

COTS Products

Sunlight Readable 10.4-Inch Monitors Good for Day or Night TRU-Vu Monitors has released the new SRM10.4 Series 10.4” Sunlight Readable LCD Monitors. The SRM-10.4 Series monitors are specifically designed to produce clear, sharp images even with direct, bright sunlight on the face of the screen. This is achieved by incorporating state-of-the-art High-Bright LED backlights. These LED backlights produce 1,000 nits of brilliant white light, without the excess heat of older CCFL backlights. The LED backlights also increase the monitor’s ruggedness and durability. The SRM-10.4 Series monitors are available with VGA, S-Video, Composite video inputs and BNC loop-thru output. Backlight control is available to ensure optimal viewing, day or night. The SRM-10.4 Series monitors are also available with optional touch screen.

TRU-Vu Monitors, Arlington Heights, IL. (847) 259-2344. []. Untitled-2 1

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Evaluation Board for LPC1800 MPU Family For NXP’s new Cortex-M3-based LPC1800 microcontrollers, Hitex has introduced the Evaluation Board LPC1850, ensuring an easy evaluation of the LPC1800 family’s main features. The evaluation board is equipped with a LPC1850 operating at 150 MHz and offers some special features such as 64 Mbytes of SDRAM, 32 Mbyte Parallel Flash, 512 kbyte SRAM and serial EEPROM. It can be operated over USB as well as using an external power supply or power-over-Ethernet. For debugging the board contains a JTAG and also a 20-pin Cortex Debug Connector with ETM. All communication channels (USB, Ethernet, OTG, UART and CAN) are provided.

Hitex Development Tools, Irvine, CA. (949) 863-0320. [].

An RTC Group Publication September 2011 COTS Journal [ 79 ] cotsad_subscribe_1-4v.indd 1

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MPL AG...................................................... 77...................................................

Aitech Defense Systems, Inc.....................

MSC Embedded, Inc..................................

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Aydin Displays, Inc.................................... 79................................ North Atlantic Industries............................ End of Article Products Ballard Technology, Inc.............................. 5..................................... Ocean Server Technology, Inc................... 22................................. Creative Electronic Systems...................... 48....................................................

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Critical LLC......................................... ....................................... GetI/O, Connected with companies 19. and products featured this section. Curtiss-Wright ControlsinElectronic Systems... D-TA Systems, Inc......................................

PC/104 Consortium Boards & FPDP and Serial FPDP Boards Gallery.......................... 61 Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. Pelican Products, Inc................................. 15........................... Phoenix International................................. 77........................................

Data Bus Products, Corp........................... 34...........................

Pico Electronics, Inc............................... 14, 50..........................

Data Translation, Inc.................................. 39..............................

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RTD Embedded Technologies, Inc........ 2, 42, Get Connected with companies mentioned in this article. RTECC........................................................ 81.............................................. RunCore SSD.............................................


Elma Electronic, Inc................................... Get Connected with companies and products featured in this section. Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc.......... 37............................................... Falcon Electronics, Inc..............................

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SynQor.................................................... 41, 58........................................

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Tech Design Forum.................................... 47.........................

ISI Nallatech, Inc........................................

Themis Computer......................................

Jayco Panels.............................................. 69...................................

Tracewell Systems..................................... 53........................................

Lind Electronics, Inc................................... 4...............................

Trenton Technology, Inc............................. 45.............................

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WinSystems, Inc........................................ 31...................................



Mobile Pathways........................................ COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 250, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 250, San Clemente, CA 92673.

Coming Next Month Special Feature: FPGA Processing for VPX/VME Radar and SIGINT Systems Once used merely as glue-logic, FPGAs are now complete systems on a chip. And now that many of them even have general purpose CPU cores on them, the military is hungry to use FPGAs to fill processing roles. As the signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve become key enablers for waveform-intensive applications like sonar, radar, SIGINT and SDR. This feature section delves into the VPX, VXS and VME solutions available in this area and explores how theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re transforming military processor-based systems. Tech Recon: Technology Trends for Navy Modernization Military shipboard computing systems have quite different requirements than their air and land-based counterparts. Space is usually less of an issue, but the goals of high automated systems and advanced ISR gear keep the demand for compute density high. Rackmount systems, ATCA and other bladed solutions are attractive. This section looks at the technology trends of some of the key Navy modernization programs. System Development: Training and Simulation Technology Military simulation and training systems have taken on a whole different character as PC-based platforms take center stage. Articles in this section analyze the technologies behind that trend. Also featured is a preview of the products and papers to be showcased at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Tech Focus: Test and Instrumentation Boards For complex, high-performance military systems, the PXI bus form factor and its older cousin VXI have become staples as instrumentation and test solutions. Now the LAN-based LXI form factor is the latest stepchild in this space to emerge on the scene. This Tech Focus section updates readers on the latest trends in these technologies along with a focused product album of representative boards in these architectures. [[ 80 80 ]] COTS COTS Journal Journal September September 2011 2011



Market-revealing keynote speakers Technically focused embedded seminars and workshops Vendors demonstrating newest technologies Network with the brightest engineers Can you afford to miss it? FREE admission, lunch, parking and prize drawing entries at each event. RTECC is your best opportunity to discover a new world of possibilities within the embedded market.

Scan this QR code with your smartphone and REGISTER TO ANY UPCOMING RTECC EVENT INSTANTLY! Go to for more information on QR codes.

UPCOMING LOCATIONS Portland, OR 10/11/11 Seattle, WA 10/13/11 Toronto, ON 10/28/11 Albuquerque, NM 12/06/11 Phoenix, AZ 12/08/11


Editorial Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

UAV Innovation in All Sizes


erhaps more than any other segment of military systems development, UAVs are directly reliant on and driven by the forward progress of embedded computing. It’s a space where size, weight and power concerns are side by side with a strong desire for computer-based automation and functionality. Also, as the U.S. defense budget braces for significant cuts, UAVs—and unmanned systems in general—are expected to keep more than their share of funding versus other areas. For large and medium UAV platforms—like Global Hawk, Predator and Reaper—there’s a seemingly endless demand for greater compute density. The computer payloads aboard those systems are enabling ever greater autonomy for the UAVs and their missions. They’ve benefited from the shift from multiprocessing with arrays on general-purpose processors toward more integrated boards sporting FPGAs. Small UAVs and their payloads meanwhile haven’t been as quick to embrace standard form factor boards. Form factors like PC/104, COM Express and others are often used in the development phase, but it’s only recently that they’re being deployed significantly in the end product. Attending the AUVSI conference last month gave me a good taste of some of the latest trends and innovations in UAVs. While AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) is about all manner of land, sea and air unmanned systems, I’ll concentrate on UAVs for the purposes of this column. The variety of UAV technology on display from the smallest to the largest was impressive. The vendor press briefings in particular offered a great peek into what’s going on. At the very, very small UAV end, Aerovironment’s press briefing at AUVSI included a live demo of its Nano Hummingbird UAV. First displayed back in February, the Hummingbird was part of the Phase II contract awarded by DARPA to Aerovironment to design and build a flying prototype “hummingbird-like” aircraft for the Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) program. The device—exactly as its name suggests— is a controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight, two-wing, flapping wing “aircraft.” It provides its own energy source, and uses only its flapping wings for propulsion and control. In the briefing, Matt Keennon, AV’s project manager and principal investigator on the NAV project, did a live demo of the Hummingbird, flying it around the room for several minutes and then landing it. This unit has all the systems required for flight; batteries, motors, communications systems and video camera. Rockwell Collins meanwhile, in its AUVSI briefing, showed us in the press a video of the successful damage tolerance control testing on the Shadow UAV. Last fall, DARPA, the U.S. Army

[ 82 ] COTS Journal September 2011

and Rockwell Collins demonstrated Damage Tolerance Control (DTC) on the RQ-7B Shadow Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), which marked the first time that the technology had been tested on a fielded platform. Video of that flight test was viewed for the first time at Rockwell Collins’ press briefing. The testing verified performance of DTC to determine the limits of damage aircraft can handle, and provided the Army with an understanding of DTC’s operational benefits to the Shadow UAS mission. The tests included ejecting 20 inches of the Shadow’s wing during flight. Despite the damage sustained by the Shadow, it remained steady in flight and landed successfully. The technology provides for real-time autonomous accommodation of damage, followed by an adaptation process that alters the flight control system to compensate for the effects of the damage. In the category of large UAVs, the most intriguing presentation I attended at AUVSI came from an unusual angle. In his session, Ed Herlik, lead aviation analyst at Market Intel Group, presented information on the topic of stratospheric UAV payloads. His organization publishes a report called “Stratospheric UAV Payloads – Technology and Market Forecast – 2012-2021.” Herlik described how this disruptive technology area is a lower cost alternative to today’s large military reconnaissance UAVs and communications satellites. Stratospheric UAV payloads can fly for months or years above the jet stream, and are expected to form a new communication and sensing infrastructure. According to Herlik, “Near Space” UAVs will draw defense orders away from both the jet stream (Global Hawk) and high altitude (Reaper) markets. That opportunity will be open to new vendors with payloads optimized for extreme altitude and extreme endurance. Today’s military UAV markets are nearly closed to new entrants. Shaking things up even more are stratospheric airship-style UAVs, like the Integrated Sensor Is Structure (ISIS) developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. These provide a new model for a persistent, autonomous ISR platform. While airship-style UAVs offer a lot of cost advantages, there’s a real hurdle of acceptance. That hurdle varies between the military branches. The Army has embraced the idea—interested in whatever it takes to get the best ISR capabilities. In contrast, the idea of non-winged aircraft goes against the culture and mind-set of the Air Force. In his presentation, Herlik argued that a move to a more airship-style stratospheric UAV was inevitable. The costs of building and maintaining Global Hawk class UAVs and space-based military satellites are fairly extreme when compared side-by-side with airship stratospheric UAVs. For UAVs of all sizes, it looks like interesting years ahead.


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