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January 2016, Volume 18 – Number 1 •

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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 2016 Volume 18 Number 1

FEATURED p.10 Seven Technology Trends Driving Military Design Choices SPECIAL FEATURE Target Report: Top Seven Technology Trends for Defense


10  Seven Technology Trends Driving Military Design Choices

6 Editorial

16 18


The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

Technology Transition Gap

Jeff Child

Immersive Training a Major Theme at I/ITSEC 2015 Michael Blades, Frost & Sullivan

Embedded Network Security Shifts from Software to Hardware Ryan Kenny, Altera, now part of Intel

JEFF’S PICKS Jeff Child’s Top Rackmount Technologies 22  2U Rackmount System Integrates Functionality of Four or More Servers Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT OpenVPX Versus Hybrid Small Form Factor Strategies 26 Hybrid Open Standard Approach Provides Alternative to VPX Mike Southworth, Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions

Coming in February See Page 44 On The Cover: Scheduled to be commissioned this year the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) features planar array radars, a volume search radar operating at S band and a multifunction radar at X band. Shown here the shipyard in 2013 began flooding the dry dock float the first in class aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by John Whalen/Released).

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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Technology Transition Gap


hile the United States has clearly long possessed the world’s most powerful military, it goes without saying for the United States that distinction has never been solely about quantity. Although our spending for defense is multiples above any other nation, our technological superiority has always been the highest of priorities. That’s a perpetual challenge however, because no matter how many billions we spend, electronics and computing technology changes and changes fast. With that in mind, in the “modern” age there’s been every effort made to avoid surprises if possible. Ever since the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into orbit in 1957, the U.S. government has made a commitment to initiate, rather than react to, strategic technological surprises. Fast forward to a present day in April 2015, DoD reported that U.S. technological superiority is again being challenged by potential adversaries. Part of what’s needed to stay ahead of the curve is for technology innovation to transition successfully from the research environment to military end users. But such success isn’t always guaranteed. With all of that in mind, the GAO (Government Accountability Office) released a study last fall looking at where since 2010, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has had success in technology transition. The results of the study seems to resonate with the tenants of the COTS movement of the past couple decades. The GAO’s analysis of 10 selected programs identified the following four factors that contributed to transition success: Military or Commercial Demand for the Planned Technology. The report found that successful transitions were often underpinned by existing military or commercial demand for the technology. DARPA officials said that all of the agency’s programs are linked to military and joint service needs at a high level, but the GAO’s analyses found that this commitment was exemplified when either of these were true: There was an agreement between DARPA and a military service, a DoD research agency or laboratory, or other warfighter representative that a related military capability gap or requirement exists. Or a private company identified a commercial demand for the technology or showed an interest in commercializing it. Linkage to a Research Area Where DARPA Has Sustained Interest. The GAO also found that a program’s linkage to a research area in which DARPA has sustained interest often facilitated successful transition. This interest was demonstrated by evidence that in the years preceding the program’s initiation, at least two related DARPA or other related DoD science and technology programs had been completed. Sustained interest is also exemplified by a program’s reuse of existing research facilities and data from related programs, among other things. Of the report’s 10 case studies, all 5 programs that successfully 6

COTS Journal | January 2016

transitioned were fully linked to sustained research interests, whereas 4 of the 5 non-transitioning programs did not have any such linkage. Active Collaboration with Potential Transition Partners. In all five cases where transition occurred, active collaboration with potential transition partners was fully present. This collaboration generally consisted of early program involvement by stakeholders within the government and commercial sectors, service requirements officials, and military liaison officers, among others. DARPA program managers were responsible for facilitating this early stakeholder involvement, including identifying the potential transition partners needed to assist with their programs. According to DARPA officials, achieving active collaboration with potential transition partners is highly dependent on the nature of the program and background of the program manager, which might be in academia, private industry, or military services. For example, a program manager with a military background might be familiar with DoD’s acquisition process and have connections with service officials who can facilitate transition. On the other hand, a program manager with an academic background might lack DoD service connections. Achievement of Clearly Defined Technical Goals. Finally, the report found that defining and ultimately, achieving clear technical goals helped facilitate technology transition. Of the five programs that successfully transitioned, this factor was fully present in three programs and partially present in the remaining two. Clearly defined technical goals often existed in the form of documented agreements among stakeholders that outlined technical specifications and desired capabilities, funding requirements, development schedule, and organizational responsibilities for technology development. These agreements allowed DARPA to share development, management, and funding responsibilities with its service partners, which facilitated shared understanding of technical goals and mutual commitments to the program’s success and transition. Equally important to this factor though was the degree to which a program achieved its stated technical goals. Most of the programs the GAO reviewed identified clear technical goals, fewer than half actually achieved the technical goals that were originally set. What I found most interesting about this study is that the four factors for success all are in synch with how I see our military embedded computing industry’s evolving relationship with the DoD and the defense primes. Leveraging thriving commercial and consumer technologies are vital to any military program’s success. And close collaboration between technology suppliers, defense prime integrators and government agencies is becoming ever more important.


INSIDE TRACK GD Awarded $92 Million Contract for Abrams Tank Production The U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $92.2 million contract to upgrade M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) v2 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEP Version 3 (v3) configuration. General Dynamics is working closely with the Army to improve the survivability, maintainability, fuel efficiency, power generation and network capability of its fleet of Abrams Main Battle Tanks. The M1A2 SEPv3 production process will begin with a pilot program of six tanks before moving into full-rate production. Work will be performed by existing employees in Anniston, Ala.; Tallahassee, FL.; Lima, OH; and Scranton, PA.

The Abrams is a platform that adapts new technologies while minimizing development time and cost (Figure 1). The Abrams M1A2 Tank is built to confront and destroy enemy forces using unrivaled firepower, maneuverability and shock effect. With its manually loaded, 120mm M256 smooth bore cannon, the M1A2 can fire a variety of different rounds against armored vehicles, personnel and even low-flying aircraft. A heavy exterior armor provides outstanding protection to its crew of four.

U.S. Army taps Cubic to Support “Force 2025 and Beyond” Plan

to current and future development. UQ assists senior Army leaders in making decisions using a variety of realistic mid- to long-range strategic settings to develop or examine a broad set of ideas about future conflict that could impact the Army. Introduced in 2014, the Force 2025 and Beyond is the U.S. Army’s comprehensive strategy to change the Army and deliver landpower capabilities as an instrument of the future Joint Force.

Cubic Global Defense has announced the award of a three-year, $15 million task order to provide the Future Warfare Division (FWD) with Future Study Plan (FSP)/Unified Quest (UQ) events services under the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)’s Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC). Cubic will support ARCIC’s overall efforts for FSP/UQ events including, planning, preparation, execution, assessment and analytical integration. FSP/UQ events are the Army Chief of Staff ’s study plan designed to explore complex strategic and operational challenges, identify issues and explore solutions critical FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2016

General Dynamics Land Systems Sterling Heights, MI (586) 825-4000

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Northrop Grumman Gets Contract for 3rd Phase of Tern UAV Program The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and

Figure 1 Upgrade programs strive improve the survivability, maintainability, fuel efficiency, power generation and network capability of the Army’s fleet of Abrams Main Battle Tanks.

Figure 2 The Tern program seeks to develop an autonomous, unmanned, longrange, global, persistent ISR and strike system intended to deploy and recover from small-deck vessels. the Office of Naval Research have awarded Northrop Grumman the third phase of the Tern unmanned systems program. Phase three plans to include final design, fabrication and a full-scale, at-sea demonstration of the system. Tern seeks to

develop an autonomous, unmanned, long-range, global, persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and strike system intended to safely and dependably deploy and recover from small-deck naval vessels with minimal ship modifica-


INSIDE TRACK Figure 3 Spearfish torpedoes are currently deployed in the UK’s Trafalgar and Vanguard submarines, as well as the Astute Class submarines. tions (Figure 2). Designed to operate in harsh maritime environments, Tern aims to enable greater mission capability and flexibility for surface combat vessels without the need for establishing fixed land bases or requiring scarce aircraft carrier resources. The Northrop Grumman Tern team includes its wholly owned subsidiary Scaled Composites, as well as General Electric (GE) Aviation, AVX Aircraft Company and Moog. Tern integrates mature and advanced technologies, including a distinctive propulsion solution designed to help expand global persistent ISR/ strike capabilities for small-deck naval surface vessels. Northrop Grumman Los Angeles, CA (310) 553-6262

Abaco Systems Wins Order to Support Spearfish Torpedo Upgrade Abaco Systems has announced today that it had secured orders with an initial value of £7.5 million (around $11.5 million) from BAE Systems Maritime Services business in the UK. Abaco’s rugged embedded computing solutions will be used within the ESCU (Electronic System Computer Unit) that will control the Royal Navy’s Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo in deployment, providing advanced

real time signal processing of the Spearfish’s onboard sonar to enable it to reach its intended destination, and networking to allow communication between the torpedo and the host submarine (Figure 3). Featured in the ESCU will be a number of 3U VPX Power Architecture and 4th generation Intel Core i7 technology single board computers. Together they will provide control, tactical and DSP real time processing. An Ethernet switch will be used for communications and networking. Over a five-year period, Abaco Systems has worked with BAE Systems on the feasibility study and subsequently to develop the prototype ESCU, using a 6U VME architecture. For deployment, the prototype was simply and straightforwardly migrated to a 3U VPX platform in order to deliver a more affordable and more compact final solution. Abaco Systems Huntsville, AL (866) 652-2226

PrismTech Announces Acquisition by ADLINK Technology PrismTech has announced it will be acquired by ADLINK Technology. PrismTech’s Vortex intelligent data-connectivity platform provides efficient, secure and interoperable internet scale real-time data-sharing. Vortex is a key enabler for systems that have to reliably and securely deliver high volumes of real-time data with stringent end-to-end qualities-ofservice. The recently announced Vortex 2.0 platform enables Internet-scale seamless and secure data-connectivity across embedded, web, mobile and enterprise systems, and provides best-in-class support for Fog and Cloud computing architectures.

ADLINK enables IoT with innovative embedded computing solutions for edge devices, intelligent gateways and cloud services. ADLINK’s acquisition of PrismTech is expected to allow it to further strengthen its ARIP business, its software and systems capabilities, and its industrial IoT (IIoT) market reach. After the acquisition PrismTech will operate as a semiautonomous business unit. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ADLINK Technology San Jose, CA (408) 360-0200

BAE Systems to Develop EW Suite for Air Force’s C-130J Fleet BAE Systems has been selected by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to develop a new electronic warfare system for the fleet of C-130J aircraft. The contract, worth more than $20 million, is the first phase of a multi-phase program to upgrade aircraft system survivability and

the capability to detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt and defeat threat systems in operational significant environments. The life cycle value of the contract is expected to exceed $400 million. The Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) system offers fully integrated, precision geo-location, and radio frequency countermeasure capabilities. The advanced system will significantly enhance the electronic threat protection capability of the C-130J, increasing the aircraft’s ability to detect and defeat both surface and airborne threats in signal-dense and highly contested environments. Designed to be integrated into both the MC130J Commando II (Figure 4) and the AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft, the RFCM system will support the varied and critical missions of Special Operation Forces. Under the terms of the contract, BAE Systems will provide product development and platform integration work over the next 12 months. BAE Systems McLean, VA. (703) 847-5820

Figure 4 The Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) system will significantly boost the C-130J aircraft’s ability to detect and defeat threats in signal-dense and highly contested environments. FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | January 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE Target Report: Top Seven Technology Trends for Defense


COTS Journal | January 2016


Seven Technology Trends Driving Military Design Choices To keep its technological edge, the defense industry must continue to leverage the best technologies grown from the consumer and commercial computing realms. Seven of these trends will dominate this year. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


oday’s military embedded systems have an endless appetite for greater integration, more autonomous operation, faster connectivity and increased computing muscle. To achieve that system developers are leveraging advances along many technology fronts such as FPGAs, optical interconnects and server-class HPEC architectures. Gone new are the days when “new” technologies like switched fabrics, multi-core processors and boxlevel systems are no longer hampered by a perception as being risky avenues to take. Acceptance for those advanced computing building blocks make them now integral to today’s defense electronics landscape. Leveraged from the vastly larger consumer and commercial markets, there are always new game-changing technology and technology trends ahead for the military industry. Not all of these make life easier. That’s because advances always bring along complexities that require special design considerations. Moreover, when some technologies are adapted for defense use there are unique aspects that affect military systems more acutely. Based on an informal survey COTS Journal conducted with technology suppliers in the military embedded computing industry, the following seven technology trends—in no particular order of priority—are the most important to consider in the year ahead:

COTS Journal | January 2016



Figure 1 The VNX (VITA 74)-based ROCK-3 family of systems features the integration of the Intel Atom E3845 processor series as well as support for Wind River’s safe and secure operating system.

complete processing engine in its own right. And newer FPGA families like Xilinx’s Kintex 7 and Altera’s Arria 10 FPGAs are also showing up on embedded board-level products. Illustrating the kind of scale to which FPGAs are used in the military, a couple years ago Lockheed Martin was awarded a an Air Force contract modification of over $104 million to procure and deliver of over 80,000 Xilinx FPGAs required for building Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. FPGAs are used in several of the F-35 (JSF)’s systems including radar, comms and navigation systems (Figure 2).

3. Optical Interconnects Small Form Factor Systems FPGAs –Reconfigurable Computing Optical Interconnects HPEC Security / Anti-tamper OpenVPX Cloud Computing 1. Small Form Factor Systems Driven by a desire to reduce their costs, many primes are outsourcing more by looking to embedded computing suppliers to meet their system integration needs rather than build electronic subsystems in-house. Serving those needs small form factor rugged box systems have become a staple in today’s military embedded computing market. Over the past couple years there’s been little or no standardization on the format or I/O configurations between vendors these products. Efforts have been made to standardization on the mechanical format or I/O configuration. In recent years three VITA specification efforts have been in the works in the past year or more: VITA 73, VITA 74 and VITA 75. But those efforts have only achieved limited buyin, and particular no few products or progress with the specifications. Among the standards-based box-level systems VITA 74—now dubbed VNX—has 12

COTS Journal | January 2016

seen the most activity over the past 12 months. The VNX specification leverages concepts from the VPX and OpenVPX standards as well as the VITA 57 FMC specification. VNX defines two standard modules (Figure 1). Each are 89 mm by 75 mm, but differ in thickness and the number of pins associated with each module. Meanwhile, non-standard rugged- box level systems is perhaps one of the most active design activities in the embedded computing industry. These solutions are edging out traditional backplane-centric slot card system architectures in many military platforms. This box-level system trend is dominating wherever size, weight and power (SWaP) is a priority concerns—especially in UAVs and military vehicle electronic systems.

2. FPGAs –Reconfigurable Computing There’s no doubt that for military system designs FPGAs are the main engine for digital signal processing. The kind of signal processing functionality on today’s FPGA chips are ideally suited to the kind of system-oriented DSP functions used in defense. And signal processing capabilities of FPGAs continue to climb satisfying those applications for whom an appetite for ever more processing muscle is endless. Today FPGAs have even become complete systems on a chip. The high-end lines of the major FPGA vendors have general-purpose CPU cores on them. And the military is hungry to use FPGAs to fill processing roles. Devices like the Xilinx Virtex-6 and -7 and the Altera Stratix IV and V are examples that have redefined an FPGA as a

Discussed in theory in the embedded industry for decades, optical backplane technologies have been seemingly “waiting in the wings” forever. But demand for highbandwidth interconnects and the likely widespread adoption of optical backplanes in the commercial market, are both factors moving the idea toward reality. Last year products and standards for this technology finally emerged driven by demands for even faster interconnect speeds. Optical links will boost data rates, improve signal integrity and security, and greatly extend distance between system components. In contrast copper cables suffer signal loss—a serious limitation for higher frequency signals and longer cable lengths. Across a span of 100 meters, optical cables can sustain data rates up to 100 times higher than copper cable. The VITA 66 Fiber Optic Interconnect group developed a set of standards that bridge optical connections directly through the VPX backplane connector. The first three are variants for 3U and 6U systems and are based on MT, ARINC 801 Termini, and MiniExpanded Beam optical connector technology, respectively. A recent product example is Pentek’s Model 5973-312 3U VPX FlexorSet board. It incorporates the emerging VITA 66.4 standard for half size MT optical interconnect, providing 12 optical duplex lanes to the backplane.

4. High Performance Embedded Computing While you’ll get no disagreement in the industry about High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) being an important trend, there are widely different views


A34_COTS_2_25x9_875_A34.qxd 12/7/15 2:04 PM


Figure 2 Several critical systems of the F-35 fighter aircraft use FPGA technology including its radar, comms and navigation systems.

on just what defines HPEC. Some says it’s about highly dense arrays of GPGPUs while for other it’s about accomplishing datacenter level of computing with the use of server-class Xeon processors and all their support electronics. Still others insist that an element of computing virtualization is needed. A good broad definition is this: HPEC is leveraging technologies like VPX and rackmounted PCI Express to provide massive processing power for compute-intensive systems. Such systems strive to embed cutting-edge levels of throughput and processing into space-constrained systems handling more than a teraflop of data. Some say there’s an even further stake that software emphasis means to HPEC system development. If the computer architecture of an HPEC matches standard data center servers more exactly, they can take advantage of the same software model used by those servers. In other words, when an embedded system uses all the common components that standard servers use--Intel CPUs, GPUs from NVIDA (or Intel) and all the I/O devices that those server companies support, suddenly you can use the drivers, operating systems, libraries and tools that are available for running on any standard Intel-processor white box server to run your embedded application. Dyna-

tem for example took that philosophy when developing its BoldHPC system. The system can contain one or two ACPU-20 blades of which includes 1 or 2 Intel E5 v2 processors, up to two NVIDIA Kepler processors (or Intel Phi’s) and optional Altera Stratix FPGA Each blade can provide 3.3 Teraflops/s with an energy efficiency greater than 3.15 Gflops per Watt.

5. Security / Anti-tamper A trend that continues to grow in importance is that of embedded security and encryption functionality into systems. It’s a particularly challenging area because the demand for expertise is high while the costs of doing customized designs are a real burden. Problem is that support for anti-tamper capability or Differential Power Analysis (DPA) attack prevention aren’t something that consumer chip makers are motivated to add to processors and memory chips. There have been advances in FPGAs and SoC offerings along these lines however. And embedded board vendors have started to take advantage of those. Microsemi for example offers its SmartFusion2 system-on-chip (SoC) FPGA that’s designed to address fundamental requirements for advanced security, high reliability and low power. SmartFusion2 incorporates

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Differential Power Analysis (DPA) countermeasures that Microsemi has employed through a license from Cryptography Research Inc. (CRI). DPA is a class of attacks discovered by researchers at Cryptography Research. DPA is able to extract secret keys and compromise the security of semiconductors and tamper-resistant devices by analyzing their power consumption. Extreme Engineering recently announced the 3U OpenVPX XPedite7572 with a 5th Gen Intel Core i7 ( formerly Broadwell-H) processor and XPedite7672 with the Intel Xeon D processor (Figure 3). Both small form factor 3U VPX cards incorporate the Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC as its root of trust. As implemented on these SBCs, the power-on control and boot path is entirely controlled and monitored by the SmartFusion2 to provide authentication and detection against many types of attacks.

Figure 3 The XPedite7672 integrates a SmartFusion2 security SoC for hosting custom functions to protect data from being modified or observed.

6. OpenVPX OpenVPX seems to be headed for a busy phase in the upcoming year. Its full potential was probably inhibited in the past couple years because of defense budget cuts and the associated lack of many “new start” military programs. In terms of design wins, there’s been a dip in publically announced VPX contract wins in the past couple years, but vendors say they’re happening. Today OpenVPX has emerged as the natural choice of slot-card open architecture high-bandwidth, data-intensive military applications. Feeding those demands are a constantly growing ecosystem of vendors and product choices feeds this strong position VPX now claims. Over the past year there’s been a lot of standards and interoperability activity around OpenVPX. At the same time, a tidal wave of new generation OpenVPX products, maintaining its place as one of the most active product category in our market in terms of new product releases.

7. Cloud Computing Clearly the “Internet of Things” phenomenon has captured the commercial and consumer sectors by storm particularly in the past 18 months or so. For its part the military has long been interested in perfecting ways to move data captured from a


COTS Journal | January 2016

multitude of sensors and collecting it on a virtualized “cloud” network where it can be used from any remote location. Instead of “IoT’ the military has called that “Net-Centric” operations, but it really overlaps quite directly to what an IoT implementation is. There are number of challenges unique to the defense market when it comes to cloud computing. First, each military force has its own infrastructure, both for connectivity and for the back office systems. Meanwhile the sheer complexity and high cost of defense systems means these systems must remain in service for many years. Those long system lifespans creates operational challenges for enhancing their capability and attaching them to the combat cloud. How would you share data between a stealth UAV and a legacy F-16 aircraft, or between the UAV and ground forces? For its part, Wind River says the solution lies in making use of multi-core silicon and virtualization. By separating legacy and new environments on separate cores and networks to it’s possible to allow diverse systems to connect without slowing one another down. Operating systems that let enable such virtualization to happen seamlessly are a key part of that solution.

A Rich Variety of Innovators The year ahead looks to be an exciting one as military system developers wrestle with these and other leading-edge technology trends. Fortunately, the technology suppliers that comprise our military embedded computing industry continue to develop leadership products that serve in line with all of these trends. And as prime contractors face the twin challenges of shrinking engineering staffs and tight budget constraints, they will need to rely of the expertise and products provide by our industry. With all that in mind, 2016 should shape up to be an interesting year.

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SPECIAL FEATURE Target Report: Top Seven Technology Trends for Defense

Immersive Training a Major Theme at I/ITSEC 2015 Last month at I/ITSEC 2015, the industry’s premiere simulation and training event, technologies like VR goggles, HD projectors and motion-cueing systems all fed into the theme of immersive military training. Michael Blades, Aerospace & Defense Senior Industry Analyst Frost & Sullivan


ne of the central themes of I/ITSEC 2015, the world’s largest modeling, training and simulation conference held last December in Orlando, was immersive training. In line with the theme, there was a wealth of advanced COTS on display this year, designed to give soldiers, sailors and aviators a more realistic virtual training experience. The most prevalent immersive training COTS devices on display were virtual reality (VR) goggles, HD projectors and cost-effective motion devices. Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR goggles were everywhere (Figure 1). Bohemia Interactive used the goggles to demonstrate a virtual trainer that simulated vehicle and helicopter operations while providing a 360-degree view. Only a turn of the head was required. The demonstration devices were not HD, but still provided an eye-opening example of the power behind VR and the potential for its multitude of uses in training and simulation. The Rift will not be available publicly until early 2016, but expect pre-orders beginning January 6th to be impressive. The lower-priced Samsung Gear, powered by Oculus, was also on display. Although the gear was developed specifically for consumer use, it is simple to extrapolate that increased use of VR devices in the commercial world will translate to a wider acceptance and familiarity in the military training world. The transition will mirror the military’s growing use of COTS smart 16

COTS Journal | January 2016

Figure 1 Immersive training devices like virtual reality goggles were very prevalent on display were I/ITSEC 2015 last month, For example Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR goggles were everywhere at the show.

phones and tablets for training. Commercial VR devices stand to revolutionize how soldiers and sailors are trained in the coming years.

Demand for Reliable Projectors For years, military end users have been clamoring for capable and reliable projectors for simulation. Legacy systems have

either provided high quality with unacceptable amounts of maintenance downtime or provided reliability but not at the quality required for adequate immersive training. Several manufacturers at I/ITSEC 2015 have focused on providing photorealistic, widerange-of-view projectors with high mean time between failure (MTBF) rates. Companies such as Barco, Immersive Display Solutions and Sony displayed COTS multi-projector systems providing ultra HD visuals, which were fused by software algorithms to provide large, immersive displays with indistinguishable overlaps. The software and hardware that optically blends or warps images to achieve this higher quality and minimal latency is a growing ancillary market. Overall, the newest generation of projectors is being designed for long life, 24-hour operations with the ability to seamlessly transition to use with night vision goggles (NVGs).

Motion Cueing Innovation Historically, full-motion simulators utilizing six degrees of freedom (DOF) have been used to provide the most realistic aircraft and vehicle training. These simulators are expensive to build, maintain and operate. Lately, there has been an evolution toward using motion seats and platforms that utilize two or three DOF motion cueing to make the simulation feel more immersive at a fraction of the cost of full-motion simulators. Motion cueing is a process where soft-


Figure 2 D-Box’s booth at I/ITSEC 2015 last month displayed the prototype for an Embedded Tactical Team Trainer incorporates Barco’s F22 visual projectors.

ware controls motion seat or platform actuators in such a way that movements and vibrations trick the user’s mind into thinking it is moving farther and faster than the system actually is. One company on the forefront of this technology is D-Box (Figure 2). D-Box has already installed hundreds of COTS motion seats in movie theaters throughout North and South America, providing movie goers with a more interactive theatrical experience. Because D-Box’s technology was developed to be interoperable and use open architecture, its seats and platforms can be easily integrated into existing training systems. In addition, their low cost and small size make them highly deployable, a requirement which has gained traction over the past several years. In summary, leaders representing the military services at I/ITSEC 2015 highlighted the need for immersive, inexpensive training systems that provide repetitive,

high-quality training. The COTS systems described above will provide lower-cost options for ensuring the combat readiness of soldiers, sailors and aviators in a future where budget constraints will continue to produce training trade-offs. Frost & Sullivan San Antonio, TX (210) 348-1000

COTS Journal | January 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE Target Report: Top Seven Technology Trends for Defense

Embedded Network Security Shifts from Software to Hardware The emergence of high density FPGAs with security functionality means that military system developers can now build-in secure hardware-based network security. OpenCL support helps smooth the way. Ryan Kenny, Strategic Marketing Manager, Military and Government Business Unit Altera, now part of Intel


ountless publications and articles let us know every day that security is the latest challenge in the next generation of internet scaling and the information economy. We also are aware of the emerging threats and attacks that simply bypass current security products. But what can we do about it? And more importantly, does it require a significant paradigm shift in how we develop security approaches and solutions? As Albert Einstein famously said ‘The same thinking that produced a problem will not produce a solution.” As part of the announcement of the acquisition of McAfee Corporation in 2010, CEO Paul Otellini famously stated that ‘[we have concluded that] security has become the third pillar of computing’. But more importantly, cyber security becomes part of the business landscape as both a political and financial issue as much as a technical one. The costs of this cyber intrusion industry to business is measured every year by the Ponemon Institute, and is estimated to be about $3.8 Million per network breach, and as much as $450 billion to the global economy. Using network firewalls and testing sandboxes as representative categories of the network security solutions market, the majority of these solutions are software based and utilize virtual machines and environments. This is for agility, portability, and economic reasons. Very little initial capital is typically needed for software-based products. Most importantly, of course, is the abil18

COTS Journal | January 2016

ity to update and patch products as new vulnerabilities and threat vectors are discovered (Figure 1).

Reconfigurable Hardware as Alternative Reconfigurable hardware such as FPGAs can offer significant new advantages to network security appliances (described in next two sections), plus offer all of the updatability and agility advantages of software through FPGA System-on-Chip (SoC) products, new design entry models like OpenCL, and virtualization support in both the ARM A9 and ARM A53 hard processor subsystems. The data bandwidths and speeds of reconfigurable hardware are a key security advantage (Figure 2). Hardware can enable the network to monitor all activity, while processor and software solutions may enable only partial monitoring until the parallelization model becomes too encumbering. When designed correctly, with hardware enforced authentication of FPGA bitfiles, FPGAs cannot be altered without detection. Tampering of hardware circuits and hardware anti-tamper features requires physical access to the hardware. This is enabled through authenticated partial reconfiguration as well as the OpenCL and high

Figure 1 An important part of any security implementation is the ability to update and patch products as new vulnerabilities and threat vectors are discovered.


FPGA Packet Handler Key-Value Extractor



32B OCSM Header Identifier

Packet Reconstruct

Key-Value Response Decoder

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Key-Value Search Key: 96b, Value: 352b


64B OCSM Header Identifier

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level synthesis programming models described hereafter. In addition, a key feature not available for SW security solution is failsafe operation. Correctly implemented, fail-safe design ensures the operating parameters of the security product are within its operational boundaries. If the security product has a logical or physical error ( failure of component, power supply surge, unknown glitches, etc.), the product will fail to a safe state. This ensures the product does not continue operating in a defective state. Also network products based on FPGAs cannot be altered via a network connection ( front door attack). If there is an attempt to alter the design, either anti-tamper mechanisms or fail-safe design will detect and shut down the product.

Hardware Root of Trust FPGAs, and the built-in security features of modern products offer significant advantages in hardware based roots of trust in systems. These include protected key storage, obfuscation, and anti-tamper techniques, as well as anti-counterfeiting and asymmetric encryption functions like the Physically Unclonable Function, and hardened Elliptic Curve Signature accelerators. All of this can be aided by the ARM Trustzone functionality enabled in the ARM A9 and A53 hard processor systems. One area of research in programmable

Off-Chip Memory


On-Chip Memory

32B OCSM Header Identifier

Packet Parser

Shown here is an example using FPGAs for very fast security based pattern matching.

Key: 96b, Value: 96b


Figure 2

Key-Value Search

logic for network security appliances is in customized RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) processors for specific network security functions, implemented on FPGAs. One in particular from Cambridge University is called CHERI (Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions), which demonstrates custom Memory Management Units (MMUs) and memory interfaces to address common and known shortfalls in C-based programming languages. This gives security aware products based on programmable logic to select ‘soft’ processor architectures customized for the threat environment or attack surface of that particular node in the security architecture.

Industry Conclusions Many processor companies including Intel and Freescale have participated in defining the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) as an example of a hardware root of trust to improve OS and application security in computing systems. Intel has further moved to develop their Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) built into their modern CPU architectures. ARM products themselves don’t inherently provide hardware root of trust solutions, although some ARM ecosystem partners provide frameworks that can take advantage of hardware roots of trust. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is one of many groups

looking at standards for moving roots of trust from software into firmware, boot firmware, and hardware for mobile devices and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Their documentation, and most others, all take for granted that software based roots of trust are problematic, firmware is better, but built into processing hardware in secure enclaves is ideal. Programmable logic components provide the opportunity to integrate a variety of hardware root of trust solutions in the form of metal keys and support, fuse keys and support, and authenticated programmable logic (VHDL) hardware roots of trust. This provides the opportunity to implement a hardware root of trust that is both hardened outside the code execution paths, but also programmable and updatable through authenticated update controls.

Pending Shifts in Security The basic overall security stance for an entire industry of security products is ‘reactive’. This is the process of identifying threats, cataloging and communicating those threats, testing updates and patches, and rolling out threat signatures and updates to security appliances. The most prominent shift in security product capabilities and models in current security research is the ability to both anticipate threats, and model the behavior of attackers in order to anticipate new attack vectors. These high performance computing enabled shifts are substantially enhanced with programmable hardware. One technology for applied pattern, image, and speech recognition is the use of ‘cellular’ convolutional neural networks (CNN). Uses of this processing approach has been studied and demonstrated in GPU and FPGA technologies (programmed with OpenCL, and code elements hardened into FPGA accelerator blocks) by numerous academic and industry labs. Further applications of this technology include adaptive threat detection and vulnerability assessment. Implementing the massively parallel COTS Journal | January 2016




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COTS Journal | January 2016


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DDR Memory Controller Rules Table Interface

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The massive increase in programmable logic density made available by Stratix 10 combined with OpenCL compilers from Altera enable new high performance, predictive, and secure computing designs.




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programming model needed to continue Moore’s Law has been approached in three different ways in the last decade: multicore processors and programming models, virtual machine management and parallel threading, and reconfigurable hardware and FPGAs. For the purposes of this paper, we will just address the reconfigurable hardware model. The FPGA hardware model is the only of these three implementations that enables the security advantages regarding published code vulnerabilities and hardware roots of trust. But the massive increase in programmable logic density made available by Stratix 10, as well as tightly coupled Intel processor and FPGA capabilities that will soon be available on the market, will fuel this capability to the advantage of secure system developers.

OpenCL and High Level Synthesis Heterogeneous computing models, such as the Convolutional Neural Networks described above or tightly coupled FPGA and CPU appliances will require heterogeneous programming capabilities to become practical. Altera has invested extensively in the capability to design and program these new high performance, predictive, and secure computing applications using the OpenCL design flow (Figure 3). OpenCL compilers from Altera will parse, synthesize, and compile kernel operators into discrete functions that can run separately on processor (instruction stacks) and in parallel FPGA hardware (accelerators).


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A few well-established companies now provide elements of traditional network and home security, to include anti-virus, firewalls, and IDS/IPS. The established products, support contracts, software code bases, and codified threat modelling represent an asset for IT managers attempting to address enterprise security, but they can also represent an obstacle to innovation towards reconfigurable hardware and massively parallel threat detection and prediction capabilities. This ‘Innovator’s Dilemma’ provides an opportunity for new entrants into the network security market, both large and small, to provide security differentiated products through the use of FPGAs and supporting heterogeneous computing models. Altera (now part of Intel) San Jose, CA (408) 544-7000

COTS Technology with a Custom Twist. Many companies choose to focus on what they offer to the customer by way of solutions and skills. System providers and niche market OEMs often sub-contract their computer hardware design. If your application has unusual requirements, Sundance has the skills and resources to specify, design, manufacture and test a custom solution for you. Our design engineers will help you to develop a specification that meets your requirements, whilst making every effort to ensure that your product conforms to appropriate industry standards. By doing so, your product will be re-useable in future system-building applications. As a result, you will enjoy the benefits of both compatibility and an optimised solution, along with a fast, cost-effective route to market. For more information on any of these products, or assistance please contact us and we will help you the best we can.

Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd. • Photo: U.S. Air Force / Sr. Airman Nathanael Callon

LCR Embedded System’s complete line of integrated rugged industrial and military systems, from off-the-shelf to fully customized, are ideal for all aspects of mission-critical computing. To learn more about what we can do for you and your application, contact us today. Our integrated systems feature VME, VPX, ATCA and CompactPCI architectures For chassis, backplanes and integrated systems, LCR Electronics is now LCR Embedded Systems.

(800) 747-5972 e-mail

COTS Journal | January 2016


Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

JEFF’S PICKS 2U Rackmount System Integrates Functionally of Four or More Servers


or many military applications the priority is to pack as much compute density into a system as possible. To achieve that a popular choice is a rackmount blade-computer architecture. By using the 1U form factor, it’s easier to integrate together systems that include existing off-the-shelf IT-based 1U boards. systems of larger sizes such as 2U, 3U and 4U are also gaining acceptance in military systems where compute density is paramount. Unlike backplane-based architectures like VME or CompactPCI, rackmount systems are bus-less and typically use Ethernet or other cable-based technology to link boards with one another. For this month’s Editor’s Pick section COTS Journal evaluated several rackmount computing solutions based on three aspects: technology leadership, design innovation and market relevance. The winning product is the S2U King Cobra, Rugged 2U Server System from General Micro Systems (Figure 1). Traditionally General Micro Systems (GMS) has been mostly know over the years for its rugged VME, VPX and CompactPCI offers, and in more recent years credit-card sized system boards and small form factor (SFF) boxes. As the company expanded into the rackmount server space, it added its extreme rugged capabilities that distinguish it from a lot of the commodity hardware style rackmount systems in the market. It also 22

COTS Journal | January 2016

pushed the barriers of integration combining the performance and functions that typically require from 4 to 8 2U servers into one 2U system. In fact GMS claims that the S2U is the company’s most technically advanced product ever designed in its 35 plus year history. The S2U “King Cobra” is a 2U rackmount systems designed to replace several 1U/2U servers, switches/routers, RAID controllers, and Auxiliary Power Units (APU) with a single 2U, 17-inch deep rack mountable (or freestanding) enclosure.

100 Percent LRU Swappable All the King Cobra’s subsystems and boards are “LRU swappable” using PCI Express 3.0 interfaces over OpenVPX at every system interface. This means that every subsystem can be customer-replaced (qualified technician)—an imperative for battlefield deployments such as shipboard, wide-body aircraft, or ground vehicles/TAOCs. At PCIe 3.0’s 8 Gbps, signal integrity throughout the system and interfaces—the OpenVPX SBC alone has 80 PCIe 3.0 lanes--is maintained by careful channel optimization, jitter tolerance and retimers. The system’s dual E5 Xeon SBC uses a patent-pending GMS-designed CPU socket to avoid vibration damage on the Intel Xeons. CPUs and other hot components don’t use commercial-style heat sinks; instead, they are cooled by GMS’s low-profile patented Rugged-

Cool technology that allows full CPU speeds over temperature with no clock speed derating. The dual Xeon E5 server system includes a 20-port managed Gigabit Ethernet switch (with 150W PoE and Layer II/III enterprise class features); removable PCIe 3.0 SSD-based 48 TB RAID storage (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, 50); a PCIe 3.0 subsystem for user I/O with 4 standard full-length 16x PCIe plug-in boards (2 dual-height NVIDIA/AMD GPU cards can be added and cooled for high-res, moving map or real-time video displays. In terms of design innovation the S2U’s real triumph is high-density design. In only 2U high, the S2U easily replaces at least 4 other 2U servers if you count processor power, Ethernet ports, I/O adaptation, and power supplies. Moreover, it is fully shock/vibration/ temperature rugged with MIL-SPEC compliance and configuration management. Besides replacing multiple boxes/racks into one, it has more performance and I/O per cubic inch than comparable servers—even in the commercial world. Lastly, the full modularity and PCIe 3.0 speeds found at every module/ sub-assembly in the S2U mean that it can be deployed to the harshest, most remote location/platform, but still be maintained and upgraded in the field by qualified technicians. General Micro Systems Rancho Cucamonga, CA (909) 980-4863

The Winner

TFX Tri-Fold Display from Chassis Plans The TFX Tri-Fold Display from Chassis Plans is a 2U Rugged Rack Mounted TFT LCD Display designed to be mounted in a transit case or 19 inch rack for ground, airborne, vehicle or shipboard applications. It incorporates 3 x 19 inch LCD displays and designed to meet MIL-STD 810G (Figure 2). The TFX System offers temperature operation from -30 to +80 degrees C and is designed using aircraft grade aluminum which brings the total weight to 37 lbs. The system comes with full lock in/out solid bearing slides. The system also offers multiple I/O options to meet various customer configurations including HDMI, DVI-D and aRGV (VGA). The TFX system offers 3 displays with 3 active video overlays and or text overlays to offer a maximum 6 graphics and or text. The resolution for each display is 1280 x 1024 and can accept 1920 x 1200. The TFX offers high definition direct sunlight readable display for operation in extreme temperature and operational environments. According to Chassis Plans, the TFX system is widely used for UAV Ground Control Stations where the need to maximize the amount of visual information and communication is essential. When considering the needs of Persistent Threat Detection, C4ISR and telemetry the system provides the operator the ability to multi-task while displaying key graphics and text in real time to make key decisions. The systems lightweight design and ability to eliminate external power sources allows the user to focus weight on further processing and communications equipment. It eliminates the need for multiple display sources since it allows up to 6 x video or text overlays. This reduces weight, power consumption and cabling and reduces the possible need for multiple operator positions.

Figure 1 Jeff’s Pick this month is the S2U King Cobra, Rugged 2U Server System from General Micro Systems. This dual E5 Xeon-based 2U rackmount system easily replaces at least 4 other 2U servers if you count processor power, Ethernet ports, I/O adaptation, and power supplies.

...and the Runners Up

Chassis Plans, San Diego, CA (858) 571-4330.

IPC4472 from Systel Systel’s IPC4472 is a rugged 4U High Performance Computing compact rackmount system. The system contains a quad socket motherboard with 4 CPUs with 16 cores each (Figure 3). Additionally, IPC4472 contains dual highend NVIDIA GPU cards and a Matrox Vio HD/SD quad channel video capture card. All of this is contained in a 4U rackmount system that is only 22 inches deep. Because the customer required expandability and a very I/O centric system Systel designed the IPC4472 to contain slots for up to 7 add-in PCI-E cards (along with the dual GPU cards) as well as 4 USB, 2 RJ-45 LAN, 1 RJ-45 IMPI dedicated LAN, 1 VGA, 1 PS2 MS & KB, and 3 RS232 ports. According to Systel, the IPC4472 was designed specifically for the US Navy for use in aircraft systems with a firm requirement that the system could not be deeper than 22 inches. As a result there were a number of challenges from a design and cooling perspective. Systel was able to design a 4U rack mount with a depth of only 22 inches, cool the system to run in a 0 to 50 degrees C environment even though it is pulling 1100 Watts. That had to be done with fulfilling the customer’s requirement of having up to 7 additional PCI-E slots (along with the dual GPU cards) while ensuring that the system was MILSTD-810G compliant. Systel, Sugar Land, TX (281) 313-3600.

Figure 2 The TFX Tri-Fold Display is a 2U Rugged Rack Mounted TFT LCD Display designed to be mounted in a transit case or 19 inch rack for ground, airborne, vehicle or shipboard applications. It incorporates 3 x 19 inch LCD displays and designed to meet MIL-STD 810.

Figure 3 The IPC4472 is a rugged 4U High Performance Computing compact rackmount system. The system contains a quad socket motherboard with 4 CPUs with 16 cores each.

COTS Journal | January 2016


Check Out These Rackmount Computing Products Too… Dynatem’s BoldHPC 50-10 is a fanless, 1U high, 19 inch rack mount computer that offers optional configurations including, dual blades, single blade with liquid cooled AC/DC or DC/DC power supplies, single blade with PCIe expansion including versions supporting RAID storage.

Themis Computer’s RES-XR5-1U features up to two E5-2600 V3 Series Intel Xeon processors with up to fourteen cores per socket, 512 Gbytes of DDR4 ECC memory, four SAS/SATA drives, and enhanced reliability. Themis Computer, Fremont, CA (510) 252-0870.

Dynatem, Mission Viejo, CA (800) 543-3830.

The THS5087 HDEC Series 5U rackmount

The XIOS 2U from EDT is a 2U server that provides ten PCIe / PCI-X slots with cooling and power to support an average of 45 Watts per slot. The server has one CPU module, two removable I/O modules, and four removable 2.5 inch disk drives.

a host board based on featuring two, long life, Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors brings. It provides eighty lanes of PCI Express 3.0 and full system power control, among other device I/O and remote system monitoring interfaces.

EDT, Beaverton, OR (800) 435-4320.

computer from Trenton Systems features

Trenton Systems, Gainesville, GA (770) 287-3100.

The GPUltima from One Stop Systems is a single 19 inch rack comprised of 8 OSS High Density Compute Accelerators (HDCA) each with 16 NIVIDA Dual GPUs (128 total), 16 dualsocket servers, an Infiniband Switch and an Ethernet Switch.

The VT950 from Vadatech is a rugged MicroTCA 1U chassis used in Mil/Aero or other applications that need to withstand shock/vibration. The lightweight aluminum construction provides 6 single module mid-size AMC slots. The VT950 has PCIe Gen3 x8 routed to each AMC slot.

One Stop Systems, Escondido, CA (877) 438-2724.

Vadatech, Henderson, NV (702) 896-3337.


COTS Journal | January 2016

WIN Enterprise’s PL-80920 is a 2U platform that utilizes the Intel Microarchitecture Haswell-EP platform featuring the Xeon E5-2600 V3 family and the Intel C612 series chipset (codenamed Wellsburg). This CPU represents a new generation platform with up to 18 processing cores. It supports 45 Mbytes of cache memory. WIN Enterprises, North Andover, MA (978) 688-2000.

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT OpenVPX Versus Hybrid Small Form Factor Strategies

Hybrid Open Standard Approach Provides Alternative to VPX While VPX offers many advantages, military system developers should consider the hybrid form factor approach. Small form factor technologies like COMe Compact, Mini PCIe and PC/104 provide a lot of flexibility especially when combined. Mike Southworth, Product Marketing Manager Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions


here exists a wide spectrum of standards-based small form factor modules available through standards bodies such as VITA, PICMG, the PC/104 Consortium and other embedded standards groups. While these standards govern what a particular processor board or I/O card looks like, there are a variety of factors that make one standard better suited than another for any given application, including differences in mechanical and electrical interfaces. Today, many aerospace and defense COTS vendors put a lot of focus on VITA’s popular 3U VPX form factor. 3U VPX-based systems can support multiple SBC in a single chassis and can support a mix of processor architectures, such as x86, Power, FPGA, GPGPU, and ARM. The 3U VPX architecture also provides a high speed backplane and enables customization through the use of add-on mezzanine modules, like XMC cards, to handle I/O requirements.

Figure 1 Size comparison of COMe Compact form factor CPU module next to Mini-PCIe I/O module and half-size mSATA SSD.

A Variety of SFF Options Less dominant in the military embedded market than 3U VPX, but still boasting a significant presence in Mil COTS system designs are COM-Express, PCIe104, PCIe Mini Card, and SMARC small form factor modules (Figure 1). In a growing trend, system 26

COTS Journal | January 2016

designers, as they define their small form factor solution, are increasingly embracing some combination of these standards based modules. As a result, designers who embrace this trend are turning away from proprietary and single-vendor solutions, instead sourc-

ing from multiple suppliers the various and heterogeneous modules they require for their specific solution. This emerging hybrid open architecture approach enables designers to better leverage a much wider range of open standard solutions that is offered from


Figure 2 The Intel-Core i7 (Haswell)-based Parvus DuraCOR 80-41 mission computer combines multiple small form factor standards in a single system.

a far greater number of industry suppliers. By combining different form factor modules together in a single line replacement unit (LRU) system solution, system designers are able to gain increased flexibility. The hybrid approach lets them choose the

exact right form factor or module needed to achieve the size, power and performance that their application requires at the system level. Helping to drive the hybrid design approach is the fact that many system integrators have started to away from rigidly defining small form factor systems at the board-level architecture level. More frequently, rather than defining a specific type of SBC or I/O module, these embedded COTS system customers are looking at their solution from a functional high level architectural standpoint. The result is that system integrators are approaching new system designs more from a functionality standpoint, in which they specify the processor performance, memory capacity, number of ports and interfaces and environmental characteristics but don’t pre-define the board architecture required to meet these specifications. Increasingly, system integrators are more interested in what the resulting LRU can do rather than what the individual modules are that make that possible.

Flexibility of Hybrid Approach Another significant benefit of the hybrid form factor approach is the resulting increased design flexibility and how that can help reduce the LRU’s overall SWaP envelope. While module form factors continue to get smaller and more highly integrated, tradeoffs must still be made about cooling and cabling. There are two driving forces that influence the minimum possible size of an LRU. One is thermal management, including heat dissipation and how much surface area is needed to cool the amount of Watts generated by the system. Another limiting force for SWaP is the electrical/mechanical interfacing required to connect all of the signals from the LRU’s modules to the outside world. This typically requires cables or rigid flex circuits from the internal modules to be routed to external connectors, which means that space, including bend radiuses, has to be considered to accommodate the required internal wiring. Another constraint on the physical size of an LRU for military applications is the use

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COTS Journal | January 2016



Figure 3 Exploded view of the DuraCOR 80-41 carrier board, showing the various plug-in module sites available.

of standard DTL-38999 circular connectors. The front panel height of the chassis is often dictated by the use of these circular connectors to bring signals to outside world. In recent years, progress has come from the availability of micro-miniature versions of the MIL-DTL-38999 connector. Curtiss-Wright has leveraged these smaller connectors on our latest ultra small form factor Ethernet switches, and we are actively developing new miniature processor systems that also use the same connector technologies.

Connectors Shave System Size Engineers at Curtiss Wright found that use of the new micro-mini connectors can result in a mission computer that is less than 25 percent of the size of a typical SFF 3U VPXbased LRU. By using lower power architectures (such as Intel Atom or ARM processors) which require less surface area to cool, combined with these smaller connectors and the use of PCI Express Mini Cards for I/O expansion, it’s possible to greatly reduce the heat and size of a mission computer. Mini-PCIe I/O modules, for example, are smaller than a business card, but still let designers add in I/O functionality such as a MIL-STD-1553 or 28

COTS Journal | January 2016

ARINC 429 avionics databus. Significantly reducing power consumption and keeping the box small comes at the expense of top-end processor performance and system expansion. When highest CPU performance, removable LRM backplane slots or multiple SBCs are required, the small yet relatively larger 3U VPX architecture boasts a multitude of options for systems architects. When lowest power, smallest size, and modest CPU performance will do the job, smaller form factor modules such as PCIe104, SMARC or COM-Express may come into play. COM-Express modules can particularly provide a wide range of options, as they come in four different sizes, with the smallest module nearly the size of a business card and the next largest module about the size of a PC/104 board (just under 4 inches in length and width), and the other size larger than that. Naturally, the smaller the form factor, the less power consumption from the module, but also lower the performance ceiling supported by the CPU architecture. In fact, the smallest computer-on-modules don’t support mobile laptop class architectures such as the Intel Core i7, rather tab-

let or smart phone-class CPUs. The higher performance processors are reserved for PC/104 or larger size modules, which ultimately will drive the size of the enclosure in which these are integrated.

Example Hybrid Implementation A good example of an LRU that uses a hybrid architecture approach is Curtiss-Wright’s 4th generation Intel Core i7 (Haswell)-based Parvus DuraCOR 80-41 mission computer, which combines multiple small form factor standards in a single system (Figure 2). Combining different form factor standards enabled a 25 percent reduction in SWaP compared to the previous generation Core i7-based mission processor system, which was based on a PCIe104 SBC. Instead, DuraCOR 80-41 uses a COM-Express Compact processor mezzanine hosted on a specialized carrier board. This carrier board features I/O slots that support MiniPCIe modules, as well as an interface to the PCIe104 bus (Figure 3). Add-on cards in the form of PCIe104 or Mini-PCIe I/O modules can be placed on the bottom of this carrier board for application-specific functionality beyond the Intel


and application requirements, it frees the designers of the chassis’ contents to more productively think “outside the box.” Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800

Rugged Solutions for Mission Critical Applications MIL-STD-810G MIL-STD-901D MIL-STD-167 MIL-STD-461 DO-160 IP66

Figure 4 This rendering of the carrier board a from DuraCOR 80-41 system shows COM-Express CPU module on top with two Mini-PCIe modules on bottom.

chipset features. On the top of the carrier, for the COM-Express CPU module itself, there is a standardized mating connector for COM-Express into which the mezzanine CPU plugs (Figure 4). This approach proves ideal for system upgrades since it easily facilitates pin-for-pin replacement to migrated to future COM-Express modules, such as from a 4th gen Core i7 to a 5th gen Core i7 (Broadwell), only requiring minor mechanical changes to the enclosure to optimize the LRU’s thermal management. The hybrid architecture approach, by freeing LRU designers from strict adherence to pre-defined bus and processor types, has great potential to help in the ongoing effort to reduce SWaP for rugged deployed embedded systems. It opens up a greater range of design options while reducing dependence on proprietary and single-vendor technologies. In short, by focusing on functionality

• Military-Grade Custom and COTS Rugged Systems Designed to Excel in the Harshest Environments • 25 Year Track Record of Excellence • SWaP Optimized

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Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Rugged Needs! 1-877-979-7835

COTS Journal | January 2016


DATA SHEET Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards Roundup

Board-Level Ethernet Switches Connect with Military Needs Rugged Ethernet switch boards enable have become entrenched as solutions for both military networking and as an interconnect fabric in compute-intensive applications. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


ong gone now are the days when the U.S. DoD was considering various different networking technologies. Today there’s no question that Ethernet has become the standard for connecting the IP-based components of autonomous vehicles, robots, and other military and harsh mobile applications. Ethernet switch boards are the linchpin needed to connect those systems. The large bandwidth and exceptional scalability of the 10 Gbit Ethernet network enables systems developers to seamlessly scale up with increasing channel count and bandwidth. Aside from using 10 Gbit Ethernet for networking, the military has followed on to embrace it as a high-speed data transfer mechanism for demanding military sensor interfacing and processing. It offers a standards-based server solution that takes advantage of processing power gain and market pressures for driving down processing costs. A 10 Gbit Ethernet network simplifies system architecture and provides easy partitioning of data acquisition and data processing, by separating the sensitive analog mixed signal front end from the digital back end. Even as a fabric choice, Ethernet has taken its place as favorite choice fabric in compute-intensive military applications like sonar, radar or any application that networks sensor arrays together. Ethernet 30

COTS Journal | January 2016

Figure 1 This graphical artist rendering shows the Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) (LCAC-100), the successor to the Navy’s Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle, which is nearing its expected service life. offers nearly limitless synchronized scalability by simply adding fibers for additional 10 Gbit Ethernet links. 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. As the round up on the next four pages show, Ethernet switches in form factors such as VPX and CompactPCI PICMG 2.16 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 high-speed connectivity and traffic management for streaming video, audio and data. Note that this roundup is specifically on board-level Ethernet switch products. There’s a rich set of new products in the boxlevel Ethernet switch category but that falls outside the scope of this roundup. An example of Ethernet being used by the military in embedded systems, is the Navy’s Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) craft. Last year North Atlantic Industries received a contract to provide the Data Acquisition Unit for the Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) (Figure 1). The SSC is the successor to the Navy’s extremely versatile Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle, which is nearing the end of its expected service life. NAI’s Sensor Interface Unit (SIU35) offers modularity and adds distributed interfaces over Ethernet for custom solutions using COTS products. As part of the Data Acquisition Unit (DAU) system, the SIU35 enables population of each board with function-specific modules. As part of NAI’s modular COSA architecture, a selection of up to 15 different functions can be selected from a broad assortment of low-power, highdensity modules.


Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards

Fully Managed 3U VPX Rugged Ethernet Switch is VICTORY Compliant

10 Gbit Ethernet XMC Targets Real-Time Needs

3U VPX Unmanaged GbE Switch Targets Harsh Environment Applications

Abaco Systems ( formerly GE Intelligent Platforms) offers the rugged GBX411 supports 24 Gigabit Ethernet and four 10Gigabit Ethernet ports with multiple configuration options that enable it to adapt to the most demanding customer connectivity requirements for network switching. Built to be Abaco Systems Rugged and qualified to a number of MIL standards, the GBX411 is capable of delivering robust reliability in the most challenging harsh environments.

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 C681 is a high-performance 3U VPX Unmanaged Gbit Ethernet Switch for embedded and harsh environment applications. Gbit Ethernet switching is performed by the Marvell Prestera 98DX106. The switch is unmanaged and does not require any user configuration. The C681 is available in factory configured variants which offer different Ethernet port configuration options.

• 3U VPX form factor. • Fully managed 3U VPX Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch. • Compliant with US Army’s VICTORY integration framework. • 12 or 24 ports with 1000BaseT, Gbit Ethernet; 10GBase-SR/LR/ER, 10GBaseKX4, 10GBaseKX. • Switch management environment provides integrated managed services including configuration, monitoring, switching control, addressing, routing and a wide range of networking protocols. Abaco Systems Huntsville, AL (866) 652-2226

• Dual XAUI 10GBASE-KX4 ports • Supports conduction-cooling or -40° to 85°C operation.

• Rugged 3U VPX Single-Slot Unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switch.

• Four SFP+ ports for fiber or copper cables.

• Multiple standard port configurations include: Up to 10 GbE ports; 1000BaseBX/KX and 1000Base-T Port Option; or Front Panel 1000Base-T Port in AirCooled Version.

• Chelsio T4 processor with four XGMAC (10GbE) interfaces and support for up to 1M connections. • Five gigabits of DDR3 memory enhances the number of virtual connections. • Full offload support for TCP, UDP, iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

• Unmanaged, No User Configuration Required. • Full Wire-Speed Non-Blocking Forwarding. • Conduction and Air-Cooled Versions.

• Single-lane SFP+ interface

• 2LM Option per VITA 48.2.

• LVDS IO signaling between A/D, D/A and FPGA for low latency.

• Vibration and Shock Resistant.

Acromag Wixom, MI. (248) 295-0310

Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA (888) 248-3248 FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | January 2016



Rugged Ethernet Switch Boards

3U VPX Rugged 10/40 Gbit Ethernet Switch Provides 320 Gbps Throughput The VPX3-687 from Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions is a versatile and highperformance Ethernet switch designed to connect the next generation of 3U systems. Offering performance without compromises, the VPX3-687 provides switching throughput of up to 320 Gbps and full line-rate forwarding of up to 32 x 10 GbE or 8 x 40 GbE interfaces. Its non-blocking architecture is suitable for both low-latency control plane and highthroughput data plane applications. • Up to 32 x 10 GbE interfaces in a single VPX 3U slot. • Support for Gigabit, 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps backplane Ethernet standards. • Configurable for multiple OpenVPX switch module profiles, including 2F24U, 8F, 6F6U. • Fully-managed multi-layer switching services including multicast, QoS, and security features. • IEEE 1588 PTP transparent clock for high-precision system-level time synchronization. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800

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COTS Journal | January 2016

26-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch Targets Rugged Networked Applications

6U VPX 10 Gbit Ethernet Switch Supports L2 Switching and L3 Routing Management

The Epsilon-24000 from Diamond Systems is a managed Layer 2+ Ethernet switch module offering up to 24 10/100/1000Mbps copper twisted pair ports and 2 small form factor pluggable (SFP) sockets in the compact PC/104 form factor. Epsilon-24000 is designed for rugged applications including industrial, onvehicle and military.

The XChange3100 from Extreme Engineering Solutions is a conductionor air-cooled, 6U OpenVPX 10 Gbit Ethernet switch module. The board supports various configurations of up to twenty-two 10 Gbit Ethernet ports, twelve 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports, and eighty-eight 1000BASE-X Ethernet ports. The XChange3100 supports jumbo packets up to 12 kB, IPv6, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), and a comprehensive set of IETF RFCs and IEEE protocols.

• 16 or 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports with non-blocking wire-speed performance. • 1 1G SFP socket; 1 2.5G SFP socket. • 8K MAC addresses and 4K VLANs (IEEE 802.1Q), as well as 8K IPv4 and IPv6 multicast group support. • Flexible link aggregation support based on Layer-2 through Layer-4 information (IEEE 802.3ad). • Multicast and broadcast storm control, as well as flooding control. • Multiple protocol support: IEEE 802.1d, IEEE 802.1w, IEEE 802.1s, and IEEE 802.1X. • Extremely rugged -40 to +85 degrees C operating temperature. Diamond Systems Mountain View, CA. (650) 810-2500

• Three non-blocking, full wire-speed, Ethernet switches. • Layer 2 switching and Layer 3 routing management with extensive IEEE protocol and IETF RFC support (optional). • VICTORY Infrastructure Switch and Router support (optional). • Up to two rugged optical 10 Gbit Ethernet front panel ports; Up to twenty-two XAUI 10 Gbit Ethernet ports. • Up to two 10GBASE-T 10 Gbit Ethernet ports; Up to twelve 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet ports; Up to eightyeight 1000BASE-X SerDes Gbit Ethernet ports. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155


RUGGED ETHERNET SWITCH BOARDS ROUNDUP Links to the full data sheets for each of these products are posted on the online version of this section.

6U OpenVPX Card Combines 10/40 Gbit L3+ Ethernet Switch and IP Router

Fully managed Layer 2/3 Ethernet Switching on COM Express Card

3U cPCI Serial Ethernet Switch Leverages Features Fault Tolerance

Interface Concept’s ComEth4510a is a combined Control and Data plane 10/40 Gbit switch compliant with the OpenVPX profile MOD6-SWH-16U16F-12.4.5-4. It is a combined Control and Data Plane switch for demanding 6U OpenVPX Ethernet architectures. The Ethernet packet processor is used for the Control Plane. The Data Plane is implemented thanks to the 2nd-Gen Marvell Prestera CX platform.

Kontron’s ESC1600 / ESC2404 is a 1/10G non-blocking fully managed L2/L3 Ethernet Switching Core Module (ESC) is designed for individual Ethernet switching devices. It is ideally suited for harsh military and avionics applications, where longevity and reliability is needed. Based on the well-established and reliable COM Express compact form factor (95x95mm) Kontron’s switching module is the perfect basis for customized Ethernet switch board & system solutions.

MEN Micro’s G101 is a managed 3U flexible multiport Gigabit Ethernet switch, with a 29 Gbit/s switch matrix, implemented as a CompactPCI Serial board. Specifically designed for rugged mobile communication in harsh environments, the new Ethernet switch conforms to the EN 50155 railway standard. The switch is fault tolerant and restores itself on its own. If a link is temporarily unavailable, frames are sent via backup/ redundant links avoiding any data loss.

• GigE / 10GigE Control Plane: - 16 1000Base-KX (rear). - 4 10/100/1000Base-T ( front). - 4 SFP+ ( front). • 10Gb/40Gb Ethernet Data Plane: - up to 48 10GBase-KR (rear). - 4 10GBase-T ( front). - 4 SFP+ ( front). • Configuration in 40GBase-KR4 or 10GBase-KX4. • Full managed L2; L3 Unicast/Multicast Engine. • Standard, Extended, Rugged and Conduction-Cooled grades. Interface Concept Quimper, France. +33 (0)2 98 57 30 30.

• Based on COM Express compact form factor (95x95mm). • Up to 24x1G ports plus 4x10G ports, command line and web management. • -40 to +85 degrees C surface temperature range, high shock and vibration robustness.

• Managed rugged Ethernet switch. • Up to 25 Gbit Ethernet ports on rear I/O. • Or 3 ports on front and up to 22 ports on rear. • 29 Gbit/s carrier grade switch matrix.

• Single supply voltage 12 VDC.

• Special switch protocols.

• Supports IPv4/IPv6 support including VLANs (802.1Q), Link Aggregation (802.3ad), Spanning Tree (802.1D, 802.1w),QoS(802.1p), Flow Control (802.3x), GVRP, GMRP.

• -40 to +85 degrees C with qualified components.

Kontron America Poway, CA (858) 677-0877

• EN 50155 class TX compliant (railways). • PICMG CPCI-S.0 CompactPCI Serial system slot and peripheral card. MEN Micro Ambler, PA (215) 542-9575 FIND the products featured in this section and more at

COTS Journal | January 2016




3U cPCI, Gbit Ethernet Switch Provides 12 Ports

PCI/e104 Rugged 8-Port Ethernet Switch Boasts Scalable Design

Rugged 1 Gbit/s Deterministic Ethernet 6U VPX Switch Has 16 Ports

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 LAN35H08 from RTD Embedded Technologies provides a host module with eight switched ports and an Ethernet connection through the PCIe/104 bus to an optional host CPU. The switch expands in groups of eight simply by stacking expansion boards on the host.

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

• Stacking expandable 1 Gbps Ethernet switch with 10-pin headers or RJ-45 jacks.

The TTE-Switch A664 6U VPX Rugged from TTTech is a high-performance Deterministic Ethernet switch capable of full-duplex speeds of 10/100/1000 Mbit/s targeted for flight critical applications. The switch is engineered to maintain operation in the harshest environments and weighs less than today's ultra-light laptops. The solution is suitable for efficient SWaP reduction management at the network system level.

• Broadcom 53312S. • Rear I/O support. • Non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet fully integrated switch fabric with 4Mb packet buffer memory. • High-performance look-up engine with support for up to 8K unicast MAC address entries. • IPv4 and IPv6 traffic class support. • Up to 12 ports available for external Ethernet communication/connectivity. • 4 integrated RS232/422/423/485 serial ports. North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100

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COTS Journal | January 2016

• Eight ports per board, and expandable in groups of eight. • Compatible with the Cisco 5915 Embedded Services Router. • 40 to +85 degrees C standard operating temperature.

• 16 x full-duplex Ethernet ports via rear I/O; 6 x 10/100/1000 Mbit/s; 10 x 10/100 Mbit/s. • Parallel support of copper & optical links. • Up to 32 Mbytes of memory (scalable).

• Stack switch connection does not use any of the eight ports.

• 256 Mbit flash memory for storing switch configurations.

• Intel WG82574IT PCI Express Ethernet controller for interface to a host CPU.

• Fully ARINC 664 p7-compliant.

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

• SNMP support, ARINC 615A/TFTP, health monitoring and BITs. • Filtering, policing, traffic prioritization and bandwidth control. TTTech North America (978) 933-7979 Andover, MA


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Small Form Factor System Integrates 1553 and ARINC 429 Cards Acromag has announced the integration and proven interoperability of avionics databus support for AIM-USA’s MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC429 cards into Acromag’s ARCX product platform. These small form factor computers feature a 4th Generation Intel Core CPU and single or double PMC/XMC site. The systems are SWaPoptimized for military/aerospace deployable systems such as: vetronics, C4ISR, payload management, as well as command and control for UAVs and robotics. AIM’s MIL-STD-1553 (shown) and ARINC429 cards were integrated into the conduction cooled rugged system while integrating AIM’s drivers and the board support package with a Linux operating system and developing a Rear Transition Module (RTM) to provide an I/O path to the rugged 38999 circular connectors. All 64 pins of the Pn4 connector on the board were routed to the rugged circular Our designer friendly connector to provide access to all the and flexible technology user I/O signals including discrete I/O, can solve many of your IRIG-B and Triggers in addition to MILapplication problems STD-1553 and ARINC429. Performance and loopback testing were performed to in the design phase. ensure that a fully loaded data bus can be monitored with the system and that transmissions can be supported at full 100 percent line rate on the bus. Since the AIM hardware has real time processors on board any operating system can be supported with this configuration and still allow for reliable deterministic data bus operation, as AIM offers drivers for all commonly used operating systems. The ARCX can be offered as a fully-tested, prepackaged Contact Dawn to ease the designplatform that provides the functionality to-production transition and reduce and I/O required by avionics deployment time to enable high applications with AIM hardware inside. performance, mission critical systems. Acromag We look forward to speaking with Wixom, MI you soon. (248) 295-0310

Rugged, Reliable and Ready

Dawn’s advanced backplane topology customization tools now feature OpenVPX Fabric Mapping Modules. You need it right. You want Dawn.

AIM-USA Trevose, PA (267) 982-2600

(510) 657-4444 COTS Journal | January 2016



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High Density AC/DC Supply Provides 400 W at 92 Percent Efficiency Astrodyne TDI has introduced a high density open frame AC/DC power supply that provides 400 W of regulated DC power in a 3x5inch form factor. The power density of the ASM400 series results in a small footprint. The ASM400 series is certified to IEC60601-1 3rd edition BF isolation as a Class I (grounded) input, with a Class II (non-grounded) input and 2 MOPP option. The unit features a 5V auxiliary and 12V fan output with efficiency up to 92 percent at 230VAC. Custom output voltages are available. Power densities go up to 19W/inch³. Astrodyne Mansfield, MA (508) 964-6300

COM Express Board Provides Dual 10 Gbit Ethernet Ports Kontron has introduced the COMe-bBD6 based on the latest Intel Xeon processor D-1500 with up to eight cores. The COMe-bBD6 is a basic form factor and offers up to 32 Gbytes of DDR4 SODIMM with ECC memory. Software support includes Linux, Windows and VMware with security based on TPM 2.0, AMI UEFI BIOS, and optional Intel vPro technology. The Kontron COMe-bBD6 module meets the needs of the communications and industrial automation markets, specifically with applications such as edge analytics, gateways powerful motion control or headless inspection, and data packet analysis systems. Kontron, Poway, CA. (888) 294-4558.

AC Power Supplies Feature SCPI Compliant Ethernet and USB Interfaces Behlman Electronics has announced a significant upgrade in the interface capabilities of its programmable AC power supplies. As a standard feature, Behlman’s P1352 (shown), P2002, PF1352 Power Supplies and the PAC2000 Controller will now provide SCPI compliant remote control through Ethernet, USB and RS232 interfaces. SCPI, (Standard Commands for Programmable FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2016

Modular Designed Instrumentation Cases Offered in 9U and 12U Sizes Pixus Technologies offers Rittal brand instrument cases in 9U and 12U sizes. These larger sized RiPac enclosures come in 19 inch width format and depths up to 21.25 inches. The RiPac model instrumentation cases feature rounded corners, aesthetic panel and color palettes, and a wide range of accessories. The modular design of the enclosures allow ease of customization for sizes and mounting inside the case. Vented top and bottom covers are optional. Pixus offers customization services including silk-screening, custom cut-outs, specialized doors, and more. Pixus offers other RiPac and Vario model instrumentation cases in 1U to 8U heights. Pixus Technologies; Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (519) 885-5775.

Instruments), provides an easy-to-understand, universal method for controlling and retrieving information from a wide variety of electronic test equipment. Many test systems use SCPI programming to achieve complete control of the product’s performance and characteristics. These features will allow the customer to easily connect, configure, monitor and control AC sources on the test bench or in remote locations, for industrial applications. New computer software has been developed to take advantage of the new capabilities. Using Behlman Remote Interface Software, the user can define lists for trigger events, as well as monitor and set aspects of the power supply. When using the Ethernet interface, a web client is also available that will provide the same functionality as the Remote Interface Software. The power supply software is now also field upgradable, allowing future updates to be completed without factory service being required. Behlman Electronics, Hauppauge, NY (631) 435-0410.


COM Express Family Sports 6th Gen Intel Core and Latest Xeon Processors ADLINK Technology has announced new COM Express computer-onmodules (COMs) based on the 6th gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors and latest Xeon processors. These COM Express offerings include the cExpress-SL and Express-SL (shown) in PICMG COM.0 Type 6 Compact and Basic Size form factors, respectively. Both Basic and Compact size modules are available with 6th generation Intel Core i7, i5 or i3 processors and accompanying Intel QM170 and HM170 Chipset. In addition, the Express-SLE COM Express Basic Size module features the Intel Xeon processor E3-15XX v5 family and Intel CM236 chipset and supports ECC memory. In all models, DDR4 memory is supported up to a total of 32 Gbytes at 1867/2133 MHz, with a lower voltage compared to DDR3 resulting in a reduction in overall power consumption and heat dissipation. These new COMs support three independent UHD/4K displays and hardware codec H.265/HVEC with Intel Gen9 graphics, making them well-suited for image-intensive applications in automation, medical, and infotainment. Models with an extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C are also available for transportation and defense applications. ADLINK’s latest 6th gen Intel Core processer-based COMs also provide flexible system integration with configurable TDP (cTDP), which allows developers the flexibility to adjust TDP and performance based on real-world application requirements. Rich I/O includes up to three DDI channels, one LVDS (or 4 lanes eDP), up to eight high-speed PCIe Gen3, four SATA 6 Gb/s, GbE, four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0. ADLINK Technology, San Jose, CA (408) 360-0200.

Cavity Duplexer is Designed for Band IV Wireless Systems

Mini ITX Board Combines 6th Gen Xeon Processor and Rich I/O

Anatech Electronics has introduced the AD17471842D335 cavity duplexer designed for use in wireless communications systems (Band IV), The duplexer has a receive passband of 1710 to 1785 MHz and transmit passband of 1805 to 1880 MHz, passband return loss greater than 14 dB, and insertion loss of 1.2 dB or less. Ripple is 0.8 dB or less and isolation is at least 50 dB. The AD1747-1842D335 will handle 50 W CW, has an operating temperature of -40 to +70 degrees C, uses female SMA connectors, and measures 97 x 74 x 40 mm. The filter can be customized to meet specific customer requirements, including modifications to many electrical parameters as well as configuration and packaging.

Arbor Solution has introduced the high-performance ITX-i89H0 industrial motherboard. The board includes a large array of next-generation technology, including a 6th Generation Intel Xeon processor and two DDR4 SO-DIMM sockets with ECC supporting 4th Generation DDR SDRAM as well as support for Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF or M.2) expansion cards. The board features a 170 x 170 mm Mini-ITX form factor. I/O includes one GbE PHY with Intel AMT, two DisplayPort, one eDP, one HDMI port, two NGFF connectors for SSD and wireless radio support. Interfaces for USB 3.0/2.0 and LPC connection are provided also.

Anatech Electronics Garfield, NJ (973) 772-4242

Arbor Solution San Jose, CA (408) 452 8900

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COTS Journal | January 2016



PC/104-Plus CAN I/O Module Targets Rugged Networked Applications Diamond Systems has unveiled the Janus-MM-LP family of CANbus 2.0 I/O modules, featuring independent isolation for each port plus data rates up to 1 Mbps. These rugged I/O modules offer 2 or 4 CAN ports and are available in the compact PC/104 and PC/104-Plus form factors. The Janus-MM-LP-XT family of I/O modules offers two or four opto-isolated CAN 2.0B ports plus 16 digital I/O lines. Models are available with both PC/104-Plus (PCI + ISA) and PC/104 (ISA only) bus configurations. The CAN controllers are implemented as FPGA cores and feature standard and extended device identifiers as well as expanded TX and RX message queues for enhanced performance. Each port has its own combination isolator and transceiver chip. The module also offers 16 programmable digital I/O lines organized as two 8-bit ports. The product was designed with harsh applications in mind, including latching connectors to further improve reliability. Extended temperature operation of -40 to +85 degrees C is tested and guaranteed. The modules are compatible with MIL-STD-202G shock and vibration specifications. Single unit pricing starts at $225 for the 2-port PC/104 model including all of the drivers and software. Diamond Systems Mountain View, CA (650) 810-2500

VPX SBCs Serve up Integrated FPGA Solutions and Security Technology Extreme Engineering Solutions has announced a selection of rugged, Intel processor-based VPX SBCs featuring onboard FPGA modules from the Xilinx Kintex UltraScale and Microsemi SmartFusion2 families. The 6U OpenVPX XCalibur4643 (shown) combines a high-end System-on-Chip (SoC) and high-end FPGA integrated on a single, industry-standard card. The Xilinx Kintex UltraScale KU040 FPGA is optimized to support signal processing and RAM-intensive applications at leading performance-per-watt levels. A high-speed x8 PCI Express Gen3-capable interface to the Intel Xeon D SoC provides tight integration between the two. The 3U OpenVPX XPedite7572 with a 5th Gen Intel Core i7 ( formerly Broadwell-H) processor and XPedite7672 with the Intel Xeon D ( formerly Broadwell-DE) processor are low-power, high-performance SBCs that offer a sophisticated set of features for securing a critical application or securing an entire system and the information within it.. Both small form factor 3U VPX cards incorporate the Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC as its root of trust. As implemented on these SBCs, the power-on control and boot path is entirely controlled and monitored by the SmartFusion2 to provide authentication and detection against many types of attacks. The SmartFusion2 provides integrated Physically Unclonable Function (PUF), protection against Differential Power Analysis (DPA) attacks, flash-based FPGA fabric, and advanced cryptographic processing elements. Extreme Engineering Solutions, Middleton, WI (608) 833-1155.

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COTS Journal | January 2016

Miniature Displacement and Position Sensors Meet Space-Confined Needs Hoffmann + Krippner has announced its extremely slim, inductive displacement Inelta IZAL series sensors. Although the 4mm diameter housing of these Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) sensors are barely larger than a matchstick, their interior provides a complete and powerful differential transformer measuring system with a core and coils. The contactless sensors achieve a linearity tolerance of Âą 0.5 percent (optionally 0.25 percent) and are designed for the extremely small measuring ranges of 1, 2.5 and 5 mm. Housing made of chemically nickel-plated steel (protection class IP65) and a temperature range of -25 to +85 degrees C. Hoffmann + Krippner, Alpharetta, GA (770) 487-1950.


Low Noise Amplifiers Support Multiple Global Navigation Schemes

1W Power Amplifier Supports 28 GHz, Point-toPoint and Ka Band Systems

Skyworks has introduced two new global navigation low noise amplifiers. The SKY65605-21 and SKY65611-21 are both designed for BeiDou/GPS/GLONASS/ Galileo receiver applications and are optimized to operate from 1559 to 1606 MHz. Each device integrates all output matching components, thereby requiring only a single external input matching component. Ideal applications include smartphones, personal navigation devices, wearables, machine-to-machine systems, base stations, asset tracking instruments and professional radios. The devices provide high linearity, excellent gain, a high 1 dB input compression point (IP1 dB), and a superior noise figure.

RFMW has announced design and sales support for a Ka-band amplifier with 1W output power. Qorvo’s TGA4544-SM supports 28 GHz, point-to-point radio and Ka-band linear satellite communication systems in the 26 to 31 GHz frequency range. Available in a 5x5mm QFN package, the TGA4544-SM has 23 dB of gain, a P1dB of 31 dBm and Psat of 32dBm. OIP3 is rated at 41 dBm. Qorvo has designed this PA for ease-of-use so no matching components are required. The TGA4544-SM operates from a 6V supply and draws 1100 mA of current.

Skyworks Solutions Woburn, MA (781) 376-3000

RFMW San Jose, CA (408) 414-1450

Intel Braswell-Based Nano-ITX for Robust Systems A new Nano-ITX embedded system board is based on the latest Intel Celeron and Pentium processor N3000 product families (4W~10W), formerly codenamed Braswell. The NANO-6061 from American Portwell is an extremely low-power, highperformance single board computer (SBC) with embedded qualities. It is a computer board, designed in the popular Nano-ITX form factor measuring 120mm x 120mm. It is predestined for 24/7 operation, and supports industrial features as well as a guaranteed long-term availability of at least 7 years. The flat design—measuring 27mm in height with I/O shield— allows space-saving installation in display and panel PCs, making the realization of digital signage and control solutions for industry and business applications a quick and easy task. And the Portwell NANO-6061-based systems are ideal for passively cooled and hermetically sealed systems that can be used in various environments. The powerful integrated graphics eliminates any need to compromise on ease-of-use, something that is particularly important for POS (Point of Sales) and retail applications, such as kiosk systems. Three independent displays, VGA, LVDS, and DisplayPort with high resolutions make it possible to realize sophisticated user interfaces, such as touch solutions. American Portwell Technology Fremont, CA (510) 403-3399

PCIe Board Sports Dual-Core ARM Processor and 100/40/10 GigE A ¾-length PCIe board based on Altera’s Arria 10 FPGAs and SoCs integrates the Arria 10 FPGA and SoC with a wide variety of features. The A10P3S board from Bittware supports a range of applications such as network processing and high performance computing for applications in financial services, data centers, and cyber security/signal intelligence. The board offers flexible memory configurations supporting over 48 Gbytes of memory ( featuring the latest DDR4 and QDR options), sophisticated clocking and timing options, and four front-panel QSFP cages that support 100 Gbps (including 100GigE) optical transceivers. A comprehensive board management controller (BMC) with host software support for advanced system monitoring greatly simplifies platform management. The board also supports Altera’s SDK for OpenCL. Bittware Concord, NH (603) 226-0404

COTS Journal | January 2016



Quarter Brick DC-DC Converter Series Handles Extreme Temperatures TDK has announced an extension to the TDK-Lambda iQG series of DC-DC converters with new 504W models having efficiencies of up to 96.3 percent. Operating from a 48 VDC nominal input, the quarter brick iQG range now includes 12V 42A outputs in addition to 300 W and 400 W rated parts. With exceptionally high true useable power, the series is ideally suited for power-hungry, applications in demanding thermal environments. Using a dual cooling technique, the modules will deliver 38.5A (438 W) in ambient temperatures of 55 degrees C with airflow of 400 LFM. With the addition of a 0.5 inch heat sink, it can deliver 504 W at 70 degrees C with airflow of 400 LFM. The dimensions follow the industry standard five pin quarter brick footprint of 57.9 x 36.8 x 12.9 mm (typical). Accepting an input voltage of 39 V to 75 VDC, these additional iQG models maintain a tight output tolerance of +/-210 mV (+/-1.7 percent) for all input, loading and temperature variations. As an option, droop mode current share can be specified, allowing parallel operation to for additional output current. Input-to-output isolation is 2,250Vdc (basic), and the converters are safety certified to UL/ CSA/EN 60950-1 (2nd edition), carrying the CE mark in accordance with the LV Directive and RoHS Directives. TDK-Lambda Americas San Diego, CA (619) 628 2885

You Know Embedded Computing. We Know Packaging. Partnering with Pixus Technologies for your enclosure, backplane, integrated system, subrack, components, plug-in units, or instrumentation and electronics cases, allows you to focus on your core competencies. With expertise in industry standard form factors including ATCA, CompactPCI, MicroTCA, VME, and VPX, Pixus has the industry experience you need in a packaging partner. To learn how we can help with your next project, contact us today.


Integrated Systems

USA (631) 360-1257


COTS Journal | January 2016

Canada (519) 885-5775







Sunlight Readable 12.1-inch SVGA Displays Offer High Color Fidelity

9-Port Gbit Etherent Switch Provides Four PoE Ports and Easy Set Up

Displays designed for outside commercial use offer attractive features suited to military needs. Tianma NLT USA has introduced a new 12.1-inch diagonal sunlight readable LED-backlit TFT LCD from NLT Technologies. The module combines NLT’s proprietary T-EVT (Transmissive Enhanced View Technology) for superior viewing in outdoor or other high ambient light environments and ColorXcell technology for improved color reproduction with lower power. It features high brightness (900 cd/m2), a high contrast ratio (1000:1), and a long-life LED backlight that provides 70,000 hours of operation. ColorXcell technology enables the reproduction of images that are comparable in color fidelity to the color content of the original video source.

Tenda Technology has announced availability of the TEG1009P. This is the 8+1 port Gbit switch features four flexible PoE ports, one lightning-resistant port, and simple plug-and-play setup. The TEG1009P provides nine 10/100/1000 GE Base-T Ethernet ports at the 802.3az (IEEE) standard. For PoE-enabled ports, it supports four 802.3af (15.4W) or two 802.3at (30W) ports. Dynamic power modulation, low consumption, minimal setup and maintenance, and fanless operation reduce the total cost of ownership of the switch. Ports 1 through 4 on the TEG1009P supply Power over Ethernet (PoE) that can supply power to access points (APs), IP Cameras, VoIP phones or other networked devices installed in hard to reach places. It can supply four ports at 15.4 W for efficient devices or two at 30 W for more power-demanding devices. The TEG1009P automatically detects the usage of PoE powered devices (PDs) to dynamically match the correct power output. This ensures safety for the device and power savings in the long term. To protect against power surges, the ninth port uses a lightning-resistant circuit and 2-level lightning protection (4KV). All nine GE Ethernet ports support layer 2 wire-speed forwarding on each port, and meet the needs of a Gbit WLAN.

Tianma Microelectronics, Chino, CA (909) 590-5833.

Tenda Technology, Diamond Bar, CA (800) 570-5892.

Rugged Servers, Computers and LCD Displays for Military Applications

Integrated Deployable Enterprise Network Solutions • 5-Year Warranty on Servers • Designed and Built in the USA • Complete Revision Control • Designed and Built to Meet MIL-STDs 10123 Carroll Canyon Road - San Diego - CA - 92131 - 858.571.4330

COTS Journal | January 2016



14 nm Pentium and Celeron Processors Integrated on COM Express Mini The new 14 nm Intel Pentium and Celeron processors (codenamed Braswell) have now been integrated on COM Express Mini modules. The new congaMA4 module from Congatec further enhances the computing and graphics performance of their predecessors and offers a new class of performance density. Despite the increase in performance, heat dissipation has been lowered to a scenario design power (SDP) of 4 Watts, enabling very compact, passively cooled system designs. The conga-MA4 COM Express Mini Type 10 modules are equipped with 14 nm Intel Pentium and Celeron processors with a 4 Watt SDP or 6 Watt thermal design power (TDP), as well as up to 8 GB of fast dual channel DDR3L 1600 RAM. The integrated Intel Gen 8 graphics enable applications with high quality visuals at resolutions of up to 4k with the latest 3D features i.e. DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 4.2 on two screens. The new Congatec computer modules support COM Express Type 10 pin-out with 3x PCI Express Gen 2.0 Lanes, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x SATA 3.0, 2x USB 3.0, 8x USB 2.0, 2x UART along with I²C, SPI, LPC and HD Audio. Congatec’s operating system support covers Linux distributions and Microsoft Windows variants - including Microsoft Windows 10. An extensive range of accessories that simplify design-in, such as heatsinks, carrier boards and starter kits as well as SMART battery management modules, round off Congatec’s offering. Congatec San Diego, CA (858) 457-2600

2U Rackmount Appliance Embeds Intel Haswell E3 Processor

XMC Module Family Delivers UserProgrammable FPGAs

WIN Enterprises has announced the PL-80640, a 2U rackmount hardware platform designed for network service applications, such as general Internet and data center support, SPAM and security filtering, file serving and so on. Built with Intel Embedded IA components that are guaranteed for long product life, the device supports Intel 22nm Haswell (codename) core i3/i5/i7/Pentium/Celeron and E3-1200V3 processors. The platform supports four un-buffered and non-ECC or ECC DDR3 1333/1600 MHz DIMM sockets with maximum memory capacity of up to 32 Gbytes. The box has a maximum 24x GbE LAN (4x standard) with optional copper and SFP removable PCIe expansion.

TEWS Technologies has announced two XMC compatible modules providing a user programmable FPGA Xilinx XC6SLX45T-2 or Xilinx XC6SLX100T-2 Spartan6 FPGA. The TXMC633 module versions are available with 64 ESD-protected TTL lines or 32 differential I/O with EIA 422 / EIA 485 compatible, ESD-protected line transceivers or 32 TTL I/O and 16 differential I/O with Multipoint-LVDS Transceiver. The TXMC635 module features 48 TTL I/O, 8 channels single-ended 16 bit analog output with up to ±10.8V output voltage range, and 32 single ended or 16 differential 16 bit analog inputs with full-scale input voltage range of up to ±24.576V.

WIN Enterprises North Andover, MA (978) 688-2000

FIND the products featured in this section and more at


COTS Journal | January 2016

TEWS Technologies Reno, NV (775) 850-5830


R-Series Processors Deliver Superior Graphics, DDR4 Memory Support AMD has announced the new AMD Embedded R-Series SoC processors that establish performance across a targeted range of embedded application market requirements for digital signage, retail signage, medical imaging, electronic gaming, media storage and communications and networking. Designed for demanding embedded needs, the new processors incorporate the newest AMD 64-bit x86 CPU core (“Excavator”), plus third-generation Graphics Core Next GPU architecture, and state-of-the-art power management for reduced energy consumption. The single-chip system-on-chip (SoC) architecture enables simplified, small form factor board and system designs from AMD customers and a number of third party development platform providers, while providing astounding graphics and multimedia performance, including capability for hardwareaccelerated decode of 4K video playback. Features include a robust suite of peripheral support and interface options, high-end AMD Radeon graphics, the industry’s first Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 certification, and support for the latest DDR4 memory. With the latest generation AMD Radeon graphics as well as the latest multimedia technology integrated on-chip, the Embedded R-Series SoC provides enhanced GPU performance and support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) for full 4K decode and DirectX 12. The new AMD Embedded R-Series SoCs offer 22 percent improved GPU performance when compared to the 2nd Generation AMD Embedded R-Series APU and a 58 percent advantage against the Intel Broadwell Core i7 when running graphics-intensive benchmarks.



Flexible DC-DC Power Systems

for Military & High Reliability Applications • 800 Watts Conduction Cooled (No Fans) • 9~45 or 16~80 VDC Input Ranges • MIL-STD-704, 461 & DO-160 Compliant • Measures only 180 x 120 x 60mm


800 Watt Modular DC-DC Power System • Up to 4 Isolated Outputs • Parallel or Serial Connections • -40~+85°C Ambient (-55°C Option), Conduction Cooled Operation • Ultra-Wide input ranges: - 9~45Vdc (transient 60Vdc/100ms) - 16~80Vdc (transient 100Vdc/100ms) • Reverse Polarity Protection • Inrush Current Limiting • Advanced Status & Control - Global Output Enable / Inhibit - Individual Voltage Enable / Inhibit - Synchronization In/Out (560kHZ) - Over Temperature Monitor - Remote Sense (≤10% compensation) - Output Voltage Trimming - Output Current Trimming - Active Current Share (± 5% Accuracy) • Up to 88% efficiency

Advanced Micro Devices Sunnyvale, CA (408) 749-4000

w w w . g a i a - c o n v e r t e r. c o m COTS Journal | January 2016



ADVERTISERS INDEX GET CONNECTED WITH INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS SOURCE AND PURCHASABLE SOLUTIONS NOW Intelligent Systems Source is a new resource that gives you the power to compare, review and even purchase embedded computing products intelligently. To help you research SBCs, SOMs, COMs, Systems, or I/O boards, the Intelligent Systems Source website provides products, articles, and whitepapers from industry leading manufacturers---and it's even connected to the top 5 distributors. Go to Intelligent Systems Source now so you can start to locate, compare, and purchase the correct product for your needs.


Company Page# Website

Company Page# Website


Middle Canyon.....................................25...................


North Atlantic Industries.....................15...................................

Chassis Plans......................................41...................


Dawn VME...........................................35..........................

One Stop Systems, Inc. .................... 17, 47......................

EDT (Engineering Design Team Inc.)

Pico Electronics, Inc............................13.................







LCR Embedded Systems, Inc...............21........

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

Systel Rugged Computers...................29..........................

COTS Journal (ISSN#1526-4653) is published monthly at 905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 150, San Clemente, CA 92673. Periodicals Class postage paid at San Clemente and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to COTS Journal, 905 Calle Amanecer, Ste. 150, San Clemente, CA 92673.

COMING NEXT MONTH Special Feature: Power Supplies and Military Batteries Target System Needs

Today the choice of power supplies, power converters and batteries 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 military batteries, DC/ DC converters, power supply module bricks and slot-card power supplies (VME, cPCI and others).

Tech Recon Jeff’s Picks: Jeff Child’s Top Video Capture System Solutions

In 2016 our Tech Recon feature will directly leverage Jeff’s decades of experience covering the embedded computing and defense market. He will choose the top products in a different category each month and share his insights on why they’re significant in terms of design innovation, market relevance and technology leadership. February’s section looks at the technology and products that comprise leading edge video capture systems for defense.


COTS Journal | January 2016

System Development: Rugged Cloud Computing for the Military

The combination of dense storage systems and high-speed networking has led to easily virtualized data sharing systems. In the commercial world they call this “cloud computing” and the defense world want to leverage everything it can from this powerful emerging trend. Articles in section explore the rugged server systems that provide the kind of cloud computing best suited to military needs.

Data Sheet: CompactPCI and CompactPCI Serial Boards Roundup 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.

When the going gets tough... TQ embedded modules are built for the most demanding tasks and conditions. ■ Low power consumption ■ Access to all CPU pins ■ Rugged Tyco connectors ■ Long-term availability–we’re

there when you need us. ■ Extended temperature -40C to +85C. ■ Full Linux environment ■ Optional conformal coating ■ Compact size ■ Embedded Modules available for: NXP (Freescale) & TI ARM® NXP (Freescale) QorIQ™ Intel® x86

To order a Starter Kit or for more information, call (508) 209-0294, or visit:

COTS Journal’s

MARCHING TO THE NUMBERS O N E M I L L I O N MACH 3.72 Number of operational hours that Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) recently achieved. Boasting a 99-percent operational readiness rate over the past 10 years, HIMARS remains one of the most reliable systems used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. HIMARS is a lightweight mobile launcher that consists of a launcher loader module and fire-control system mounted on a standard five-ton truck chassis. A specialized armored cab provides additional protection to the three Soldiers or Marines who operate the system. HIMARS is also fielded internationally.

150 kWatt

Class of the solid state (electric) laser weapon system that Northrop Grumman will design, produce, integrate, and support shipboard testing for as part of the three-phase Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) contract awarded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). During Phase 1 of the LWSD contract, Northrop Grumman will develop a detailed design for the new system. Phase 2 will include assembly and ground test of the system, while Phase 3 will comprise at-sea testing of the system aboard the Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS). The SDTS is the former USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964 ).

$54.3 Billion Value of contract the U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin to upgrade the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) on the AH-64E Apache helicopter, bringing color to the cockpit for the first time. Under this contract, Lockheed Martin will produce 35 M-DSA kits and spares for the U.S. Army and the Qatar Emiri Air Force. A total of $54.3 million was obligated to Lockheed Martin through the Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) Phase 2 Lot 1 contract award with a total value not to exceed $130.6 million. 46

COTS Journal | January 2016

Speeds the rocket boosters traveled while two proprietary JLAIR long range optical tracking systems owned and operated by FlightLine Films successfully recorded the first time a rocket booster flew to space and returned for a vertical landing back on Earth. Blue Origin launched its New Shepard space vehicle to an altitude of 329,839 feet and FlightLine Films was hired to capture the entire ascent, separation and then landing of both the crew capsule and booster. With one JLAIR being assigned to the booster and the other tracking the crew capsule, flight controllers had eyes on both vehicles at speeds up to Mach 3.72.

5.3 Hours

Longest soaring flight of an autonomous aircraft during testing of cooperative autonomous soaring algorithms used to keep unmanned sailplanes aloft for sustained flight durations. Conducted by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), in collaboration with the Air Vehicle Intelligence and Autonomy (AVIA) Lab at Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the tests demonstrated the concept of shared soaring data between two UAVs in flight. The tests, conducted within restricted airspace at Phillips Army Airfield, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, culminated with two ‘powered’ sailplanes sharing telemetry data and cooperatively and autonomously soaring at altitudes in excess of one kilometer.

Innovative Solutions

RTD’s Embedded COTS Systems and Enclosures

At RTD, we have developed a full suite of compatible boards and systems that serve defense, aerospace, maritime, ground, industrial and research-based applications. We provide high-quality, cutting-edge, concept-to-deployment, rugged, embedded solutions. Whether you need a stack of modules, or a fully enclosed system, RTD has a solution for you. Call us to leverage our innovative product line to design your own embedded system that is reliable, flexible, expandable, and field-serviceable. Let us show you what we do best. Start here:

Learn more about these -40 to +85°C stackable, scalable Gigabit Ethernet Switches at


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COTS Journal  

January 2016

COTS Journal  

January 2016