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Data Sheet: Ethernet Switch Board Roundup


The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing



10 M O S T




An RTC Group Publication

January 2015 Volume 17 Number 1


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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing


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

January 2015 Volume 17 Number 1

FEATURED p.10 The Top Ten Most Compute-Hungry Military Programs SPECIAL FEATURE Top Ten Most Compute-Intensive Defense Programs


10  The Top Ten Most Compute-Hungry Military Programs

6 Editorial

16  The Right Roadmap Brings Secure Boot…Even to Legacy Systems


The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

The Science of Technique

Jeff Child

Alan Grau, Icon Labs Dan Noland, Endosec

TECH RECON Signal Chain: Signal Capture for Radar and SIGINT 20  Ensuring High SIGINT Signal Fidelity Requires a Coherent Approach Marc Couture, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Board and Box-Level Integration Strategies 24 Many Approaches Vie for Board and Box Integration Success Vincent Chuffart & RJ McLaren, Kontron

On The Cover: The Army’s WIN-T program makes use of a lot of computer processing technology. The WIN-T Increment 2 was a major upgrade that introduced mission command on the move and extended the network to the company level. Here, Soldiers from The 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Division, drive vehicles equipped with WIN-T Increment 2 during preparations for NIE 13.2. (U.S. Army photo).

DATA SHEET Ethernet Switch Boards 28 Ethernet Switch Boards Meet HPEC Needs and More Jeff Child


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COTS Journal | January 2015




The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing

Editorial EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Child, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Johnny Keggler, SENIOR EDITOR Clarence Peckham, MANAGING EDITOR James Pirie,

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HOME OFFICE The RTC Group 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 150 San Clemente, CA 92673 Phone: (949) 226-2000 Fax: (949) 226-2050 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 2015, 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.

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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

The Science of Technique


s an engineering student I didn’t have a lot of free elective slots. But when I was in college I took an elective course about the philosophy of technology. Whether it was the engineer in me or the nerd in me, I’ve always had an interest in “looking under the hood” at the underlying meaning of things, and of words in particular. One thing that stuck with me in that course was the notion that the word technology when you break it down means “the science of technique.” For me that phrase has a nice ring to it. Over the past decade—as technology has become a part of everyday consumer life—the shortcut term “tech” has emerged as a cool replacement for technology, but I’ve always bristled at that. I’ve noticed that the word “tech” tends to be used more by those that don’t have any clue about how electronics and computing technology works. And by leaving off the “-ology” they are leaving off the science part, and to me that is they important bit. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll turn to more significant a matter: the DoD’s increasing focus on technology and innovation. The past couple of Secretaries of Defense have each expressed views on the importance of technology for the future of our country’s warfighting capabilities. Last fall outgoing SecDef Chuck Hagel continued that trend in his keynote speech at the 2014 Reagan National Defense Forum, In the speech Hagel announced a plan to “harness the brightest minds and cutting-edge technology to change the way the Department of Defense innovates and operates.” The Secretary talked about how countries like Russia and China have heavily invested in military modernization programs to blunt the U.S. military’s technological edge, fielding advanced aircraft, submarines and longer-range and more accurate missiles, and developing new anti-ship and air-to-air missiles, and counter-space, cyber, electronic warfare, undersea and air-attack capabilities. And all that has occurred while the United States and its allies spent more than a decade at war. With that in mind, Hagel in his speech announced a new Defense Innovation Initiative—a department wide effort to identify and invest in innovative ways to sustain and advance America’s military dominance for the 21st century. “To overcome challenges


COTS Journal | January 2015

to our military superiority we must change the way we innovate, operate and do business,” the secretary explained. It will ensure that U.S. power-projection capabilities continue to sustain a competitive advantage over the coming decades. Part of the initiative is a new Long-Range Research and Development Planning Program. Its goal is to help identify, develop and field breakthroughs from the most cutting-edge technologies and systems, especially in robotics, autonomous systems, miniaturization, big data and advanced manufacturing, including 3-D printing. The program will look toward the next decade and beyond, but in the near-term it will invite some of the brightest minds from inside and outside government to assess the technologies and systems DoD should develop over the next three to five years and beyond. This includes areas such as new operational concepts, including new approaches to warfighting, and balancing DoD’s investments between platforms and payloads. Hagel has tasked Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work to guide the innovation initiative’s development and lead a new Advanced Capability and Deterrence Panel to drive it forward. And the panel’s role will be to integrate DoD’s senior leadership—include those in policy and intelligence communities, the armed services, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and research, development and acquisition authorities. The SecDef said he expects the panel to propose changes to the way DoD diagnoses and plans for challenges to the military’s competitive edge. One challenge that has to be faced head on is the fact that many breakthrough technologies are no longer in the domain of DoD development pipelines or traditional defense contractors, he said. For our military embedded industry, initiatives like this are a continued positive sign that cutting edge electronics and computing technology is at center stage. Clearly the DoD and prime contractors are relying more and more on not just the products but the technical expertise from our industry. That’s a positive sign that opportunities for our industry will grow, even as overall defense spending slows. As long as that trend continues, I guess I don’t mind if people occasionally say “tech” rather than “technology”.


INSIDE TRACK Lockheed Martin to Continue Building MK 41 Vertical Launch Systems The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) a $235 million contract to continue building MK 41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) with options that, if exercised, would increase the value to $356 million. The VLS fires a wide range of missiles, primarily off of U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers. Since the first launcher rolled off of the Lockheed Martin production line in 1984, the systems have been combat proven with more than 3,800 successful firings worldwide, deployment by the U.S. and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships representing 21 ship classes. Under this contract which extends through 2022, Lockheed Martin will produce the launch control units, various electri-

cal boxes and the mechanical structure, and perform final assembly and test. The company is also under contract to conduct repairs, distribute, store and manage spare parts for the MK 41 system for the U.S. Navy. Work will be performed primarily in Baltimore, Md. MK 41 VLS is the only launching system that can simultaneously accommodate the weapon control system and the missiles of every warfighting mission area—anti-aircraft, antisurface, antisubmarine and land attack (Figure 1). Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD (301) 897-6000

Figure 1 MK 41 VLS can simultaneously accommodate the weapon control system and the missiles for anti-aircraft, anti-surface, antisubmarine and land attack.

Figure 2

L-3 WESCAM’ Turret Technology Takes Part in Weapons Demo on V-22 Osprey L-3 WESCAM announced that its MXTM-15D designating turret was successfully used during a weapons demonstration on the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft (Figure 2). The demonstration effort is part of the Advanced Technology Tiltrotor (ATTR) program. Through a cooperative agreement between Bell Helicopter and L-3 WESCAM, the first time designating trials were recently conducted over a 14-day period in November at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. During the trials, the V-22 Osprey successfully launched FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2015

The weapons demonstration on the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft is part of the Advanced Technology Tiltrotor (ATTR) program.

Cubic Awarded Contract to Support F-35 Air Combat Training

conventional 70mm (2.75 inch) rockets, BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWSTM) and Raytheon’s Griffin B lightweight precision-guided missiles. L-3’s MX-15D is a multisensor, multi-spectral targeting system ideal for military operations, including medium-altitude covert intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; armed reconnaissance; CSAR; and target desig-

nation missions. The MX-15D is the only stabilized turret solution that enables customers to incorporate up to five separate digital imaging and four discrete laser capabilities into their configuration. L-3 WESCAM Burlington, Ontario. Canada (905) 633-4000

Cubic Corporation announced it was awarded a series of contracts from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to produce and add enhancements to the Air Combat Training System (ACTS) of the F-35 fighter jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Unlike the wing-mounted pods used on fourth generation fighters, the F-35 version of the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) incorporates an internally mounted subsystem that enables the F-35 to maintain its stealth characteristics while training.


INSIDE TRACK Army AMPV Program’s EMD Contract Awarded to BAE Systems

Figure 3 The AMPV will be a replacement for many of the M113 armored personnel carrier in the coming years. Cubic and DRS Technologies, the principal subcontractor, are under a multimillion dollar contract to produce additional JSF P5 systems to support production aircraft. Two enhancements will be made to the system including an upgrade to make the ground subsystem compliant to Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and an upgrade of the encryption capability for the JSF P5 systems. Cubic Defense Systems San Diego, CA (858) 277-6780

Textron Systems and US Army Ink Deal for DCGS-A Development Textron Systems Advanced Information Solutions announced today that it has entered into a two-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engi-

neering Center (CERDEC). Textron Systems will work with CERDEC’s Intelligence Enterprise Branch of Information & Intelligence Warfare Directorate (I2WD) to enhance multi-intelligence collaboration for Warfighter Relevant Cloud Technologies, to be aligned with usability enhancements within the current Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) baseline. As part of the initial CRADA efforts with I2WD, Textron Systems is integrating its Multi-INT Sensor Cloud solution into I2WD’s developmental cloud architecture. The Multi-INT Sensor Cloud is a highly scalable sensor data processing solution that supports ingestion, processing, visualization and tasking of multi-INT sensors and sensor data feeds. It supports direct ingestion and processing of sensor feeds or derived intelligence in the form of standardized Department of Defense formatted messages. Textron Systems Hunt Valley, MD (410) 666-1400

Engineering and Manufacturing Development, or EMD, contract for the Armored MultiPurpose Vehicle, or AMPV. The AMPV is a replacement for many of the M113 armored personnel carrier in the coming years (Figure 3). BAE Systems was awarded a contract under full and open competition worth up to $1.2 billion for the EMD and Low-Rate Initial Production of the AMPV. The initial award is for a 52-month base term, valued at about $382 million. During that time, BAE Systems will produce 29 vehicles. During the 52-month EMD phase, Program Executive Office, or PEO, Ground Combat Vehicle, or GCV, BCE Systems will develop “an affordable, integrated system” to meet the Army’s critical requirements. The Army will take the 29 vehicles produced in this phase and put them through rigorous developmental and operational testing to ensure they are effective and suitable for today’s mechanized warrior, an official said. BAE Systems McLean, VA (703) 847-5820

Navy Radar Tech Refresh Contract Includes Acromag FPGA Modules The Navy has announced their intention to award a contract to Raytheon for AN/SPS-73 OJ-727(V) tech refresh kits in support of AN/ SPS-73(V) surface-search shipboard radar. The mid-December 2014 contract specifies Acromag’s high-performance FPGA modules that are well suited for COTS projects. The AN/SPS-73 is a short-range, two-dimensional,

Figure 4 The AN/SPS-73 is a short-range, two-dimensional, surface-search/ navigation radar system that provides contact range and bearing information. surface-search/navigation radar system that provides contact range and bearing information (Figure 4). The AN/SPS-73 provides for signal processing and automatic target detection capability. Its surface search function provides shortrange detection and surveillance of surface units and low-flying air units, while the navigation function enables quick and accurate determination of own ship position relative to nearby vessels and navigational hazards. The system’s radar processors and displays combine COTS products and specialized technologies to create navigational awareness. The AN/SPS-73 is replacing the AN/SPS-64(V) and AN/SPS-55(V) systems in their capacity as navigational radars on the US Navy Ships. The tech refresh will improve signal processing and automatic target detection capabilities. Acromag Wixom, MI (248) 295-0310

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COTS Journal | January 2015


SPECIAL FEATURE Top Ten Most Compute-Intensive Defense Programs


COTS Journal | January 2015


The Top Ten Most Compute-Hungry Military Programs Today’s military programs require system developers to squeeze as much functionality and capability as they can into while using up less size, weight and power. Ten programs exemplify the military’s most intensive use of embedded computing technology. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


f you compare the advanced U.S military programs of 40 or 50 years ago to today’s, one difference is crystal clear: most system functionality is now implemented as software running on some sort of processing unit—whether that unit is a microprocessor, an array of FPGAs, a single board computer or an integrated box-level system. As a result embedded computing has become the central building block for many of today’s advanced military programs. Here we analyze ten of most compute-intensive military applications— the ones that demand the latest and greatest processing form factors and performance levels to meet their requirements. To make this list, we researched the various programs and did an informal survey of suppliers and users. In the process we found there are many more than ten compute-intensive military applications to choose from. Moreover, there are different ways to define sophisticated computing. In some military platforms pure “number crunching” processing is the main goal, while in others it’s a matter of distributing control nodes throughout a military platform to meet its requirements. After some paring down of the list, we ultimately shrunk it down to the following ten U.S. DoD programs.

COTS Journal | January 2015



Figure 1 The modular architecture of Gray Eagle allows integration and operation of multiple payloads, including STARLite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). A Gray Eagle shown here in the high bay of the Army’s Software Engineering Directorate. MQ-1B Predator/MQ-1C Gray Eagle: Based on the same airframe design, the U.S. Air Force’s Predator and the Army Gray Eagle UAVs Unmanned Aircraft Systems both pack in a lot of technology. There are configured with a multi-spectral targeting systems (electro-optical, infra-red (IR), laser designator, and IR illuminator) providing real-time full motion video; weapons; data links; and ground control stations with communications equipment providing line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight control. The Grey Eagle also adds Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI), a communications relay capability and tactical common data link. The modular architecture of Gray Eagle allows integration and operation of multiple payloads, including electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) with laser designation, STARLite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)/ground moving target indicator (GMTI) sensor, communications relay and four Hellfire missiles (Figure 1). MQ-9 Reaper: The U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper is configured with an array of sensors to include day/night Full Motion Video (FMV), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor payloads, avionics, data links and weapons. The Reaper’s Ground control segment con12

COTS Journal | January 2015

sists of a Launch and Recovery Element, and a Mission Control Element with embedded Line-of-Sight (LOS) and Beyond-Line-ofSight (BLOS) communications equipment. The MQ-9 sensor payload can include the General Atomics Lynx SAR (synthetic aperture radar). Lynx also features ground moving target indicator technology. Raytheon’s multi-spectral targeting system (MTS-A) is fitted on the MQ-1 and the MQ-9, and provides real-time imagery selectable between infrared and day TV as well as a laser designation capability. RQ-4 Global Hawk/MQ-4C Triton: The U.S. Air Force Global Hawk has always been a heavy user of computing technologies including board- and box-level systems powered by both general purposes processors and FPGAs. The RQ-4 Block 30 includes a multi-intelligence suite for imagery and signals intelligence collection and the Block 40 includes multi-platform radar technology for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging and moving target detection. The Navy MQ-4C Triton version provides the Navy with a persistent maritime ISR capability. Mission systems include inverse SAR, Electro-optical/Infra-red Full Motion Video, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Automatic Identification System (AIS), a

basic communications relay capability, and Link-16. Northrop Grumman is prime contractor, with Raytheon as major subcontractor, for the USAF multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) that’s used on the Global Hawk. MP-RTIP is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that can be scaled in size for different platforms. F-35: As one of the most sophisticated aircraft in history—and the most costly DoD programs—the F-35 in all its variants rely heavily on advanced technology. Detailing them all would take pages, so a summary of some of the most compute intensive are described here. The fire control and targeting technology on the F-35 Lightning II for example includes the Lockheed Martin electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) that provide long-range detection and precision targeting, along with the Northrop Grumman DAS (distributed aperture system) thermal imaging system. DAS consists of multiple infrared cameras (supplied by Indigo Systems of Goleta, California) providing 360° coverage using advanced signal conditioning algorithms. As well as situational awareness, DAS provides navigation, missile warning and infrared search and track (IRST). EOTS is embedded under the aircraft’s nose, and DAS sensors are fitted at multiple locations on the aircraft. For its part, Northrop Grumman developed the advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) AN/APG-81 multi-function radar. The AN/ APG-81AESA will combines an integrated

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Figure 2 A WIN-T Increment 2 Point of Presence was part of a second developmental test conducted at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. in June 2014. The Point of Presence enables mobile mission command and increased situational awareness at the battalion level and above. radio frequency subsystem with a multifunction array. BAE Systems built the integrated electronic warfare suite, which will be installed internally and has some subsystems from Northrop Grumman. F-22 Raptor: Although no longer a procurement program, the F-22 continues to be funded for critical F-22 modernization through incremental upgrades. The AN/APG-77 radar developed for the F-22 by Northrop Grumman and Raytheon uses an active electronically scanned antenna array of 2,000 transmitter/receive modules, providing agility, low radar cross-section and wide bandwidth. The aircraft’s electronic warfare system includes a radar warning receiver and a BAE Systems information & electronic warfare systems (IEWS) missile launch detector. The retrofit program provides an initial ground attack kill chain capability via inclusion of emitter-based geolocation of threat systems, ground-looking synthetic aperture radar modes, electronic attack capability, and initial integration of the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB-1). Other capabilities such as radar electronic protection, enhanced speed and accuracy of target geo-location, intraflight data link improvements, Automatic Ground- Collision Avoidance System, and other enhancements are part of upgrade plans for the fighter.

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye: The nextgeneration E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has a new radar, theatre missile defense capabilities, multi-sensor integration and a tactical glass cockpit. With a huge appetite for computing power, the Hawkeye carries data recording and playback systems that can scale up to dozens of modular, heterogeneous input/output channels and FPGA-based protocol engines to support application-specific processing in real time during record and playback. The open architecture compliant systems use COTS-based hardware and software to enable rapid, cost-effective technology refresh. With a two-generation leap in radar sensor capability and a robust network enabled capability, the Advanced Hawkeye can deliver critical, actionable data to joint forces and first responders. P–8A Poseidon: The Poseidon is a multi-mission platform designed to replace the P-3C Orion propeller-driven aircraft. This derivative of the Boeing 737 aircraft is packed with electronics and computing technologies. The cabin is fitted with up to seven operator consoles. All sensors onboard contribute to a single fused tactical situation display, which is then shared over both military standard and internet protocol data links, allowing for seamless delivery of information between U.S. and allied


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COTS Journal | January 2015




forces. The P-8A carries a new radar array, which is a modernized version of the Raytheon APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System. The AN/APY-10 radar provides the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode capability for imaging, detection, classification and identification of stationary ships and small vessels and for coastal and overland surveillance, as well as the high resolution imaging synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) mode. The P-8A is also fitted with the CAE advanced integrated magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system. Warfighter Information NetworkTactical (WIN-T): The goal of an on-themove tactical network presents unique computing challenges distinct from all those mentioned above. The Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) is the Army’s high-speed, high-capability backbone communications network, linking Warfighters in the battlefield with the Global Information Grid. The system is 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 currently fielded phase of WIN-T, Increment 2, provides on-the-move capability and a mobile infrastructure by employing military and commercial satellite connectivity and line-of-sight (terrestrial) radios and antennas to achieve end-to-end connectivity and dynamic networking operations. Tactical Communication Nodes (TCNs) in WIN-T Increment 2 are the first step to providing a mobile infrastructure on the battlefield (Figure 2). When the TCNs are combined with the Points of Presence, Vehicle Wireless Packages and Soldier Network Extensions, WIN-T Increment 2 enables mobile mission command from division to company in a mobile, adhoc, self-forming, self-healing network. Gorgon Stare (GS): Relying heavily on FPGA processing is the U.S. Air Force’s Gorgon Stare Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance System. Flying aboard a USAF/General Atomics long-dwell MQ-9 Reaper UAV, each GS orbit provides uninterrupted, 24/7 visible and IR coverage of city-sized areas, providing real-time motion video directly to theater and tactical forces engaged in operations. The system has a unique Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) toolset providing wide-area (city-sized), continuous “stare” coverage. Specifically designed for 14

COTS Journal | January 2015

Figure 3 Last summer the U.S. Navy installed the Lockheed Martin SEWIP Block 2 System on the USS Bainbridge (DDG-96) for operational testing.

ISR operations in forward tactical areas, GS can provide a wide-area overwatch with ten (10) focused video feeds sent directly to individual users on the ground. The sensor is packaged in a turret maximizing the overall ISR imaging capability in a networked imagery distribution system. High resolution, real-time motion video of activities of interest are collected to supply Pattern-ofLife and Post-Event Forensics. Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP): The Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) is a spiral-block development program, has provided a common/open and scalable architecture to leverage emerging technologies. It uses a COTS-strategy to replace closed systems with scalable, upgradable architectures. Block 1A incorporates the updated Improved Control and Display (ICAD) Human Machine Interface and the Electronic Surveillance Enhancements (ESE) upgrade to provide a COTS-based technology refresh for the obsolete AN/SLQ-32 display and pulse processing. The Block 1B1 introduces standalone Specific Emitter Identification (SEI). Future SEWIP Block 1B upgrades continue with the addition of integrated Specific Emitter Identification (SEI), High Gain High Sensitivity (HGHS) capabilities, and net-

work-centric and mission planning capabilities. Block 2 and beyond will focus on replacing the legacy AN/SLQ-32 all together with new hardware (receiver/transmitter) and software improvements. Companies from the military embedded computing industry have naturally been involved in SEWIP. Lockheed Martin provides a modular enterprise solution based on its Integrated Common Electronic Warfare System (ICEWS), an integral part of which includes Mercury Systems’ high-performance Echotek Series microwave tuner and digital receiver.

Rich Embedded Computing Resources While each of the ten DoD programs covered here have very different computing and electronics requirements, they all depend strongly on the latest and greatest processing, storage and networking technologies. More and more these programs are using modular embedded computing products in standards-based board architectures or complete pre-integrated box-level solutions. Either way, the military embedded computing industry role in the success of these programs is only getting more indispensable every year.

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SPECIAL FEATURE The Top Ten Most Compute-Hungry Military Programs

The Right Roadmap Brings Secure Boot…Even to Legacy Systems Today’s networked military systems face the threat of malicious hacking. Secure boot technology provides a defense and a phased approach makes the implementation practical. Alan Grau, President and Cofounder, Icon Labs Dan Noland, Lead Engineer, Endosec


mbedded devices are widely used throughout the modern military. Communication systems, UAVs, radar systems, missile control systems, satellites, ship and vehicle control systems and hundreds of other types of devices are all embedded systems. One distinguishing trait of these devices is that they are purpose build systems, designed to perform a specific task. Unlike PCs, they are not easily updated with new software or hardware. These devices are becoming increasingly connected, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks (Figure 1). Each time a member of the armed forces uses one of these devices, they assume that the device is “friendly”. That is to say, they assume that the device will, absent a malfunction, perform as designed, and that the device is under the control of the person using it. They are implicitly assuming the device’s firmware and configuration have not been tampered with and that the device has not been reprogrammed by an adversary.

Threats from Anywhere If a hacker, malicious insider or even an authorized user operating in error compromises a device and installs his own software, security is compromised and untold damage could be done. The device could fail to operate, be used to siphon data or communication from the network, launch a cyberattack on other devices, or even converted into a weapon against friendly targets. 16

COTS Journal | January 2015

Figure 1 All platforms from UAVs to a missile control systems are becoming increasingly connected, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Secure boot technology can be used to validate the firmware on a device and prevent unauthorized firmware from running. If unauthorized firmware is detected, the device can be disabled, the event reported, and action taken to mitigate the attack. At a minimum, the device can be marked as compromised and taken out of service. Without this capability, the intrusion could spread to other devices and/or could potentially lay dormant until triggered by a remote signal or specified future time. Code signing allows secure boot implementations to verify the authenticity of code and only allows code with a valid signature to run. Implementing secure boot is a high priority for the DoD

and will help ensure that embedded devices remain secure.

Implementing Secure Boot Secure boot relies on two complementary pieces of technology. The first is code signing. Code signing provides a digital signature mechanism to verify the identity of the publisher of the code, and a checksum or hash to verify that the code has not been modified. These capabilities enable the secure boot process to ensure that the code is authentic and from a trusted source. The second technology is a hardware root of trust module or Trusted Platform Module (TPM). TPM is a is an international

SPECIAL FEATURE standard for a secure crypto processor which provides security hardware for integrating cryptographic keys into devices There are several implementations of hardware root of trust modules available from different vendors, including ARM’s TrustZone, Intel’s TXT, Renesas’ TPM solution and Freescale’s High Assurance Boot. For secure boot to work, the TPM must provide a secure key storage mechanism. This allows the device, before it boots, to calculate the key value on the firmware and validate it against the stored key value. If the keys don’t match, the firmware is not allowed to run. In this fashion, even if a device is compromised and reprogrammed, it will not run the malicious code. These checks can be extended to cover all of the applications in the device, and even static data and configuration information that should not be modified. This prevents unauthorized modification of system parameters that could cause unexpected behavior. By integrating code signing with the over the air firmware update system, support for secure code updates can be implemented. This provides an additional layer of security to prevent malicious code from being installed on the device.

Legacy System Dilemma Secure boot should be implemented in every new DoD system being developed. Hardware support for secure boot is readily available, the required software systems are available, and the problem is clearly understood. The standard approach to secure boot requires a hardware TPM module. Unfortunately there are many thousands of legacy systems running on platforms without TPM hardware support. It will take at least a decade to upgrade all of these systems with new hardware to provide TPM support. Rather than ignoring secure boot in these systems, another approach is needed. Use of a virtual TPM module (vTPM) can be used to enable secure boot in legacy devices as Phase 1 of a roadmap to a robust secure boot solution for all DoD embedded devices. For devices without TPM hardware, a virtual TPM can be implemented in software to emulate a hardware TPM module and allow limited secure boot functionality in legacy systems. If an attacker gains control of the interface to reprogram a device, they are able to bypass the software based vTPM

EMBEDDED DEVICE Event, Policy and Signature Database

RTIV Audit Task

RTIV Event Reporting

vTPM sec remote update

Task A

Task B

Task C

RTIV Application Guard

RTIV Application Guard

RTIV Application Guard

vTPM encrypted key storage


Security Component

Device Component

Boot loader

RTOS (VxWorks, INTEGRITY, Embedded Linux, RTXC, etc.)

Figure 2 The vTPM architecture provides a security solution that can be implemented today on legacy devices, and provides a stepping stone to TPM hardware solutions in the future. and load their own software on the device. This is the obvious limitation of a vTPM that is solved by using TPM hardware. If the attacker reprograms the device they are able to either “brick” the device, turning it into a brick that cannot run, or control the device for his own purposes.

vTPM and RTIV What the hacker will not be easily able to do, however, is avoid detection. A cyberattack that is immediately detected can be contained. An attack that remains, potentially spreading to other systems or exporting data, can do far more damage. If the vTPM is augmented with a Run Time Integrity Validation (RTIV) subsystem, the hacker still has additional obstacles to overcome to avoid detection. The RTIV subsystem continually validates the signature of the firmware and static files on the device. This information is combined with unique device identification information to create a device manifest. This device manifest is validated locally on the device by the RTIV module. It is also signed using crypto key and reported to a security management system for remote validation. To avoid detection, the rogue software would need to generate the device manifest using the proper encryption key and send it to the remote management system for validation. This requires the hacker to have discovered the secret key for the device as well understanding the process of creating and reporting the device manifest.

Additional complexity can be added to the RTIV by inserting dynamic content into the device manifest, thereby raising the barrier still higher for a would-be attacker. Application cross-checking APIs utilizing challenge-response handshaking protocols can provide yet another effective defense, particular for platforms such as embedded Linux or embedded Windows, where a hacker may replace one or two processes with rogue versions. If these rogue versions do not properly implement the challengeresponse validation, they will be discovered, allowing mitigation. For devices that operate in untethered mode, there is the potential for rogue devices to remain undetected until they return to a tethered state.

Many Phases of Security Admittedly, a software based vTPM is less secure than TPM hardware, but it does provide an additional layer of security to slow down hackers, make it more difficult to defeat the security in the device, and provide additional checks to enable detection of cyber-attacks. Implementing multiple levels of protection is a key security principle. By adding secure boot with a vTPM and RTIV, additional layers of security can be added to legacy devices today while establishing the infrastructure for secure boot with full hardware TPM support when the systems are upgraded to new hardware (Figure 2). The goal of the vTPM and RTIV is to make it as difficult as possible for a hacker, or nation state sponsored hacking group, COTS Journal | January 2015



Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3


Legacy systems today,

Legacy systems

Upgraded or new systems

Upgrade or new systems, critical security levels needed


No hardware TPM

No hardware TPM

Hardware TPM

Hardware TPM + PUF


No secure boot




Device reprogramming attacks

Device could be reprogrammed by an adversary. Few defenses to prevent or detect this attack.

Configuration modification attacks

Few defenses to prevent or detect this attack.

Software level defense to detect this attack.

Hardware level defenses to prevent and detect this attack.

Very robust hardware level defenses to prevent and detect this attack.

Reverse engineering attacks

Few defenses to prevent or detect this attack.

Few defenses to prevent or detect this attack.

Hardware level defenses to prevent this attack.

Very robust hardware level defenses to prevent this attack.

Cloned device attacks

Few defenses to prevent or detect this attack.

Software level defense to detect this attack.

Hardware level defenses to prevent and detect this attack.

Very robust hardware level defenses to prevent and detect this attack.

Figure 3 The phased approach provides a roadmap for increasing the security posture of DoD operational assets. This approach addresses security for both legacy and new devices. to reprogram the device without detection. Working together, these two modules present a significant challenge to defeating the security of the device. The key benefit of a product such as Icon Labs Floodgate Anti-Tamper that provides a vTPM and TRIV, is that it can be implemented today, adding a critical missing layer of security to the thousands of DoD programs that are currently running legacy hardware that lack TPM support.

Hardware TPM and RTIV, security for new devices For new devices currently being designed or legacy devices receiving a hardware upgrade, secure boot using TPM hardware is an obvious and important component to include. Regardless of the specific hardware TPM module utilized, the system must include software to manage the secure boot process and enable secure device upgrades. While the hardware TPM virtual eliminates the possibility of the device being reprogrammed by an attacker, it is still vulnerable to attacks that modify device data. The use of an RTIV module enables these attacks to be quickly detected, allowing mitigation and blocking of further attacks. 18

COTS Journal | January 2015

Device could be reprogrammed Difficult to reprogram a device. by an adversary. Software Hardware level defenses to level defense to prevent and prevent and detect this attack. detect this attack.

PUF: Physically Uncloneable Functions The next step in secure boot is the adoption of Physically uncloneable functions, or PUF technology. PUF technologies provide advanced hardware security for developing devices with a unique, unclonable fingerprint, making creation of rogue or counterfeit devices virtually impossible. Industrial viable PUF Technologies are available today from Intrinsic-ID and can be obtained through Endosec. PUF technology produces this device fingerprint by measuring submicron differences in the manufacture between supposedly identical devices. For instance a PUF may use the values at power-up of a group of SRAM cells. The manufacturer wishes to make the two cross-coupled inverters that hold a single bit nicely balanced with an equal pull toward powering up in a one or a zero state. However in practice the manufacturing process leaves most SRAM cells with an unknown bias to power up in one of the two states. When this is combined with error correction a reliable device ID intrinsic to the device can be created. This device ID then becomes a root of trust for the system that initially had none. Keys for secure boot and signature verification can be masked with data derived from the device ID. This means that keys are completely unavailable to an attacker when the device is powered down, and if handled correctly, exceedingly difficult to extract even at run time.

Extremely difficult to reprogram the device. Extremely robust hardware level defenses to prevent and detect this attack.

PUF technologies also provide a powerful protection against cloning or code lifting. An attacker will be unable to study the system on a virtual machine or even hardware from the same manufacturer because the device ID will not match and thus the correct key(s) will not be available. PUF technologies can operate on a wide variety of systems, even those with very limited resources. For instance Intrinsic-ID’s Quiddikey and Butterfly PUF for FPGA products, available through EndoSec, requires only that 1k of addressable SRAM be available. For new designs, PUF technology can be implemented at the hardware or FPGA level. For legacy designs, a software only approach—similar to the vTPM approach, can be used , to improve the security posture of these systems today.

Phased Approach Needed Secure boot is a key security feature for embedded devices used within the DoD. Waiting to add secure boot to new devices or devices being retrofitted with new hardware leaves a generation of devices vulnerable to attack. A phased approach to secure boot, using a vTPM for legacy device, a hardware TPM where possible, and PUF technology where appropriate, provides a roadmap to improved security that address security for both legacy and new DoD devices. Icon Labs West Des Moines, IA (515) 226-3443

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TECH RECON Signal Chain: Signal Capture for Radar and SIGINT

Ensuring High SIGINT Signal Fidelity Requires a Coherent Approach Challenges to SIGINT system design increase every year. Addressing them requires all of the available signal processing tools using a scalable architecture. Marc Couture, Senior Product Manager, ISR Solutions Group Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions


IGINT systems have the daunting challenge of ensuring that the fidelity of the signals they capture off the air remain as true to the analog original as possible, from the RF and microwave front end through digitization by an ADC and processing by one or more types of devices. This task is in addition to maintaining coherence of signals from multiple sensors, and processing of GPS, timing, time difference of arrival (TDOA), signal identification, and possibly other functions. The increasingly dense electromagnetic environments they must process and the wider amounts of spectrum they must “ingest”, make their design extraordinarily difficult. These issues can be effectively addressed with a scalable approach that makes best use of the ADCs, FPGAs, DSPs, and other processing elements in the system. Next-generation SIGINT systems must capture more signals with wider bandwidths, as signals of interest today can be found over a much wider range of frequencies, which affects every element of system design (Figure 1). Fortunately, the latest commercially-available ADCs have a wide range of sampling rates and resolutions, ranging from 250 MS/s 16-bit to 12 GS/s 8-bit. CPUs, FPGAs, DSPs, and increasingly GPGPUs provide the fixed-and floating20

COTS Journal | January 2015

Figure 1 Advanced SIGINT systems—like this Senior Scout ISR system—must capture more signals with wider bandwidths, as signals of interest today can be found over a much wider range of frequencies, which affects every element of system design point processing capabilities required to handle the broad data streams resulting from signal capture bandwidths of 12 GHz or more.

Digital Design Issues However, from a design perspective, the key determinant in how well the digital portion of the system will perform lies just

before it—between the antenna and the input to the ADC. The receiver must be extremely sensitive and capable of error-free signal capture because regardless of the resolution, spurious-free dynamic range, and sample rate of the ADC, the device can only deliver its optimum performance when it is presented with a clean signal environment.

A46_CotsJrnl_2-25x9_875V8_A45.qxd 12/8/14 3:01 P


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Figure 2 Using a CHAMP-FX4, FMC-518, XCLK1 and CHAMP-AV8, the ADC, FPGA, and Core i7 processor provide a full range of functions. The FMC-518 FMC converts 4 analog channels of 250 MHz to digital data and passes this data to the Virtex-7 FPGAs on the CHAMP-FX4. For example, as analog signals have a wide dynamic range, ADC voltage thresholds must be respected, which requires well-designed automatic gain control (AGC) circuits, a lack of which can (among other things) increase aperture jitter. This malady is created within the device’s sample-and-hold circuit and caused by a noisy clock reference, temperature drift, and other factors. While it is not created by the input signals themselves, it is worsened by those with significant changes in amplitude. As AGC circuits reduce these changes they can significantly minimize aperture jitter. In short, the entire bandwidth ingested by the ADC must be optimized to ensure all or at least most of its potential performance is realized.

FPGA Takes Over Once the ADC digitizes the signals, they are typically sent to an FPGA that acts on them in various ways depending on the mission of the overall system. The first problem encountered at this stage is a result of the wide instantaneous bandwidths afforded by current ADCs, which is increasing every year. The result is a truly enormous amount of data, which if not reduced in size becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to analyze within the confines of a reasonable system footprint. A simplistic “brute force” approach would be to send the entire captured bandwidth to a wideband digitizer after which massive blocks of digital signal processing hardware would act on it. Such a system is practical only when the system is located in a platform or other location where its

large size (and cost) can be accommodated. Techniques have been implemented in the RF and microwave portion of SIGINT systems to reduce signal content as well as identify potential signals of interest before it reaches the ADC. These techniques reduce the burden not just on the converter but on all stages following it. However, they alone cannot entirely address the issue. This is where the capabilities of FPGAs in combination with multi-core processors such as the Intel Core i7, along with the ability to implement them together are very appealing. FPGAs can sort through this data and reduce it through decimation, extracting only those portions containing signals of interest based on known waveforms or other “interesting” characteristics. The resulting data stream is dramatically reduced and its data rate lowered, making easier the job of latter processing stages. Dealing with all of these variables is difficult enough in a single data stream, but SIGINT systems rely on multiple sensors, and they require information not just about the signals themselves but from where they are being emitted as well through interferometry—direction-finding. Adding “DF” into the mix requires precise clock timing and synchronization, as the system’s multiple channel must be coherent. These sensors can be on the wing tips, nose, and tail of and aircraft, or far away in a stand-off system. Consequently, their outputs must be extremely coherent with all ADC clocks precisely aligned and the captured data calibrated and time-stamped.


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Figure 3 To insure that all 16 inputs are sampled with aligned clocks, the XCLK1 XMC installed on the CHAMP-AV8 provides aligned clocks to the 4 FMCs, and insures they all start sampling at the same time.

Scalable SIGINT Solutions One of the great advantages of OpenVPX is its ability to enable multi-functionality in a common architecture from the ADC through FPGAs, DSPs, general-purpose processors, timing and control capability, and other functions. This provides the flexibility to accommodate signals that have either already been converted from analog to digital form or analog signals directly from a broadband RF front end. With all of these device types available, the strengths of each one can be fully exploited. For example, FPGAs repeatedly perform fixed-point or possibly single-precision floating point processing very quickly and have vast parallel (connectivity), but generally cannot perform double-precision floating-point processing or handle Doppler processing. A CPU such as the Core i7 can perform multiple functions including Doppler processing, aided as it is by on-chip floating-point processing cores. A CPU is also better at non-repetitive processing or decision making processes. Consequently, it is essential that a SIGINT system employ both types of devices, as they need one another. In a 16-channel system using Curtiss-Wright’s CHAMP-FX4, FMC-518, XCLK1 and CHAMP-AV8 for example 22

COTS Journal | January 2015

(Figure 2), the ADC, FPGA, and Core i7 processor provide a full range of functions. The FMC-518 FMC converts 4 analog channels of 250 MHz to digital data and passes this data to the Virtex-7 FPGAs on the CHAMPFX4. After decimating and processing the received data, the FPGAs pass the data to the CHAMP-AV8 via SRIO for final processing. The processor can make adjustments to processing coefficients stored in the FPGAs as necessary based on its analysis of the data being received. To insure that all 16 inputs are sampled with aligned clocks, the XCLK1 XMC installed on the CHAMPAV8 provides aligned clocks to the 4 FMCs, and insures they all start sampling at the same time. Figure 3 shows what the system looks like with all components interconnected. Each FX4 platform accommodates two FMCs that can handle multiple channels and provides almost unlimited scalability by adding more FX4s working from a single clock reference to provide the required level of signal coherence. The common, shared characteristics afforded by this solution, and the inherent scalability of the FX4, make it possible to create a SIGINT solution meeting stringent SWaP-C requirements.

Endless Performance Appetite To achieve their progressively more difficult tasks, SIGINT systems must achieve performance greater than their predecessors, over much wider bandwidths, in footprints including small airborne platforms, in a more congested electromagnetic environment rife with new and existing threats. This is best accomplished at the subsystem level by taking advantage of the latest ADCs and all types of signal processing devices employing a scalable architecture. This approach ensures that the precise timing and synchronization requirements of SIGINT systems can be maintained regardless of the number of its sensors. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Board and Box-Level Integration Strategies

Many Approaches Vie for Board and Box Integration Success

Today’s performance hungry military applications require a variety of board and system solutions for success. Technologies such as COM Express, VPX and PCI Express form a spectrum of solutions feeding those needs. Vincent Chuffart, Military & Aerospace Product Manager RJ McLaren, Portfolio Manager, Avionics & Military Products Kontron


ccording to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, “military power in the 21st century will be defined by our ability to adapt.” Compute-intensive applications such as high performance surveillance and situational awareness systems illustrate the support of this ideal and are among the most urgent requests from the field, including full-motion video (FMV) in unmanned vehicles covering both ground and air deployments. Part of the arsenal to adapt are unmanned systems, which have become a new essential, helping military forces face hybrid threats such as organized militias, or uncertainty about location, context and duration of contact with adversaries. By working with modular, plug-andplay payloads, developers are maximizing combat capability, flexibility and efficiency in the face of these evolving threats. At the same time, developers are increasing focus on compute-intensive performance—maintaining attention on the network and payload as an integrated system, rather than centering on the particular field platform such as a truck or other vehicle. It’s a new and high-value approach, supported by a broad expanse of standards-based, high performance design options, whether the designer is integrating systems onboard 24

COTS Journal | January 2015

Figure 1 Smaller UAVs have less available space to integrate system equipment. Flexible, low power performance processing available in both x86 and ARM COM architectures are improving SWaP considerations in these platforms.


a vehicle or enabling related applications from offsite command and control centers. The embedded computing industry offers a variety of board and box-level solutions that system developers can use to integrate the compute-heavy platforms needed for today’s military. Computer-on-Modules (COMs) and VPX-based platforms illustrate two ends of this high performance spectrum – both proven to perform in their respective arenas, and readily enabling competitive designs that blend price and performance in secure, highly scalable systems. Most importantly for designers, embedded computing solutions that support both standards have advanced with pre-integrated options, simplifying Proof of Concept (PoC), meeting Agile Acquisition demands, and enabling the next generation of high performance computing.

Figure 2 VXFabric software simplifies and accelerates application development of inter-CPU communication in VPX system architectures. VXFabric also enabled migration to emerging hardware communication solutions in the embedded domain, such as 10G and 40G Ethernet.

COMs in Tight Quarters Literally hundreds of systems may be fitted onto a single aircraft or ground vehicle—creating a significant OEM opportunity even with defense cutbacks. Air Force resources have shifted, for example, focusing procurement on the MQ-9 airframe based on its 600 percent greater payload capability than the MQ-1. When combined with the versatile and powerful Wide Area Airborne Surveillance (WAAS) sensor, the MQ-9 Reaper initially increases the effectiveness of individual Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) by more than 1,200 percent. Future expectations peg this at a 6,000 percent improvement over today’s MQ-1 Predator. Designers must consider initiatives like Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), in light of these performance expectations. Developed to define an open avionics environment for all military airborne platforms, FACE provides a forum to standardize best practices, guidance documents and business models for aircraft system design. To optimize systems, OEMs should follow the use of standard interfaces that not only reduce long-term costs, but also easily enable the reuse of capabilities across various aircraft and applications. Practicality dictates that more equipment cannot simply be added onto an unmanned vehicle, yet demand continues for more sensor capability, or flexibility to change or update sensor arrays based

on specific mission profiles. This elevates the role of proven small form factor COMs platforms, and increases the usefulness of compact and modular open-standard high-performance modules or systems. Low power advancements further improve design options, enabling developers to work with x86 or ARM-based processors (Figure 1). By leveraging a module-based system solution (rather than a too-large traditional backplane solution), systems can achieve a smaller overall footprint suitable for placement in more compact areas of the vehicle. Using smaller and more powerful processor modules, compact systems can integrate both sensor and I/O capabilities. For example, today’s modules provide GbE ports for network connections, USB2.0 and USB3.0 ports, GPIO, serial, display, and more. Tightly coupled systems can be architected by routing PCIe lanes, SATA, and some of the USB lanes and other features to onboard connections on the carrier board. Appropriate processing modules can be selected from a large ecosystem of options, best supporting the requirements for system level processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) of the sensor data collected. Depending on the processor selected, or how it might be coupled with an application specific FPGA, these small but powerful systems can handle real-time analysis send

data immediately back out over the secure defense network.

VPX Capitalizes on PCI 3.0 Simplicity Breakthrough technology is also being seen in VPX systems used for unmanned applications. Developers are stepping into an entirely new and unparalleled class of signal processing applications, based on using PCI 3.0 with microprocessor-based VPX systems. Where an existing distributed application might exchange information on gigabit Ethernet, a process illustrated by most VME or CompactPCI platforms, VPX platforms can now implement TCP/IP protocol over the PCIe 3.0 infrastructure. This method relies on high-speed PCIe 3.0 bandwidth for data transfers, simply selecting a different IP address to connect to other boards; developers can achieve this using VXFabric, Kontron’s open infrastructure which implements efficient interboard communication at hardware speed. Development resources are protected – no software coding changes are required, safeguarding applications from obsolescence while keeping systems free from managing the complex, low-level details of the current generation of PCIe silicon management. With the full data plane bandwidth no longer shared between boards, systems can COTS Journal | January 2015



readily access high speed data processing. Through its connectors and backplanes, the VPX platform can capitalize on multi-gigahertz signals to enable the capability of one or more dedicated 10 Gigabit connections via Ethernet or PCIe. VXFabric software acts as the bridge between this disruptive technology and applications that exchange data via gigabit Ethernet; peer-to-peer transfer is enabled, eliminating the need for a switch to achieve greater than 10GBit speeds (Figure 2).

Pre-Validated Systems Surveillance applications such as fullmotion video require high speed I/O, along with ever-present demands to meet SWaP, performance, communication bandwidth, low power, efficient cooling, standards compliance, rugged operation, interoperability and scalability. Working with the DoD’s Agile Acquisition Process, instituted to keep costs in check, requires developers to provide proof-of-concept (PoC) prototypes in order to compete for contract awards. Both COMs and VPX platforms offer pre-validated platforms as a means of simplifying the PoC process, eliminating design steps and reducing development resources. Kontron’s COBALT (Computer Brick ALTernative) provides an example of a prevalidated COMs-based embedded computer in a small footprint (Figure 3). Weighing in at less than six pounds and an 8.5 (W) x 5.5 (D) x 3.9 (H)-inch form factor, COBALT’s COM processor board forms the heart of the platform; the complete solution includes a rugged carrier board, power module, housing and appropriate I/O connectors in a fully-enclosed, fanless system. COBALT’s advanced features ensure rugged reliability, including shock and vibration profiles that are pre-validated to the diverse range of UAV, tracked vehicle, shipboard and avionics environments. Unique features include a special Rapid Shutdown circuit design on the RXT modules; the system can quickly shutdown and survive a high energy pulse such as a nuclear event or high energy electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Preserving Base-board Designs Designers can further integrate mezzanine options with COMs-based systems such as COBALT, creating new systems without significant modification to the 26

COTS Journal | January 2015

Figure 3 COBALT is a highly scalable embedded computer system, sealed and validated IP67, available with a wide selection of processor, storage, power and interface options. Flexible I/O combinations can be established via the application-specific customization on its carrier board.

original base design. This method capitalizes on COM Express Type 6 pin-outs, which enable future design options by reallocating legacy PCI pins for digital display interfaces and additional PCI Express lanes. Extra PCI Express lanes can be routed to serial-based mezzanine card slots such as mPCIe (mini PCIe) and XMC. Non-standard options are also handled more easily, for example designs can readily incorporate a SATCOM modem when standard XMC or Mini PCIe do not offer sufficient features or performance. This design method creates expansion slots, enabling a performance jump compared to earlier pin-out options, as well as an enhanced fourth generation graphics architecture essential to high definition surveillance and imaging applications. In addition to FACE, the COTS or common operating environment in military aircraft, the Army’s VICTORY (Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability) initiative is another example of the type of military computing environment that would benefit from using a pre-integrated, small form factor system such as COBALT. Implementation of VICTORY allows tactical wheeled vehicles and ground combat systems to recover lost space while reducing weight and saving power; platform systems also share information and provide an integrated picture to the crews operating the machinery. Most importantly, VICTORY is

based on an open architecture that will allow platforms to accept future technologies without the need for significant re-design.

HPEC Performance Using VPX Pre-validated VPX platforms enable designers to tap into their own extensive experience working with all the familiar technology utilized by these systems. Standards-based deployments that are better protected against obsolescence—and by integrating mainstream IT technology such as x86, Linux, TCP/IP and PCIe, costly proprietary designs are eliminated from the competitive landscape. For developers in contract competition, PoC can be completed on mainstream IT servers and the system can deploy without further modification. OEMs have a significant competitive advantage, capitalizing on the platform’s massive I/O bandwidth and available IP sockets for sigh speed signaling applications such as next-generation radar, sensor processing and high definition, full-motion video surveillance. This design approach also reduces the need for OEM technical specialists, by integrating an HPEC system that can deliver the required lightning performance on the backplane in a much smaller footprint. Kontron’s StarVX illustrates the ability to support multiple prototypes or system solutions with a single pre-validated platform. StarVX has been designed to scale to


any size; its modular approach accelerates HPEC designs including a range of prototype profiles, for instance sensor signal and data processing, or high speed recording and 3D reconstruction applications (Figure 4). StarVX can be used to demonstrate application feasibility in a contract process; developers can implement just a portion of the application being evaluated for contract. Initial prototyping investments are cost protected, even while the system offers the option to upgrade to any number of processors based on the final application requirements. Standards-based flexibility adds value; for example StarVX runs Linux, reducing development time, allowing for growth and portability, and reducing early software expenditures.

Building Block Design Strategies The military need for high speed signaling is well-established; using COTS-based platforms for military design is a wellproven and even encouraged design strategy. The next evolution in meeting the need – and competing as an OEM—is delivering performance while minimizing the cost and timeline associated with creating PoC prototypes. Using pre-validated VPX platforms keeps defense OEMs in sync with Agile Acquisition requirements; datacenter-like parallel servers offer extreme I/O and computing power, while designers avoid specialized code or the need to assign resources to FPGA development. A full range of standards-based building block components adds even more flexibility—boards, development systems, rugged enclosures, integration and board support packages and operating system support are essentially manufacturer-supported tools that enable systems to be quickly lab tested and proven prior to application deployment. COMs-based systems, coupling mezzanine modules with carrier boards, also enable military designers to readily use and reuse low power, reliable designs to develop smaller high performance systems. Maximizing flexibility with upgradable processors and perfect fit design by virtue of carrier board and mezzanine card options, developers have a fully tested, cost-effective design path that meets mil/aero requirements and gets to market quickly.

Multi-function I/O and Communications Board

Figure 4 StarVX is a pre-qualified Proof of Concept (PoC) platform for mil/aero system developers. StarVX enables prototyping and demonstrations, but it provides the capability to expand as application requirements and functionality needs evolve.

Demanding Applications Military reliance on data gathering and sharing continues to grow and evolve. High speed signaling provides the foundation for leadership decisions, and comprehensive situational awareness that helps to ensure safety and security of military personnel. Unmanned systems are getting more and more assignments, handling surveillance and reconnaissance in a range of field settings, and increasing the importance of high compute performance for both onboard systems and their related command centers. By leveraging pre-integrated systems as generic building block solutions, military embedded designers increase functionality and performance for the long-term; this optimizes solutions for broad military initiatives such as FACE and VICTORY—highlighting the design imperative of using open architectures that enable long-term reuse of technology. By more easily integrating powerful features into robotic devices, long-range UAVs or small airframes such as Wasp III, RQ-11 Raven, or Scan Eagle, military developers are answering these initiatives, competing effectively and readily bringing high-value, real-time data processing and analysis into the field. Kontron America Poway, CA (858) 677-0877

COSATM Architecture 6 Function Modules Select from 40+ Functions

Configure to Customize The 64G5 is a highly configurable multi-function I/O and communications board that accelerates deployment of SWaP-optimized systems in air, land and sea applications. Choose from more than 40 intelligent I/O, communications, or Ethernet switch functions for the highest packaging density and greatest flexibility of any multi-function I/O board in the industry. Off-the-shelf solution Air-cooled or conduction-cooled I/O & communications libraries included

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DATA SHEET Ethernet Switch Boards

Ethernet Switch Boards Meet HPEC Needs and More

With its unique mix of ubiquity, scalability and performance, Ethernet has captured a secure place as both a networking and an interconnect technology in military embedded systems. Rugged switch board products are keeping pace with more features and options. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


here’s now no doubt that Ethernet is entrenched as a favorite interconnect fabric in compute-intensive applications like sonar, radar or any application that networks sensor arrays together. And now as embedded computing moves into the area of HPEC (High Performance Embedded Computing) it remains a good fit for a variety of applications. The Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capability of Ethernet helps because it facilitates the placement of data at a specific address in a remote device. That mitigates the high overhead of Ethernet so that systems can do transfer rates of 40 Gbits/s without using very much CPU capacity. Thanks to those and other attributes, Ethernet is well suited as an open-standard, high-performance (RDMA enabled) solution is required. Ethernet is also well suited for connecting processing elements inside a subsystem to the wider, secure network. That fits nicely into the DoD’s overall network-centric vision of operations. With all that in mind, Ethernet has emerged as the defacto standard for connecting the IP-based components of autonomous vehicles, robots, and other military and harsh mobile applications. Ethernet switch boards a key building block needed to connect those systems. Using 10 Gbit Ethernet technologies, system developers can 28

COTS Journal | January 2015

Figure 1 Project Missouri used VPX Ethernet Switch technology in a demonstration that successfully implemented and tested two data links between an F-22 (shown) and the F-35 Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (CAT-B). seamlessly scale up with increasing channel count and bandwidth. Ethernet allows simplified acquisition devices to be placed near the antenna that pipes the data to processing platforms in a sheltered location. A 10 Gbit Ethernet system also handles real-time bandwidth in excess of GHz on a continuous and sustained basis. In an example of Ethernet switch technology used in the military, last year Curtiss-Wright announced that its Defense Solutions division’s network switch modules contributed to the recent Project Missouri series of test flights at Nellis AFB, NV.

The demonstration, which was based on the U.S. Air Force’s Open Mission Systems (OMS) standard, successfully implemented and tested two data links between an F-22 and the F-35 Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (CAT-B) (Figure 1). Curtiss-Wright VPX6-684 Gigabit Ethernet Switch/Router modules were used in the Project Missouri demonstration along with the company’s SBCs. The open systems architecture implementation on Project Missouri leveraged UCI-related software and development tools from the Air Force’s Common Mission Control Center effort. In form factors such as VPX and CompactPCI PICMG 2.16, Ethernet switches serve as communications backbones for moving massive amounts of data around tightly coupled processing or I/O data concentrators, typically found in military, aerospace and spacecraft applications. Many operating at full wire speed, these non-blocking switches provide highspeed connectivity and traffic management for streaming video, audio and data. The product roundup on the next couple pages shows a sampling of the Ethernet switch boards available today. Starting this month, the round up is presented in our new “Data Sheet” format. Links to the full data sheets for each product are posted on the online version of this section.

Military DC-DC Power SuPPlieS VITA 62 Compliant High Efficiency Field Proven

 VITA 62 Compliant  High efficiency: 90% at full load  3U: 500W total output power  6U: 1000W and 800W total output power  Active current share through backplane  MIL-STD-461F, MIL-STD-704, and MIL-STD-810G Compliant  Qualified to the most stringent VITA-47 levels Made in the United States of America. 1-978-849-0600


Ethernet Switch Boards

10 Gbit Ethernet XMC Targets Real-Time Needs

Expandable Managed Gigabit Ethernet Switch Rides 6U VPX

3U OpenVPX Rugged Gbit Ethernet Switch Has Full L2 Features

Acromag’s XMC-6260 and XMC-6280 mezzanine modules provide a 10 Gbit Ethernet interface solution for dataintensive, real-time embedded computing systems. Ultra-high performance is achieved using a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) ASIC connected to a PCI Express Gen2 x8 interface.

Aitech’s C670 is a high-performance 6U VPX Gigabit Ethernet Switch for embedded and harsh environment applications. The C670 is based on the Marvell Prestera 98DX4122 Gigabit Ethernet Switch Controller and Marvell’s Routing OS.

The VPX3-652 from Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions is a fully features Layer-2 managed Ethernet switch designed to support advanced network architectures for the defense industry. It provides up to 20 ports of copper Ethernet connectivity.

• Compatible with VITA 65 and VITA 46.20

• 3U VPX form factor, complies with OpenVPX/VITA 65 standards

• Dual XAUI 10GBASE-KX4 ports • Supports conduction-cooling or -40° to 85°C operation. • Four SFP+ ports for fiber or copper cables. • Chelsio T4 processor with four XGMAC (10GbE) interfaces and support for up to 1M connections.

• Layer 2 and Layer 3 Management • 24 GbE Ports and Four 10-GbE Ports • Expandable to 40 total GbE Ports with M620 XMC • Full Wire-speed Non-blocking Forwarding • IP Routing Functionality • Temperature Sensors

• Five gigabits of DDR3 memory enhances the number of virtual connections.

• Conduction and Air-Cooled Versions

• Full offload support for TCP, UDP, iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

• Vibration and Shock Resistant

• All versions are available with lead or lead-free solder starting at $2,750. Acromag Wixom, MI (248) 295-0310

FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2015

• VITA 48 (REDI) Compliant Option Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA (888) 248-3248

• Up to 20 Gigabit Ethernet ports with flexible port configurations to rear VPX backplane: • Non-blocking architecture supports tri-speed operation (10/100/1000Mbps) with auto-negotiation and auto-MDIX on Base-T ports • IPv4/v6 support, VLANs, IGMP multicast, QoS, MSTP/RSTP, link aggregation, port mirroring, and jumbo frames • Fast boot architecture with extensive Built-In Test (BIT) and declassification capability for secure erasure • Extremely low power operation (less than 15W typical) • Air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800


Our new “Data Sheet” style round-up format Links to the full data sheets for each of these products are posted on the online version of this section.

VPX 10GE Switch Offers L2 Switching and L3 Routing Management

Multi-Fabric Switch Enables Complex, Scalable Systems

10/40 Gigabit OpenVPX Ethernet Switch Enhances Data Throughput

Extreme Engineering’s XChange3018 is a 3U, conduction- or air-cooled, VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. It provides four 10 Gbit Ethernet 10GBASE-T or XAUI ports, six backplane 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports, and six backplane network 1000BASE-X Ethernet ports.

The PEX431 Multi-Fabric Switch and XMC Carrier Card from GE Intelligent Platforms allows designers to build complex VPX systems with multiple single board computers and multiple I/O modules. PEX431 supports PCIe switching, GigE switching and the ability to host a XMC mezzanine.

VX3920 from Kontron provides 24 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and comprehensive management features for extremely rugged 3U system designs. It implements Kontron Embedded Network Technology which simplifies IPv4/v6 inter-and intra-platform networking.

• Up to six x4 PCIe Gen 2.0 ports via nonblocking switch

• 3U Open VPX, MOD3-SWH-2F24U module.

• Optional Layer 2 switching and Layer 3 routing management with extensive IEEE protocol and IETF RFC Support. • Optional VICTORY Infrastructure Switch and Router support

• Non-transparent bridging mode for multi-host systems

• Supports the XPedite5205 Cisco IOS Embedded Services Router

• Up to nine ports Gigabit Ethernet Switch, unmanaged (not available with XMC option)

• Ruggedized Enhanced Design Implementation (REDI) per VITA 48

• L2/L3 non blocking 10G switch

• Backplane: 24 10G BaseKR, 1 SGMII. • Front Panel: 2 SFP+, 2 RJ45, 1RJ11 (serial). • Supports: VLAN, Link Aggregation, Spanning Tree.

• Up to 8x 1000BASE-BX with 1x 1000BASE-T or up to 6x 1000BASE-BX with 2x 1000BASE-T

• QoS, Flow Control

• Support for Jumbo Frames up to 13 Kbyte

• Supports XMC Modules (not available with Ethernet switching option)

• Out of Band Management

• Freescale QorIQ P1010 Management Processor

• Mezzanine I/O routed to VPX backplane

• Conduction or air cooling • IPv4 and IPv6 support

• Optional IPMI support Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155

• XMC IO via P16 x24s+x8d+x12d • PMC IO via P14 x64s GE Intelligent Platforms Charlottesville, VA (800) 368-2738

• GRVP, GMRP Function managed, Port Mirroring • 5V only design, 50W (TBC) Kontron America Poway, CA (858) 677-0877

FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | January 2015


DATA SHEET | Ethernet Switch Boards

3U CompactPCI Serial Switch Leverages PoE Technology

3U cPCI, Gbit Ethernet Switch Provides 12 Ports

PC/104 Rugged 5-Port Ethernet Switch Rides PCI/104-Express

MEN Micro’s G304 is a 3U CompactPCI Serial unmanaged Ethernet switch that uses Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) and a direct Ethernet to CPU connection via the P1 connector for reliable communications in several harsh and mobile applications.

The 75D4-H2 from North Atlantic Industries is a Layer 2+ Gigabit Ethernet Switch built upon NAI’s multi-function, 3U cPCI board technology. The 75D4 motherboard contains a high density I/O module slot that supports an H2 switch function.

The LAN25255 from RTD Embedded Technologies is a five-port 10/100/1000 Ethernet switch with a PCI/104-Express stackable bus structure. Four Ethernet ports are available on-board, and one port is available to the host CPU through a x1 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller.

• 12-Port 10/100/1000Base-T, Layer 2, Switch

• Design allows the CPU to use the switch without the need for external cables.

• Broadcom 53312S

• Can also be used as a stand alone 4-port Ethernet switch.

• Unmanaged 4-port rugged Ethernet switch • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ( front) on RJ45 (M12 optional) • Power over Ethernet (PoE+) PSE (all ports) • LEDs for link and activity status • 1 Gigabit Ethernet on rear I/O (optional)

• Rear I/O support • Non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet fully integrated switch fabric with 4Mb packet buffer memory

• EN 50155 class Tx (railways)

• High-performance look-up engine with support for up to 8K unicast MAC address entries

• Direct Ethernet CPU connection over P1

• IPv4 and IPv6 traffic class support

• PICMG CPCI-S.0 CompactPCI Serial

• Up to 12 ports available for external Ethernet communication/connectivity

• -40 to +85°C (screened)

• Pricing for the G304 is $630 MEN Micro Ambler, PA (215) 542-9575

FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2015

• 4 integrated RS232/422/423/485 serial ports North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100

• Available in a stackable, milled aluminum enclosure. • 40 to +85°C standard operating temperature • BroadCom BCM53115 Gigabit Ethernet switch with unmanaged operation • Intel WG82574IT PCI Express Ethernet controller for interface to a host CPU. RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA (814) 234-8087

Reduce Card Count

Multi-function I/O Single Board Computers Rugged Power Supplies Rugged Systems Benchtop & VXI Instruments

Lower Power Requirements


Deploy Faster

Employing a Custom-On-Standard Architecture™ (COSA™), NAI’s 3U and 6U COTS multi-function I/O boards eliminate the need for expensive, specialized board designs by providing a variety of selectable I/O and communications functions on one card. These highly configurable I/O boards deliver off-the-shelf solutions that accelerate deployment of SWaP-optimized systems on air, land and sea applications. More Functionality Mix-and-match from a choice of 40+ intelligent I/O, communications, or Ethernet switch functions. Pre-existing, fully-tested functions can be combined in an unlimited number of ways — quickly and easily. Programmable I/O modules

Remotely access & manage all I/O data

Distributed processing

Continuous Background BIT

Supported platforms: cPCI, VME, OpenVPX Communications interfaces: VME, PCI, Gig-E, PCIe

Made in USA A certified small business

North Atlantic I n d u s t r i e s i i . c om



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Rugged Mini PCI Express Card Does Isolated RS232 Serial Comms ACCES I/O Products announced the release of a new family of PCI Express Mini Cards—the mPCIe-ICM Series. These isolated serial communication cards measure just 30 x 51 mm and feature a selection of 4 or 2 ports of isolated RS232 serial communications. 1.5kV isolation is provided port-to-computer and 500V isolation port-to-port on ALL signals at the I/O connectors. The mPCIe-ICM cards have been designed for use in harsh and rugged environments such as military and defense. The RS232 ports provided by the card are 100 percent compatible with every other industry-standard serial COM device, supporting TX, RX, RTS, and CTS. The card provides ±15kV ESD protection on all signal pins to protect against costly damage to sensitive electronic devices due to electrostatic discharge. In addition, they provide Tru-Iso port-toport and port-to-PC isolation. The serial ports on the device are accessed using a low-profile, latching, 5-pin Hirose connector. Optional breakout cables are available, and bring each port connection to a panel-mountable DB9-M with an industry compatible RS232 pin-out. The mPCIe-ICM cards were designed using type 16C950 UARTS and use 128-byte transmit/receive FIFO buffers to decrease CPU loading and protect against lost data in multitasking systems. Prices range from $139 to $199, depending on model. ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA. (858) 550-9559.

Core i7 Rugged Box Blends Extensive I/O and Large Memory Arrays Aitech Defense Systems offers the extremely rugged and compact A171 computing system that ensures high computing performance under highly adverse conditions. An environmentally-sealed (IP65) aluminum enclosure that withstands exceptional shock and vibration houses the A171’s Intel Core i7 processor board along with a highly integrated power interface board. The two boards are hard-mounted to the interior of the front panel, which enables the front panel’s integrated heat sink. All this with a very modest power consumption of 40 W. Equipped with up to 4 Gbytes of DDR3 SDRAM with ECC at 1,066 MHz as well as 64 Gbytes of SATA Flash (SSD) and dual-redundant 4 Mbytes of BIOS Flash, the new RCP offers extensive volatile and non-volatile memory resources. The A171 also offers an impressive number of I/O options, while weighing less than 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) and measuring only 10 x 7 x 1.7-inches (260 mm x 180 mm x 45.2 mm). I/O includes two ports each of Gbit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and USB 2.0 as well as four UART ports and eight discrete I/O lines, all of which feature on-board filtering. Two optional CANbus controllers are also available. Operating temperature is -40°C to +71°C (-40°F to +160°F). Aitech Defense Systems, Chatsworth, CA. (888) 248-3248.

Rugged Case Meets MIL-STD-810F and IP65 Standards CP Cases has added a new case to its Amazon product line. Called, Move-It, the new dedicated palette-size case includes a four-way forklift feature built-in, allowing for versatile warehouse and logistical handling. This highly individual case has practical applications in all forms of planning operations and for transportation teams across a broad range of industries, both locally and for use in remote operations. The case is rotomolded from high-grade virgin polyethylene for superior strength and impact absorption. The unit is impervious to water, acid, solvent and fuel oil contamination. It is also international military-standard tested and accredited for drop-shock and impact resistance. Move-It is accredited to MIL-STD-810F and rated IP65 and RoHS compliance. It features the standard Amazon stacking pattern and cross stacks with other sizes. CP Cases, Bishopville MD. (410) 352 9450. FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2015


Rugged 8-Port Gbit Ethernet Switch Only 10 Cubic Inches Curtiss-Wright announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced the industry’s smallest and lightest rugged 8-Port Gbit Ethernet switch subsystem, the Parvus DuraNET 20-11. This fully managed Layer 2+ switch defines a new class of ultra-small form factor network components. Weighing less than 0.50 lbs., this cost-effective line-replaceable unit (LRU) requires less than 10 cubic inches of volume and consumes less than 8.0 W of power. The DuraNET 20-11 provides true carrier-grade Ethernet software Level-2+ management features including support for IEEE-1588v2 Precision Timing Protocol (PTP). Able to perform optimally in the harshest conditions, this rugged LRU is designed to comply with MIL-STD-704F, MIL-STD1275D, MIL-STD-461F, and RTCA/DO-160 for civil and military use. The compact subsystem is fully sealed, has no moving parts supports, and supports extended temperature operation (-40 to +85C) and resistance to high shock/vibration, humidity, altitude, and dust/water ingress. MIL circular-type connectors make the DuraNET 20-11 ideal applications where electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is critical for Ethernet, power, console, and zeroize signals. It also features integrated EMI/ power filtering to meet power input voltage, spikes, surges, transients. The DuraNET 20-11’s numerous advanced network switch features include support for IPv4 and IPv6 multicast traffic, Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), port control (speed / mode / statistics, flow control), Quality of Service (QoS) traffic prioritization, Link Aggregation (802.3ad), SNMPv1/v2/v3 management, secure authentication (802.1X, ACLs, Web/CLI), redundancy (RSTP/ MSTP), precision timing (IEEE-1588v2), port monitoring, IGMP Snooping, Built in Test (BIT), and data zeroization. The unit also supports Layer 3 IPv4 / IPv6 unicast static routing for IP routing to attached WAN / radio ports. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.

Voltage Controlled Oscillator Operates from 900 MHz to 940 MHz

PC/104 I/O Carrier Supports FMC I/O Mezzanine Cards

Crystek’s CVCO33CL-0900-0940 VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) operates from 900 MHz to 940 MHz with a control voltage range of 0.2V~2.0V. This VCO features a typical phase noise of -104 dBc/Hz at 10KHz offset and has excellent linearity. Output power is typically + 3dBm. Engineered and manufactured in the USA, the model CVCO33CL-0900-0940 is packaged in the industry-standard 0.3x 0.3-inch SMD package. Input voltage is 3V, with a maximum current consumption of 20 mA. Pulling and Pushing are minimized to 8.0 MHz and 1.0 MHz/V, respectively. Second harmonic suppression is -10 dBc max.

Sundance has announced the availability of the SMT105-FMC, a PC/104 I/O Carrier for the integration of the growing range of VITA57.1 FMC cards. The FPGA on SMT105-FMC can also serve as a data-buffer for data acquisitions solutions, as a frame-buffer for FMC I/O Modules and can be used for preprocessing functions that reduce the amount of data that is moved to the Host Controller for application processing and control. The SMT105-FMC can either be supplied with an integrated FMC I/O Module with all features integrated as a “Turnkey-IO-Board”. The 100+ pricing for SMT105-FMC starts at $1495.

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

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Chesham. UK +44 1494 793167

FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | January 2015



3U OpenVPX SBC Feeds Power Architecture Upgrade Needs Curtiss-Wright has announced that its Defense Solutions division has GE’s Intelligent Platforms has announced the SBC314 rugged 3U OpenVPX SBC. The SBC314 is available with Freescale’s Power Architecture QorIQ AMP (advanced multiprocessing) CPUs. The version featuring the T1042 4-core e5500-based processor is designed for environments requiring minimal power consumption, while the board using the T2081 8-virtual core e6500 processor is designed to deliver maximum performance. The board is designed as a straightforward, cost-effective upgrade/technology insertion opportunity from earlier Power Architecture 3U OpenVPX SBCs from GE for programs requiring either additional processing capability or lower SWaP characteristics. The T1042 processor is designed to function at less than 7.5W, allowing this version of the SBC314 to operate with a typical total board power consumption of less than 20W—half that of a comparable SBC312. Designed specifically for harsh environments, the SBC314 is available in five air- and conduction-cooled ruggedization levels, and also offers VITA 48 formats for 2-level maintenance (2LM) requirements. Fully compatible with OpenVPX (VITA 65), the SBC314 offers multiple connectivity options via its highly configurable PCI Express fabric ports enabling a range of scalable solutions from single host and peripherals to larger multiprocessor systems. In addition the SBC314 supports a diverse I/O set that includes Gigabit Ethernet, COM ports, USB 2.0, SATA and GPIO. Further incremental system resource expansion is provided via an XMC/PMC capable mezzanine site which offers the option of having either XMC I/O or PMC I/O routed to the VPX backplane connectors. GE Intelligent Platforms, Charlottesville, VA. (800) 368-2738.

Xeon-based ATCA Board Boasts PCIe Gen 3 Card Slot The ATC121 features a Xeon E3-1268L V3 processor, quad-core at 2.3 GHz or turbo frequency at 3.3 GHz. The carrier has an x16 PCIe Gen 3 slot to accept any standard PCIe edge-type module. The ATCA board also provides several graphics ports including dual Display Port input and a DVI-D and Display Port outputs. It also has dual RJ-45, USB, and RS-232 ports. Vadatech offers customized versions of the ATC121 for different I/O front panel options. The ATC121 ATCA carrier board offers an optional on-board VT003 shelf manager. The ATC121 also has optional mSATA sockets for up to several Terabytes of storage. Vadatech, Henderson, NV. (702) 896-3337.

14 Slot Box System Expands Compact COTS Packaging Capabilities Single Board Systems has introduced the 14 slot, 19 inch Mild to Wild rack mount SBS architecture for accommodating a wide range of compact COTS applications. The system can be configured to run legacy applications ranging from Intel P4 to the latest dual Intel 10 Core Xeon CPUs on Ivy Bridge architecture. The Mild to Wild system’s backplane board can interface with combinations of older PCI, PCI/PCIe and PCIe across 10 slots. Four 5.25-inch shock-mounted storage slots are available for HDDs, SSDs and DVD drives in fixed mount or on removable carriers. Standard power in the new system is 650W, and other power options are available based on application needs. Single Board Systems, Mahwah, NJ. (201) 891-8918. FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2015

Embedded and IoT Engineering is Hard – Are you Asking the Right Questions?

Building great embedded devices, including for the Internet of Things, is hard. What about security? Will your device meet performance, reliability, and cost requirements? Do you need an operating system, networking, a file system, a UI, or remote management?

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E3800 Atom-based VPX Board Gets Conduction-Cooled Variant

Software Radio FMC Boosts Channel Density and Sample Rates Pentek has introduced a new member of its Flexor line of FMC the Flexor Model 3316 multichannel, high speed data converter FMC. The Model 3316 FMC doubles the existing channel density and boosts sample rates with eight 250 MHz 16-bit A/Ds. The front end accepts eight analog HF or IF inputs on front panel connectors transformer coupled to four Texas Instruments ADS42LB69 dual A/D convertors. The high pin-count FMC connector is ideally matched to the Pentek Model 5973 3U VPX Virtex-7 FPGA carrier for high channel count deployable systems. Pentek also supplies 3316 example code for the Xilinx PCIe FMC 707 Virtex-7 evaluation board as an alternate development scenario. An internal timing bus provides all timing and synchronization required by the A/D converters. An onboard clock generator can receive an external sample clock from the front panel coaxial connector that can be used directly as the sample clock or divided by a built-in clock synthesizer circuit. Alternately, the sample clock can be sourced from an on-board programmable VCXO (VoltageControlled Crystal Oscillator) where the front panel coaxial connector can be used to provide a 10 MHz reference clock to phase-lock the internal oscillator. The Flexor Model 5973 comes preconfigured with a suite of builtin functions for data capture, synchronization, time tagging and formatting, all tailored and optimized for specific FMC modules, including the Flexor Model 3316. These standard Model 5973 functions, plus eight digital down converters (DDCs), enable high performance data capture and transfer modes to provide an ideal turn-key signal interface for radar, communications, or general data acquisition applications, eliminating the integration effort typically left for the user when integrating FMC and carrier. The Flexor Model 3316 FMC is designed for air-cooled, conductioncooled, and rugged operating environments. The Model 3316 price starts at $3,495 when purchased with the Model 5973 FMC carrier. Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2015

Concurrent Technologies is now shipping deployment quantities of the previously announced TR D2x/msd board in rugged conduction cooled variants. This 3U form factor board scores well in SWaP comparisons with previous generation products due to its low power consumption combined with up to four-core processing capability. The rugged conduction cooled variants of the product will operate at temperatures between -40°C to +85°C at the card edge with no degradation in processor or graphics performance and have completed a range of environmental tests defined by VITA 47. Concurrent Technologies offers a number of software packages to enhance the product for critical embedded applications, particularly within the defense and security markets. The standard BIOS can be optionally replaced with a customer configurable FastBoot package to provide a much improved boot time. A comprehensive Built-in Test (BIT) package and board level security package are also optionally available, the latter providing features designed to prevent access to sensitive data. In addition, TR D2x/ msd-RC is the first product from Concurrent Technologies to be available with system management capabilities compatible with the draft VITA 46.11 standard which is intended to provide uniform management functions for VPX based equipment. Concurrent Technologies, Woburn, MA. (781) 933 5900.

Mini-ITX Board Sports 2nd Gen AMD Embedded R-Series Processor WIN Enterprises has announced the MB-83210, a Mini-ITX board supporting 2nd Generation AMD Embedded R-Series processors (previously codenamed “Bald Eagle”). The device is available with either dual- and quad-core processors. The MB-83210 is designed to support a variety of mobile and remote applications such as thin-clients, wireless network devices, digital media appliances, set-top boxes, and more with onboard display capabilities that include 4 x DP ++ display interfaces with 4k resolution. The unit features robust expansion interfaces via PCIe X16 to provide support for its wide range of applications. WIN Enterprise will work with customers to further customize the COTS version of the MB-83210 with standard size OEM orders. WIN Enterprises, North Andover, MA. (978) 688-2000.

Optimizing SWaP is our passion.

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THE SWISS RUGGED COMPUTERS COMPANY HAS A NEW LOOK! We design and manufacture rugged embedded computers engineered to meet the most demanding performance requirements with optimal Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) considerations.



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Mercury Systems, Inc. .........................2..................................

Aries Electronics

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Critical I/O..........................................15...........................

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COTS Product Gallery..........................34.........................................................

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COMING NEXT MONTH Special Feature: Power Convertors and Power Supplies Keep Pace with System Needs

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Tech Recon Signal Chain: Video Capture Payload System Strategies

Tech Focus: CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup

Today the choice of power supplies and power converters can rank as a make or break decision in embedded military computer systems. With more and more computing stuffed into smaller spaces, power has direct implications on the size, cooling and mobility of a system. Articles in this section examine technology trends affecting DC/DC converters, power supply module bricks and slot-card power supplies (VME, cPCI and others).

Throughout 2015 our Tech Recon feature delivers a series of sections that follow a sequential path hitting all the key technologies that are part of a signal chain. The series tracks the various types of processing, storage and display technologies that are critical at each point along the path. Starting in January with Signal Capture, the section hits a different phase along the chain each month. The February Signal Chain section looks at the technology and products that should be part of your video capture payload system strategies.


COTS Journal | January 2015

When the goal is packing in as much compute density into a system as possible, it’s hard to beat a rackmount blade-computer architecture. Naval platforms need such technology to increase their levels of automation aboard ships. A wealth of product and system solutions is available targeting military applications with these requirements. This section explores the background behind this trend, and ways military programs are exploiting these technologies. The CompactPCI embedded form factor has achieved the maturity and broad product range that military system designers so crave. Now well into its second decade of existence, the 3U flavor of cPCI is particularly attractive to space/weight-constrained applications like avionics. The new serial version of cPCI adds new levels of bandwidth. This Tech Focus section updates readers on cPCI trends, and provides a product album of representative 6U and 3U cPCI and cPCI Serial boards.


PRODUCT GALLERY NEW ADLE3800PC - Intel® E3800 Series PCIe/104 SBC • Intel® E3800 Series SoC Processors, DC/Quad • Up to 8 GB DDR3L-1333, 1.35V SoDIMM204 Socket • Type 2 Downward-Stacking PCIe/104 V2.01 with 2x Gen2 PCIe x1 Lanes • 4x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 2x Serial COM • 2x SATA 3 Gb/s, 2x GLAN Ethernet • PCI Express Mini Card 1.2 Socket, Compatible with Mini PCIe or mSATA Modules

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. Phone: (858) 490-0597 Email: Web:

FMC Modules VadaTech offers three types of FMCs — Networking, A/D and D/A converters, and RF modules. • High GSPS A/D & D/A FMCs, various channels and resolution • RF FMCs, wideband transceivers • Networking FMCs, SFP+/QSFP+, dual or quad High performance, wide selection!

VadaTech Phone: (702) 896-3337 Email: Web:

Model 377 Quad 16-bit / 250 MHz Receiver

Model 376 Dual 12-bit / 1.6 GHz Receiver

• XMC, CCXMC, and PCIe form factors

• XMC, CCXMC, and PCIe form factors

• Three Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA options

• Three Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA options

• High-speed QDR II+ SRAM

• High-speed QDR II+ SRAM

• On-board frequency synthesizer

• On-board frequency synthesizer

• External clock, reference, GPIO, and trigger

• External clock, reference, GPIO, and trigger

• PCI Express x8 Gen 2 host bus

• PCI Express x8 Gen 2 host bus

• Reference design with VHDL and C source code

• Reference design with VHDL and C source code

• Starts at $4,990

• Starts at $6,990

Red Rapids, Inc.

Red Rapids, Inc.

Phone: (972) 671-9570 Email: Web:

Phone: (972) 671-9570 Email: Web: FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | January 2015


COTS Journal’s

MARCHING TO THE NUMBERS 2 2 TA K E O F F S $99.7 MILLION Number of takeoffs (and precision landings) the MQ-8C Fire Scout made during land-based testing a Point Mugu, California. That was all in preparation for December 16 when the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman successfully flew the MQ-8C Fire Scout system for the first time off the guided-missile destroyer, USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) off the Virginia coast. This was the first sea-based flight of the MQ-8C and the first time an unmanned helicopter has operated from a destroyer. According to Northrop Grumman these tests are proving the system’s ability to operate off any air-capable ship.


The fraction of the global that will be within MUOS network coverage once the MUOS-3 satellite is goes into orbit this month. The third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy is scheduled to launch Jan. 20 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. MUOS operates like a smart phone network in the sky, vastly improving current secure mobile satellite communications for warfighters on the move. Unlike previous systems, MUOS provides users an on-demand, beyond-line-of-sight capability to transmit and receive high-quality, prioritized voice and mission data, on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

$33.37 Billion The worth of the global military helicopter market will reach by 2023 according to new analysis from Frost & Sullivan. Its study called Global Military Helicopters Market Assessment, finds that the market earned revenues of $25.43 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $33.37 billion in 2023. This despite repeated budget cuts and frozen orders have blurred promises of market recovery in the global military market, especially across Western regions. New platform procurements will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.8 percent globally. 42

COTS Journal | January 2015

The value follow on contract awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems for the procurement and production of Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) Abrams tanks for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This modification is part of an existing contract to upgrade the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s fleet of tanks. The Foreign Military Sales contract was awarded by the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command on behalf of the Royal Saudi Land Forces. This contract extends work started in 2008 to update M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the M1A2S configuration..

781 Flight Hours

The record flight length achieved all totaled by the U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk and other variants of Northrop Grumman’s High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) series in only a single week. The UAS series flew 781 hours from Sept. 10-16. The Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk flew 87 percent of the missions; the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance- Demonstration (BAMS-D) aircraft and NASA’s Global Hawk hurricane research asset flew the rest. HALE’s far-reaching weekly record surpasses the company’s previous weekly flight record of 665 hours set last February.

Module and System-Level Solutions from Intel® and Freescale™ Single Board Computers


4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-based 3U VPX SBC with XMC/PMC


Freescale QorIQ T4240-based 6U VPX SBC with dual XMC/PMC

Secure Ethernet Switches and IP Routers


Secure Gigabit Ethernet router XMC utilizing Cisco™ IOS®


3U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet managed switch and router

High-Performance FPGA and I/O Modules


Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA-based XMC with high-throughput DAC

High-Capacity Power Supplies


3U VPX 300W power supply with EMI filtering for MIL-STD-704 & 1275

Rugged, SWaP-Optimized, COTS-Based Systems


Sub-½ ATR, 6x 3U VPX slot system with removable SSDs


SFF 2x 3U VPX system with removable SSD and integrated power supply


SFF Intel® Core™ i7 or Freescale QorIQ-based system with XMC/PMC

Extreme Engineering Solutions 608.833.1155

Designed, manufactured, and supported in the USA


Use of the military image does not imply or constitute Department of Defense endorsement.




Custom cases created by Pelican-Hardigg Advanced Case Solutions™ (ACS) provide Mission Critical confidence using a four-stage process of analysis, design, testing and manufacturing. From technical prototypes to sensitive military electronics – ACS has the experience and resources to guarantee performance. When failure is not an option, an Authentic ACS solution is the answer.

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COTS Journal  

January 2015

COTS Journal  

January 2015