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June 2016, Volume 18 – Number 6 •

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL

1553 & Ethernet Team to Meet Avionics Needs


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The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL


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.

June 2016 Volume 18 Number 6

FEATURED p.10 Divergent Advantages of 1553 and Etherent form Fruitful Marriage SPECIAL FEATURE Connecting the Dots with 1553, Ethernet and More


10  Divergent Advantages of 1553 and Etherent form Fruitful Marriage

6 Editorial



The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

Internet of Military Things

Jeff Child

Synthetic Instrumentation Aids Tactical Radio Testing – Part II Ian Williams, Michael S. Caulfield, Steve Fairbanks, Astronics Test Systems

JEFF’S PICKS Jeff Child’s Top Power Conversion Solutions 20  Digitally Controlled Power Factor Correction Solution Meets Radar Needs Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Open Standards for Airborne Systems 24 Airborne Platforms Embrace Open Standards Jeff Child

DATA SHEET PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

Coming in July See Page 44

On The Cover: The MIL-STD-1553 data bus has been used in nearly every major military aircraft for decades, including Lockheed’s C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft. Shown here a Lockheed Martin maintenance contractor walks around a modified MC-130J during preflight checks at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.).

28 PC/104 Keeps Space-Constrained Systems on Course Jeff Child


PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

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COTS Journal | June 2016



The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing




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COTS Journal

COTS Journal | June 2016

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Ruggedized Products That You Can Count On. No Matter Where You Are. All of Cemtrol’s products are designed and developed with the intention of delivering high performance, high reliability, low weight, and cost. Thus ensuring that in even the most harsh environments our products will be there to deliver as promised. RADAR DISPLAY CONSOLE* (RDC): The RDC can be used in several areas such as C4I, commercial applications, civil air, maritime traffic control applications, and other field installations. The RDC comes fitted with a high-performance Radar Data Acquisition and processing platform that can capture and process one or two radar videos. Also included are 24” LCD Monitor displays with an optional touch screen and a 10.4” Monitor with a multi-touch screen. MINI-TIGER SYSTEM: The Mini-Tiger System is a ruggedized portable PC. Enclosure design features EMI/RFI shielding that complies with current MIL standards. Most of the components of the Mini-Tiger system are COTS using the latest technology available. The unit comes with built-in AIS and GPS and a 10.4” detachable sunlight readable LCD monitor with integrated multi-touch feature, and custom keypads. For more information on these and other products, please contact us at:

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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Internet of Military Things


or a technology editor like me, the responsibility of being careful with words and their meanings could be considered an occupational hazard. But since I delight in that side of my job I see it as a joy. An interesting part of that is acknowledging when terminologies become so pervasive they rarely need to be used. Such was the case with “electronics”, and then more recently “embedded”—and today even the term “COTS” isn’t necessary since at some level everything in the defense industry uses COTS components or systems. Today, the latest buzzword gaining steam in the technology world is Internet-of-Things (IoT). When I first heard the term a couple years back I was pretty sure the defense industry would shy away from it. Perhaps the “things” part seemed out of place in the defense world. Fast forward to today and the military is very much interested in the technologies and capabilities of IoT. And it some ways it has been way before the term IoT surfaced. In its basic sense an IoT network is a connection of sensors, embedded devices and systems. That’s really the same sort of architecture is essentially what the DoD has been calling “net-centric” operations for more than a decade now. It’s been an ongoing goal of U.S. military operational strategy to grow an interconnected network of sensors, shooters, command, control and intelligence. This network-centric idea includes programs to build joint architectures and roadmaps for integrating joint airborne networking capabilities with the evolving ground, maritime and space networks. That sounds very IoT—substitute “Global Information Grid” for “cloud” and you’re pretty much there. Any discussion of network-centric technology is incomplete without including Cisco Systems. A little history: According to the company, in 1987 it was a Cisco MGS router that became the DoD’s first widely fielded Internet Protocol (IP) component when it was deployed to connect into the newly established Defense Data Network. Since then, the DoD has collaborated closely with Cisco in multiple core network and edge-implantations of the DoD’s networks including what is today called the DoD Information Network (DoDIN). Cisco’s routing, switching, unified communications, and security technologies enabled all the wired and wireless (SATCOM) infrastructures necessary for the DoD’s global coverage. Meanwhile net-centric tactical communications programs have used Cisco technology across all branches of the U.S. Military. Examples along those lines include: the Army’s Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T); the Air Force’s Theater Deployable Communications (TDC); the Navy’s Automated Digital Network System (ADNS);


COTS Journal | June 2016

and the Marine Corps’ Comm On the Move. Airborne platforms using Cisco technologies include the Navy P3 and TRITON Air Force AWACS, JSTARS, VIP Aircraft, C130s, and Global Hawk. In many ways a desire to use gear from the IT and telecom industries has been driven the types of form factor choices made in some military programs. The emergence of 1U rackmount servers on vehicle mounted systems for example happened I believe because system developers needed computing systems to work alongside 1U rackmount routers from Cisco and other comms gear from various vendors. All that’s flipped on its head however because now Cisco’sswitching and routing technologies are being embedded into the box-level products of Cisco’s partners in our embedded computing industry. Vendors including Curtiss Wright, Extreme Engineering, Elma and General Micro Systems offer a variety of board- and box-level system that provide the functionality of a Cisco router either stand-alone or now often integrated with many other mission computing hardware. The need for unwieldy rack-mounted gear becomes unnecessary when more rugged stand-alone box systems can provide the same functionality. To reflect where were are today with IoT, Cisco has been using the term The Internet of Everything (IoE)—the concept being that with each new person, process, piece of data, or thing that comes online, the connection possibilities between all these elements grow exponentially. The Internet of Everything makes all such connections more relevant and valuable. The focus is not on the number of connections creating the value but rather the value of the outcomes these connections make possible. This concept has direct applicability to the Department of Defense, according to Cisco. Securely extending the network to the edge and provides unprecedented access, agility, and capability for the DoD. Whether it’s IoT or IoE, one potential sticking point to the casual observer is the word “Internet” itself. It conveys usually incorrectly that it’s about using the public cloud, the Word Wide Web (how’s that for an outdated term?). Here again is a case where maybe only the non-engineer, non-technical people get mixed up. While it’s true that commercial and consumer IoT implementations will often—but not always—rely on the public Internet, it’s important to think of IoT as more about using Internet Protocol (IP) networking technologies. Not matter what words are used, net-centric systems are a powerful asset to our military, and it’s great to know our embedded computing industry along with Cisco are providing the technologies that make it all happen.


INSIDE TRACK Curtiss-Wright Tapped for M60 and Challenger 1 Electro-Mechanical Drive Upgrades Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions announced that its Drive Technology business unit has teamed with Raytheon Company to provide its cost-effective upgrade solution for modernizing the turret drive and stabilization system on M60 and Challenger 1 main battle tanks (MBT) (Figure 1). Curtiss-Wright’s Electric Gun Turret Drive Upgrade Kit replaces older, less accurate hydraulic and hybrid-based turret stabilization systems on the M60 and Challenger 1 with a state-of-the art full electro-mechanical drive. Curtiss-Wright has delivered the Electric Gun Turret Drive Upgrade Kit to Raytheon Company, and supported its integration into both the M60 and Challenger 1, resulting

in successful live fire testing of the upgraded tanks. This cost-effective approach for modernizing turret drive systems delivers significantly improved reliability, acceleration, and audio noise reduction by replacing old hydraulic lines with modern digitally-controlled and state-of-the-art electric actuators. The Electric Turret Drive Upgrade Kit can significantly improve tank crew survivability by eliminating flammable hydraulic fluids in the turret and can help to extend the operating life of thousands of tanks that are currently in use around the world. CurtissWright will also supply the Fire Control computer from its Santa Clarita, Calif. business unit.

US Navy Selects UEI’s I/O Controller for LCAC Upgrade.

processor, running VxWorks with fully redundant Ethernet connectivity to the boat’s host computer, the UEI system replaces the previous controller, and provides a much smaller, easier to maintain and more reliable solution. The DNR-MIL is a new deployment

United Electronic Industries (UEI) has announced that the US Navy has selected the company’s DNR-MIL series I/O control chassis in conjunction with its VxWorks BSP as the new Command, Control, Computers, Communication and Navigation (C4N) SBC4 Control, Alarm and Monitoring System (CAMS) for the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) fleet (Figure 2). UEI’s DNR-MIL chassis was selected as it was flexible enough to meet all the system’s myriad requirements, rugged enough to be deployed on the boat and at the same provided a fully COTS solution. UEI’s 10-year availability guarantee was also a primary consideration as the solution must be maintainable for many years. Based on a robust PowerPC 8

COTS Journal | June 2016

Figure 1 The Electric Turret Drive Upgrade Kit eliminates flammable hydraulic fluids in the turret and can help to extend the operating life of thousands of M60 tanks. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.

of UEI’s popular RACKtangle architecture. Though the original RACKtangle are quite rugged the DNR-MIL series takes ruggedness to the extreme. United Electronic Industries Walpole, MA (508) 921-4600

IEE Wins Contract for Northrop Grumman’s JCREW I1B1 Program

Figure 2 The DNR-MIL is based on a PowerPC processor running VxWorks with fully redundant Ethernet connectivity to the LCAC boat’s host computer.

IEE was awarded a contract for a 3.5-inch hand-held CDU used in the Northrop Grumman Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (JCREW) Increment 1 Block 1 (I1B1). IEE’s CDU will be used in the low-rate initial production of this jammer system. Developed for U.S. Naval

Sea Systems Command, (NAVSEA), JCREW I1B1 systems are softwareprogrammable jammers that provide protection from devicetriggered improvised explosive devices (IEDs). IEE is known for their array of hand-held control display units (HH CDU’s) designed to control military equipment ranging from radios to air-defense systems to IED jammers. Northrop Grumman selected a 3.5-inch microprocessorbased CDU with a dual backlit QVGA color LCD display for sunlight readability and NVIS, along with a sealed 9-key keypad. The IEE 3.5-Inch Hand Held Graphic Control Display Unit features TFT color transflective LCD technology and a contrast ratio of 20:1 typical (reflective mode), 150:1 typical (transmissive mode). It uses NVG NVIS for its backlight technology and has an operating temperature of -20 to 70 degrees C with heater.


INSIDE TRACK MILITARY MARKET WATCH Global AEHF Satellite Market to Grow 6 Percent by 2020

Figure 4 Advanced EHF is a series of communications satellite systems operated by the US Air Force Space Command.

Figure 3 The MS-177 is an advanced sensor that is a key component that supports GAASI’s effort to equip Avenger with a long-range imaging capability.

IEE Van Nuys, CA (818) 787-0311

Predator C Avenger Flight Demoes MS-177 LongRange Sensor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced the successful flight tests of a Predator C Avenger, equipped with a MS-177 Electrooptical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor manufactured by UTC Aerospace Systems (Figure 3). MS-177, an advanced sensor in UTC’s SYERS family of sensors, is a key component that supports GA-ASI’s effort to equip Avenger with a long-range imaging capability. MS-177 is more technically advanced than the SYERS 2 flying on U-2 aircraft and also is significantly more affordable to manufacture. The sensor is a 7-band multi-spectral system that can be upgraded to a 10-band system to enhance target detection for maritime applications. During government-funded testing, Avenger demonstrated its

ability to collect high-resolution imagery of land-based and littoral objects with the MS-177 sensor at altitudes above 37,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL). A total of seven test flights occurred between January and February 2016 at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif. GA-ASI plans to begin flight testing of an Improved Avenger in October 2016. With an increased wingspan of 76 feet, Improved Avenger will extend the aircraft’s already impressive endurance from 15 hours to 20 hours, thus increasing the utility of MS-177 over a longer period of time. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Poway, CA (858) 312-2810

According to market research from Technavio, the advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) systems market will to grow at a CAGR of more than 6 percent by 2020. Advanced EHF is a series of communications satellite systems operated by the US Air Force Space Command (Figure 4). They are used to relay secure communications for the US Armed Forces, the British Army, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Royal Netherlands Forces. AEHF systems provide vastly improved global, survivable, jam-proof, protected communications for strategic and tactical users on ground, sea, and air platforms. With the growing applications of these systems in intelligence gathering, navigation, and military communications, the market is expected to witness tremendous growth in the coming years. The market is witnessing the adoption of inflatable SATCOM antennas which are designed for ground military use in remote areas and harsh weather conditions. These are deployed in such locations where the movement and installation of standard rigid satellite antennas are tough. These antennas are low weight and portable and have the transmission power advantages of a large antenna. The SAT1741-S is a dual band AEHF transportable antenna satellite system with Ku- and Q-band operation, which supports the AEHF satellite and takes less than 30 minutes for the setup. During 2015, the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) segment dominated the AEHF systems market and accounted for around 36% of the overall market share. The ISR activities play a crucial role in planning and supporting the AEHF systems that govern the military operations. This market research report presents a detailed segmentation of the global AEHF systems market by type (ISR, navigation, and SATCOM) and by key regions (Canada, Netherlands, the UK, and the US). The market research analysis also outlines the key shares of the leading vendors including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Thales. Technavio Toronto, Ontario Canada (647) 859 4285

COTS Journal | June 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE Connecting the Dots with 1553, Ethernet and More


COTS Journal | June 2016


Divergent Advantages of 1553 and Etherent form Fruitful Marriage Bus interfaces such as 1553 continue to live on as preferred technologies for avionics. Highly integrated products are providing bridging to link legacy I/O to modern computing interconnects like Ethernet and USB. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


he expression “if it works don’t fix it” seems to apply the MIL-STD-1553 bus interface more than any other technology used in the defense and avionics. With over three decades of use flight and mission-critical systems aboard military aircraft, the 1553 is entrenched on both older planes and new aircraft like the F-35. By modern standards, the bandwidth of 1553 makes it seem an ancient relic. But for what it needs to it’s just enough for the command and control functionality to fly an aircraft. In many ways 1553 fits nicely into the kinds of requirements of today’s budget constrained environment. According to Greg Tiedemann, Product Line Director at Data Device Corp., there’s both technical and business reasons why 1553 continues to thrive. On the technical side it’s considered good enough. It’s also extremely well proven with probably millions of flight hours on 1553-based aircraft all over the world. There’s nothing as ubiquitous except for Ethernet, but standard Etherent isn’t something you can fly a plane with because it lacks the determinism and reliability inherent to 1553. In the past ten years there’s been some enhanced Ethernet interfaces developed like AFDX and proprietary schemes like time-triggered Ethernet, but none of seen any widespread adoption. On the business side, 1553 remains the top choice simply because there’s been little justification to create and adoption any replacement protocol for it. If there were several

COTS Journal | June 2016



Figure 1 The BU-67125W Compact Avionics Interface Computer (AIC-RC) combines Atom processor with mPCIe and I/O expansion modules to support between 1553, 429, Ethernet and more.

new military aircraft platforms in the works, there would perhaps be motivation to create a new bus architecture—or adopt an existing one like AFDX—for those platforms. In reality such new platforms don’t exist and aren’t in the budget plans of the DoD. The focus is instead on taking legacy platforms and extending their life while adding new functionality to them.

Solutions for Bridging With all that in mind, vendors are rolling out bridging and conversion solutions that link legacy technologies such as 1553 to the much faster Gbit and 10 Gbit Ethernet interconnects. Meanwhile, today’s level of semiconductor integration means the idea of a 1553-only board is outdated. It’s easy to combine 1553 with other board or box-level functions. Those trends have matured to include intelligent (processor based) multiprotocol solutions that link different protocol schemes. Exemplifying the trend toward highly integrated solutions, Data Device Corp. in March introduced its BU-67125W Compact Avionics Interface Computer (AIC-RC) (Figure 1), offering a completely customizable, off-the-shelf solution. The AIC-RC combines Intel’s embedded Atom computing architecture, with DDC’s avionics data networking expertise and custom I/O capabilities, to deliver avionics connectivity computing in a small form factor, deployable, rugged enclosure. The system is qualified for rugged 12

COTS Journal | June 2016

air and ground environments. It is expandable using mPCIe and I/O expansion modules to support a wide range of I/Os. Custom front panel connector configurations support unique deployed I/O requirements. In Remote Access mode the unit allows easy access to 1553/429 connection via Ethernet network. And in Protocol Conversion mode it allows users to create embedded software that seamlessly transfers data between 1553, 429 and Ethernet interfaces.

Portable USB-1553 Link USB is another interface technology system developers are using to link with 1553. In May AIM-USA launched its ASC1553 product which offers a USB based interface solution operating with a single USB2.0 port (or higher). The low power hardware design offers a half-pocket sized dual redundant interface for MIL-STD-1553. This saves valuable power on battery powered hosting platforms and gives users longer operational time without requiring an external power supply or a battery re-charge. While portable USB based interfaces for MIL-STD-1553 testing have been on the market for a number of years, this one uses AIM’s SmartCable approach. The key benefits of the SmartCable are its lightweight, portable and low power design, all complimented with a full function, dual redundant MIL-STD-1553 interface. Avionics test engineers are able to debug, monitor, record and even playback MIL-STD-1553 bus traffic for troubleshooting and bus analysis purposes. Data bus protocol-related real-time capabilities over the USB interface are dealt with by having the necessary hardware, firmware and processing resources directly integrated within the almost standard DSub connector sized housing. Additional processing capability is offered by the use of a dual processor System-On-Chip (SOC) device inside the ASC1553. The ASC1553-A provides a dual redundant MIL-STD-1553 interface with concurrent Bus Controller, Multiple RT Simulator (31) with a Mailbox and Chronological Monitor functions. An optional Auxiliary I/O connector gives access to 8 (avionic level) General Purpose Discrete I/O signals and 1 trigger input and 1 trigger output, plus an IRIG-B time Encoder/Decoder providing a sinusoidal input/output and ‘freewheeling’ mode in-

corporated. The SOC of the AIM SmartCable has access to 128MB of Global RAM and boot up flash memory. Product variants of the ASC1553 include the single function and simulator only versions which offer cost savings compared to the full function version. For pure MIL-STD-1553 only applications, the model ASC1553 is available without the optional Auxiliary I/O interface (IRIG-B, Discrete and Trigger I/O). The ASC1553-A and ASC1553 SmartCables are API compatible to the existing AIM MIL-STD-1553 product portfolio and support an easy migration of applications from the AIM APU1553-1 predecessor USB interface.

1553 Aboard Landing Craft Although 1553 is most often associated with aircraft and avionics, it’s found use in a host of ground and shipboard systems. For example, earlier this month United Electronic Industries (UEI) announced that the US NAVY selected its DNR-MIL series I/O control chassis in conjunction with its VxWorks BSP as the new Command, Control, Computers, Communication and Navigation (C4N) SBC4 Control, Alarm and Monitoring System (CAMS) for the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) fleet.

Figure 2 The 75PPC1-FT3-AR1 SBC sports a 1.2 GHz Quad QorIQ P2041 PowerPC and is configured with quad channel, dual redundant, 1553B, and 12-channel ARINC 429/575 Tx/Rx communications bus ports.


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single board computer

Figure 3 The webFB Wireless Electronic Flight Bag easily fits in the palm of the hand. It safely gathers essential data from the aircraft’s ARINC 429 and 717 databuses and conveys it to custom software or EFB apps hosted on the internal server.

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Based on a robust PowerPC processor, running VxWorks with fully redundant Ethernet connectivity to the boat’s host computer, the UEI system replaces the previous controller, and provides a much smaller, easier to maintain and more reliable solution. I/O provided by the CAMS unit includes analog input and output, digital I/O, 16 serial ports and MIL-STD-1553 all connected through standard military style 38999 connectors. Key to the Navy’s decision to select UEI’s DNR-MIL was it met the required MILSTD-810 and -461 environmental specifications, according to UEI.

1553 on CompactPCI SBC One popular way to implement 1553 is as an integrated embedded SBC function. While North Atlantic Industries (NAI) makes a number of products that include 1553, one of its latest offerings is the 75PPC1-FT3-AR1 (Figure 2). The board is powered by NXP’s 1.2 GHz Quad QorIQ P2041 PowerPC processor, and is configured with quad channel, dual redundant, MIL-STD-1553B, and 12-channel ARINC 429/575 Tx/Rx communications bus ports. The board includes a MIL-STD-1553B - (FT3) quad-channel, dual redundant, bal-

anced-line physical layer; a (differential) network interface; time division multiplexing; half-duplex command/response protocol, and up to 31 remote terminals per channel designed for use with rugged and commercial avionics applications. Also provided is ARINC 429/575 in up to twelve programmable Rx/Tx channels. This provides essential air-data information for displays, autopilots, and other flight controls and instrumentation on commercial and military aircraft. Aside from 1553, ARINC 429 is an interface standard that continues to enjoy widespread use. In keeping with the trend toward highly compact solutions is the webFB Wireless Electronic Flight Bag from Astronics (Figure 3). The ultra-compact webFB easily fits in the palm of the hand, yet incorporates the capabilities of both an AID and a wireless server. The built-in AID safely gathers essential data from the aircraft’s ARINC 429 and 717 databuses and conveys it to custom software or EFB apps hosted on the internal server. Using a wireless connection to portable EFB tablets, the webFB securely delivers this valuable information right to the fingertips of the flight crew. In May Astronics announced receiving


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COTS Journal | June 2016


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a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) for webFB for use on Boeing 737 aircraft. This approval represents the first time a wireless Aircraft Interface Device (AID) has been certified for use in the flight deck by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Astronics’ software partners are currently developing a variety of enhanced EFB applications for the webFB that are focused on increased operational efficiencies including fuel and time savings, electronic tech logs and real time QAR monitoring and event notifications. For software vendors, the webFB provides a rapid and practical solution for developing applications and deploying them into the flight deck and beyond. Along with the webFB, the STC also approves the installation of the Astronics EmPower system in the flight deck with USB outlets for charging portable EFBs while in flight. Also available are several choices of ARINC 828 compliant fixed EFB mounts.

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

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

Ballard Technology Everett, WA (425) 339-0281

United Electronic Industries Walpole, MA (508) 921-4600

BGG Chesapeake, VA (757) 366-9211 Data Bus Products Manhasset, NY (516) 365-3946

Data Device Corp. Bohemia, NY (631) 567-5600

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COTS Journal | June 2016


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SPECIAL FEATURE Connecting the Dots with 1553, Ethernet and More

Synthetic Instrumentation Aids Tactical Radio Testing – Part II Testing military tactical radios such system requires integrated test solutions using synthetic instrumentation. Test management software plays a critical role. Ian Williams, Director of Software Engineering, Michael S. Caulfield, Sr. Manager of Software Engineering Steve Fairbanks, Senior Director of Products, Astronics Test Systems

Part I of this article appeared in the May issue of COTS Journal. It explored the concept of SI, the levels of maintenance as known in the military applications and how they specifically apply to radio testing. Part II here continues along those lines getting into test management software in detail.


very software test program has associated costs. This applies whether developing a program to test a single UUT, address many different end items, or maintain existing test programs as changes occur. When developing test applications, it is reasonable to select software architectures that optimize the investment. One such architectural decision is to incorporate a Test Executive. Test Executives separate the responsibilities of performing a test from those of sequencing and administering one. The resulting modularity increases code re-use and makes it easier to develop and maintain test programs. Here we’ll examine the example of an RF military radio test to demonstrate how responsibilities are split between a Test Program and a Test Executive. That provides insight into how this is realized in software. Consider, for example, that the goal is to test tactical military radios. An application may be tasked to perform a sequence of tests that assure the radio is ready for service, or otherwise identify faulty subsystems and assist the operator in performing 16

COTS Journal | June 2016

Operator Runs

Test Application Uses

Instruments Stimulate


Test Log


Unit Under Test

Figure 1 A typical test application where the operator identifies the UUT and receives instructions on how to connect the UUT to the instruments.

diagnoses and repair. The testing is decomposed into groups, organized around the radio subsystems, consisting of: Establishing the unit is safe to turn on; Applying power’ Performing the built-in test (BIT); Verifying keyboard operations; Verifying the RF transmitter; Verifying the RF receiver; and finally, Removing power.

Discrete Test Steps Since each subsystem has many features, the groups are decomposed into discrete test steps. Each test step stimulates some part of the UUT, takes a measure-

ment, and compares the value against some prescribed limits. Any of these steps might detect a fault. Consider also that there is a test operator, as in Figure 1, which depicts a typical test application. Such an operator might go through these steps to run the application. The operator uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interact with the test application. For quality assurance purposes, the application might authenticate the user, for example, to distinguish an operator from an administrator. The operator identifies the UUT and receives instructions on how to connect the UUT to the instruments. The operator specifies what action to take in the event a UUT fault is detected. Does the test abort, retry, or proceed? The application runs through each test step, perhaps many thousands, using the test set instruments to stimulate the UUT and measure, evaluate, and record results against prescribed limits. As the test steps proceed the application may query the operator, or direct that some manual action be taken. If faults occur, the application must notify the operator and take the directed action. The operator may have to modify the test sequence, for example, to repeat a test step or to skip test steps and target a particular subsystem for trouble shooting later. When the test sequence is completed, the application prompts the operator to disconnect the UUT. Throughout the test sequence, the results are displayed and logged.


Operator Runs

Test Executive Controls

Provides Results

Test Program


Test Log


Instruments Stimulate


Unit Under Test

Figure 2 The Test Executive provides the user interface, the user access control, sequencing, and logging functions for executing the Test Program.

There are serious disadvantages to allocating all of these responsibilities to a single piece of software. Large portions of

the software are not unique to testing a single UUT. If it becomes necessary to test a different end item, then it would be economical to re-use the common software. Designing and programming such a test application requires different types of skills. For an applications programmer, creating user interfaces, controlling sequences, establishing access levels, and writing logs is common work. On the other hand, designing and implementing an effective test is typically the domain of a subject matter expert specializing in the device under test. Accordingly, test systems strive to implement software architectures that separate the responsibilities of configuring and executing tests from those that perform the actual tests. One way to efficiently accomplish this is with Test Executives.

Adding Test Executive Layer Figure 2 depicts a Test Executive and a Test Program in place of the test application in Figure I. The Test Executive provides the user interface, the user access control,

sequencing, and logging functions for executing the Test Program. The Test Executive and Test Program are separated from each other and consequently the same Test Executive may support any number of different Test Programs. Implementing a Test Executive in this manner frees the test programmer to focus on the specific task of writing a test for their UUT. This involves defining the groups, implementing the test steps, and setting the pass/fail criteria for each. Note that the Test Program is also different from the instrument which has its own software that may be synthetic or fixed as described in earlier sections. Figure 3 depicts a view into a software architecture, illustrating the features of a Test Executive by highlighting the various components and the information flow between them. The figure shows a Test Executive and a Test Program (identified as products) and the connections between them. These two software products may be identical software technologies from one manufacturer, or completely different tech-



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nologies, written in different languages, created by different companies. The first key in implementing the architecture is to ensure that the connections are “late bound,: which means that the Test Program is not compiled and linked into the Test Executive, but may instead be discovered at run time. The benefit of this approach, given a precise specification of the connections, is that the Test Executive can support many different implementations of the Test Program.

Test Executive User View

Test Program Sequencer Test Program Test Program Selector

Test program Identification, List of Test Group Objects which comprise this Test Program Object


Sequence Options, Start/Stop

Group Identification, List of Step Objects which comprise this Group Object

Selected options, Status

Test Parameters, Test Measurement

Many Parts of the Puzzle The depicted Test Executive consists of an Access Controller, a Test Program Selector, a User View, a Logger, and a Persistent Storage. The Access Controller is responsible for processing operator access requests and notifying the User View of the access level to be granted to the operator. For example, one access level may provide simply the capability to run a test sequentially while another may provide the additional capability to run a test out of sequence. The Test Program Selector is responsible for locating the available Test Programs, discovering their identification information and presenting them to the User View, which in turn presents them to the operator. Subsequently, the operator can select the desired Test Program to load. The User View is responsible for all interaction with the test operator. Such an implementation ensures that the user experience is consistent, regardless who authors the Test Program. The User View provides a main window where the operator can select a Test Program and enter sequencing that determines how the sequencer behaves when a test step fails. For example, in Normal mode the sequence may exit. In Halt at No Go (HANG) mode, the sequence halts and waits for an operator decision to proceed. In Force Go mode, the sequence proceeds despite the fault. The User View also provides methods for the Test Program to display various messages and receive operator input. These may include displaying instructions, asking for manual measurements, or displaying images. The Logger is responsible for capturing and formatting test history and presenting it to the User View for immediate feedback, and to Persistent Storage for later analysis. The Logger may also capture Test Executive events such as system initialization and operator login. 18

COTS Journal | June 2016

Realtime Log content


Session identification, TPS identification, Group identification, Test Step results, Test Program completion summary with Ready For Issue determination

User Id (Access Controller returns access level)

Access Controller

Messages for User, Requests for User input (User View returns user response)

Legend Product

Log contents

Persistent Storage

Information Flow


Figure 3 Example view of a Test Executive architecture.


Following Standard Pattern Test programs are generally implemented with a standard pattern. This gives a clue to the implementation of the Sequencer and the Test Program. A typical Test Program pattern contains Test Groups and Test Groups contain Test Steps. Each Test Step stimulates or configures the UUT, performs some measurement, and then evaluates the measurement against some parameters unique to that step. Accordingly, three software classes emerge: a Test Program Class, a Tests Group Class, and a Test Step class. The classes are depicted in the Figure 4. The three classes are related by composition such that a TestProgram class consists of TestGroup classes and each TestGroup class consists of TestStep classes. The depicted TestProgram class has a name and a description property (TestProgramName and TestProgramDescription) so that users of the class can read and display them. The TestProgram class also exposes a method which returns an array (or list) of the in-

stanced TestGroup objects. The TestGroup objects are constructed and the TestGroup[] list is populated when the TestProgram object is constructed. The TestGroup class is similar. It has a name and a description property and it also exposes a method which returns an array (or list) of the instanced TestStep objects. The TestStep objects are constructed and the TestStep[] list is populated when the TestGroup object is constructed. The TestStep class exposes a method which causes the step to be executed and, in turn, returns a TestResult object. The implementation of the Run() method is a function of any particular TestStep instance, but each instance performs stimulus and measurement actions resulting in a parameter able to be evaluated. The TestResult object (not depicted) contains the test identification, test evaluation criteria, and the measurement. Given these three classes, and a Test Executive/Test Program interface that provides a form of object visibility, a sequencer can be


developed, and the Test Program executed under sequencer control.

Full Featured Sequencer This basic logic, and the properties and methods of the Test Program classes can be extended to implement a full featured sequencer. Capability is needed to address the operator options. These include halting when faults are detected, branching into diagnostic test steps when faults are detected, running groups and test steps out of order, and single stepping test steps. This is, of course, a simplification. The Run() method, as implemented here, will block as the test step executes, and must be handled accordingly. Often test sequence execution requires recursive calls to traverse a test flow that has multiple groups, child groups, and test steps, but the idea is to traverse through the complete list of test steps. Test Groups and Test Steps will often have properties such as ‘stop-on-fail’ flags, loop counts, descriptions, and other items that will enable a fullfeatured sequencer to be designed. The intent here is to identify some of the different responsibilities of Test Executives and Test Programs, show one of the many techniques for separating them, and to demonstrate

that the composition of a Test Program can be leveraged in developing a Test Executive sequencer.

Test Management Software Software packages are available which provide a Test Executive and the development tools useful for creating Test Programs that run under the executive. Similar to Software Development Environments used in general software development, these test management software suites are rich in features. They include compilers and debuggers. The compilers may address specific test languages such as the Abbreviated Test Language for All Systems (ATLAS), may support common programming languages and technologies such as C#, VBScript, and .NET, or may even use graphical methods that create the content of test steps visually, directly from the instrument front panels. All such packages include debuggers which support breakpoints, single step program execution and variable examination.

This article explored the requirements placed on test equipment by the three levels of maintenances commonly found in radio test. It identified the instrumentation necessary to test military radios. It explained the concept of SI and described how SI can support development of radio test equipment that satisfies the requirements of all three maintenance levels. Test Executive software plays an important role in enabling radio test equipment to test multiple UUTs. It further explained the role of Test Executives by exploring their software architecture, defining Test Program Management software, and identifying some proven Test Program Management suites. Astronics Test Systems Irvine, CA (949) 859-8999

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TestProgram + TestProgramName :string + TestProgramDescription :string + GetTestGroupList() :TestGroup[] 1

Test Program is comprised of many 1* Test Groups


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+ TestGroupName :string + TestGroupDescription :string + GetTestStepList() :TestStep[] 1

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TestStep + Run() :TestResult

Figure 4 Test Executive and Test Program separation with the three classes depicted.

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JEFF’S PICKS Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Digitally Controlled Power Factor Correction Solution Meets Radar Needs


one are the days when military power supplies technology was exclusively dominated by costly custom-designed solutions. Today there’s a rich variety of off-the-shelf solutions are available serving diverse needs. As military system developers demand more and more computing in ever smaller spaces, power has direct implications on the size, cooling and mobility of a system. Responding to those demands, military power conversion vendors are crafting more efficient products, new partitioning strategies and increased ruggedization in order to serve boardand box-level military electronic systems. In the area of high-power-density DC/DC converters, the modular form factor, commonly referred to as a brick, continues to be the preferred building block component for any application, commercial and military. These are evolving to help systems designers deal with the challenges of multi-voltage electronics and the complexity of distributed system architecture. Meanwhile, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are now more critical than ever as computer and network gear pervade the battlefield. The direction for UPSes is toward high-quality, rugged products designed to pass strict military standards. For this month’s Editor’s Pick section COTS Journal evaluated several rugged display systems based on three aspects: technology leadership, design innovation and market relevance. The winning product is SynQor’s 3-Phase Power Factor Correction Module (stan20

COTS Journal | June 2016

information which would be difficult to obtain otherwise.

Advanced Construction Methods

Figure 1 Jeff’s Pick this month is SynQor’s 3-Phase Power Factor Correction Module (MPFC 115 3PH-270 FP). Special constantpower output characteristics help pulsed-power systems—like radars for example—maintain good input harmonics.

dard product part number MPFC 115 3PH-270 FP) (Figure 1). The module provides an essential building block of an AC-DC power supply. It makes use of full digital control to enable control strategies not possible with conventional designs. For instance, the PFC output has a special constant-power output characteristic which helps pulsed-power systems—like radars for example—maintain good input harmonics. See datasheet section “Pulsed Loads” for more information along those lines. (Link to data sheet is posted in online version of this article). Digital control also allows for a data interface allowing the military system developers to view internal voltages, currents, and temperatures—

Making use of SynQor’s years of experience with high volume manufacturing for the telecommunications market, the MPFC 115 3PH270 FP uses robust construction techniques including automated assembly, embedded planar magnetics, and compliant potting materials. The device boasts innovations including minimal inrush current, support for full load current during startup ramp and balanced phase currents with low THD (1.5 percent at full load). It delivers a wide input frequency range of 45- to 800-Hz. In terms of market relevance SynQor’s 3-Phase Power Factor Correction Module answers military customers’ demands an integrated solution which was previously not available in the market. The full-brick sized converter delivers 1.5 kW at 270 VDC while switching at 200 kHz, which allows for a groundbreaking improvement in power density. System developers requiring 400 Hz 3-phase for airborne military platforms will find huge weight savings over existing custom solutions. EMI is fully characterized with the available 3-phase half-brick input line filter (SynQor product number MACF 115 3PH-UNV HT). SynQor, Boxborough, MA (978) 849-0600.

...and the Runners Up Scalable UPS System Features Auto-Sensing and Auto-Switching The PowergridM intelligent backplane stacking system from AJ’s Power Source features a stacking design, based on modular power service building blocks, allows multiple rugged UPS units to be intelligently stack connected and function as a single unit (Figure 2). This intelligent stacking design provides a highly resilient non-stop power support for operationally critical applications and with its Plug-&-Play Hot Swap Backplane capability and loadsharing design, allows for Repair/Replace maintenance activities with zero down time for attached systems. To provide Global Power Of Choice capabilities, PowergridM UPS systems are the first to incorporate Auto-Sensing/Auto Switching technology allowing them to operate on either an AC or DC power sources. To provide deployable power resiliency, you can connect PowergridM to both services at the same time and the systems will automatically select the “best available” power source significantly improving mobile On-The-Move, On-The-Pause, and On-The-Stop applications. The PowergridM backplane design can accommodate the integration of AC, DC, and expanded battery support power services into a single Integrated Power Management System (IPMS) with backplanes available from 3U (800W-3600W) to 10U (1200W-12KW) fully ruggedized stack configurations for transit case, mobile shelter, or vehicle based mobile systems.

Figure 2 The PowergridM intelligent backplane stacking system features a stacking design, based on modular power service building blocks, allows multiple rugged UPS units to be intelligently stack connected and function as a single unit.

AJ’s Power Source, Land O Lakes, FL (813) 996-2583.

Rugged 3V 350W Power Supplies Provide Four Configurable Outputs The 3V Series of COTS MOTS power supplies from XCEL Power Systems, a subsidiary of Data Device Corporation, provide a configurable 250W solution designed to meet the demands of military vehicle and aerospace applications (Figure 3). The 3V series offers the flexibility of up to four configurable outputs, within a proven ruggedized mechanical design, and fitting standard 3U enclosures According to the company, the product benefits from the investment in digital power conversion technology, the use of SIC and GAN switching devices, higher switching frequencies and associated topologies to achieve market leading efficiency, minimizing the requirement for customer’s thermal management. The mechanical and thermal designs of these power products are tailored to specific applications and in many cases are a stressed part of the structure of the overall package, minimizing duplicate hardware. Use of remote control and monitoring is a fundamental part of the product, incorporating RS485, CANBUS, 2 wire unscreened Ethernet and so on. While providing high conversion efficiency, the device also enables the extraction of the remaining heat from the unit through mechanical design and thermal modeling. Other key factors in the performance criteria of the unit are its EMI performance along with minimum output noise and harmonic distortion. It is capable of operating in arduous environmental conditions over wide temperature ranges and at any attitude.

Figure 3 The 3V Series of COTS MOTS power supplies provide a configurable 250W solution that offers the flexibility of up to four configurable outputs, within a proven ruggedized mechanical design, and fitting standard 3U enclosures.

Data Device Corp., Bohemia, NY (631) 567-5600. COTS Journal | June 2016


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COTS Journal | June 2016

accepts inputs of either 80-265 VAC at 47 to 440 HZ, power factor corrected; 240 to 400 VDC; or 115/200 VAC, 3-phase at 360 to 440 Hz . Output power of 2,000 to 4,000 Watts is available.

The AVP/AVN series from Pico Electronics are unregulated high voltage DC-DC converters with output voltages to 10,000 VDC and are produced in an ultraminiature encapsulated package. For military applications an operating temperature range -55 to +85 degrees C is available.

Behlman Electronics, Hauppauge, NY (631) 435-0410.

Pico Electronics, Pelham, NY (914) 738-1400.

The 360 Watt TCM Series of chassis mount DC/DC converters from Calex offers wide 4:1 input range of 9 to 36 VDC. This makes the TCM ideal for 28V military COTS applications. The chassis mount case is designed for backplane or enclosure mounting with or without DIN rails.

The CPW-5700 Series (AC-DC) and BPW-

Calex, Concord, CA (925) 687-4411.

Schaefer, Hopkinton, MA (508) 436-6400.

Extreme Engineering’s XPm2222 is a VITA 62.0 form factor 3U VPX power supply. The unit takes in a MIL-STD-704A/E/F or MIL-STD-1275D 28 VDC input voltage and provides up to 260 W on 3.3 V, 5 V, and ±12 V at up to 87 percent efficiency.

Vicor ‘s ChiP DCM series are isolated, regulated DC-DC converter modules based on the company’s Converter housed in Package (ChiP) power component platform. The series spans DC-DC conversion requirements from 12 V to 420 V input and 12 V to 55 V output.

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

Vicor, Andover, MA (978) 749-8359.

The expanded SSG Series Industrial UPS product line Falcon Electric now spans power levels from 1kVA to 6kVA that address a broad range of demanding applications. Like Falcon’s other SSG models, the 4 to 6kVA units are rugged, rackmount on-line UPSs. Falcon Electric, Irwindale, CA (626) 962-7770.

North Atlantic Industries’ 56TS1 is a rugged, 500W AC/DC power supply that provides full-power at a baseplate temperature of +85 degrees C. It provides current share and MIL-STD-461F filtering. Output voltages supported range from +12 VDC to +48 VDC. North Atlantic Industries, Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100.

5700 Series (Battery Charger) are part of Schaefer’s Heavy Industrial/Military

COTS/MOTS (20KW to 30KW) Power Series. The units offer three phase, wide input ranges for 200/400/440 and 480VAC and selectable output voltages and currents.

The HTD Series from VPT are DC-DC converters specifically designed for harsh and extreme temperature environments. The HTD isolated 1.5 W DC-DC converters operate from -55 to 155 degrees C and the HTD nonisolated DC-DC converters operate from -55 to 185 degrees C. VPT, Blacksburg, VA (425) 353-3010.

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SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Open Standards for Airborne Systems

Airborne Platforms Embrace Open Standards Open standards like the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) continue to make airborne computing systems more efficient. Numerous FACE-compatible products and tools are emerging to help smooth system implementations. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


he U.S. DoD has fully embraced the idea that the reduction of costs and complexity of the open approach are just too attractive to ignore. Particularly in the past couple years open standards that have been long in the works now seem to getting full support. Driving this trend is the recognition that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a waste of time and money to recreate software implementation for every airborne system design. Along such lines, the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standard defines the software computing environment and interfaces designed to support the development of portable components across the general-purpose, safety and security profiles. FACE makes use of industry standards for distributed communications, programming languages, graphics, operating systems and other areas. Its goal overall is to establish a common computing software infrastructure supporting portable, capability-specific software components across DoD avionics systems.

Supplier-Independent Operating Environment The FACE Consortium has developed a supplier-independent, standardized environment for DoD aviation systems allowing software components to be rapidly migrated across systems conforming to the FACE Standard. Launching in 2010, the FACE 24

COTS Journal | June 2016

Figure 1 The FACE version of Rockwellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MFMS-1000 is designed to enable the Navy to affordably meet RNP RNAV requirements on aircraft currently without this capability such as this V-22.

Consortium set out to take a collaborative approach to develop a common operating environment supporting portability and reuse of software components across DoD aviation systems. Working its way through initial growing pains now in the past, the FACE effort has evolved with a FACE 2.0 version releasing in 2013. Edition 2.0 of the FACE Technical Standard included the FACE Data Model, Language Run-Times and Component Frameworks, Protocol Mediation Services,

Streaming Media Services and expanded definitions of Units of Portability. Those addition help support capabilities such as streaming video, broader language support and more. Over the past 12 months several embedded industry hardware and software vendors have created technologies and solutions that align with and support the FACE standard. In an example of recent FACE activity, Rockwell Collins earlier this month an-

A8_COTS-Jrnl_1-3V_2-25x9-875_A8.qxd 5/3/16 1:2


nounced that its Missionized Flight Management Software (MFMS-1000) has passed Verification Authority tests and inspections and has been issued the industry’s first FACE Verification Statement. FACE verification is the process of determining the conformance of a software implementation to specification requirements of the FACE Technical Standard, a standard of The Open Group. The FACE version of Rockwell’s MFMS-1000 is designed to enable the Navy to affordably meet Required Navigation Performance Area Navigation (RNP RNAV) requirements on aircraft currently without this capability such as the AV-8B, V-22 (Figure 1) and MH-60R/S, as well as those used by the other services. The MFMS-1000 is a reusable software product developed as hardware and architecture agnostic, meaning it can be ported across different avionics systems from both Rockwell Collins and other vendors. MFMS1000 provides full civil airspace interoperability while ensuring timely and efficient mission planning. Receiving a FACE verification statement is an important step in the process of certifying the MFMS-1000 as conformant to the FACE Technical Standard. Rockwell Collins is a sponsor and founding member of the FACE Consortium, and holds

multiple leadership positions at the steering committee and subcommittee levels.

Helicopter Avionics System FACE also played a role in the new Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) system, Helionix from Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus Group. Wind River announced in April that Helionix is using the Wind River VxWorks 653 Platform. The Helionix avionics system, which includes the certified H175 and H145 civilian rotorcrafts, significantly improves helicopter management, performance and safety (Figure 2). VxWorks 653 powers the multi-function display, flight management and control systems, as well as the auto pilot of the new aircrafts. In addition, it provides resource management and partitioning capabilities that allow multiple independent applications of different safety criticality levels to run on a single target platform. A part of the Wind River product portfolio for trusted systems, VxWorks 653 is a COTS platform for delivering safety-critical, IMA applications. For applications with strict safety and/or ARINC 653 time and space partitioning requirements, Wind River touts VxWorks 653 Platform as the platform of choice to meet the FACE Safety

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Profile. VxWorks 653 enables a wide range of commercial and military applications to be deployed on FACE platforms.

Pre-integrated FACE Compliant Box On the hardware side, Abaco Systems in March announced its FORCE2 Open Reference Computing Environment designed to support the planned development of safety-critical, DO-254/DO-178 certifiable applications compliant with the FACE initiative (Figure 3). The company demonstrated FORCE2 at Quad-A in April. This rugged, pre-integrated small form factor system for mission computing and avionics display comprises a high TRL (technology readiness level) SBC314 3U VPX single board computer and graphics card housed in a robust enclosure. The FORCE2 differentiates from alternative solutions in that it is supported by DO-254 artifacts suitable for use in systems requiring Design Assurance Level (DAL) A, the highest level of assurance. According to Abaco Systems certification is a huge cost incurred by in-house de-

velopment of safety-critical systems which, allied to the high cost of system development, can make such solutions prohibitively expensive. Such in-house developments are typically high risk, with associated potential impact on cost and schedule over-run. The FORCE2 can substantially reduce those high costs, and also represents minimal risk in that it is pre-integrated and built using proven, high TRL hardware and software components. The FORCE2 features either a 1.4 GHz quad-core or a 1.8 GHz 8-core NXP ( formerly Freescale) QoriQ Power Architecture processor with up to 4 Gbytes of memory. Advanced graphics capability is provided by an AMD Radeon E8860 GPU with 2GBytes of DDR5 memory. A range of avionics I/O is supported including ARINC-429 and MILSTD-1553. DVI and VGA video outputs are featured. The FORCE2’s software environment—operating system and I/O services— is aligned with the requirements of the FACE initiative, and includes support for VxWorks 653 with OpenGL SC.

Figure 3 The FORCE2 Open Reference Computing Environment is designed to support development of safetycritical, DO-254/DO-178 certifiable applications compliant with the FACE initiative.

Rough & Ready Data Storage AS9100 Rev C/ISO 9001: 2008 Certified Phoenix-developed state-of-the-art enabling technology provides users with products that ensure the highest performance storage and data network systems. These systems range in size and application from multi-terabyte Fibre Channel RAID, NAS and Storage Area Network (SAN) configurations to conduction cooled plug-in Open VPX solid state disk storage modules.

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Cockpit Display Collaboration Representing a collaborative FACE effort, Core Avionics & Industrial, CurtissWright Defense Solutions, ENSCO Avionics, and Lynx Software Technologies early this year joined forces to demonstrate the first FACE aligned cockpit display application at the Army Aviation FACE Technical Interchange Meeting in Huntsville, AL. The integrated demonstration stack leveraged key offerings by each of the contributing companies including ENSCO Avionics’ IData Tool Suite with IDataMap; Core Avionics & Industrial’s safety critical OpenGL Driver; Lynx Software Technologies’ LynxOS-178 real-time operating system and the VPX3131 3U VPX SBC and XMC-715 graphics controller both from Curtiss-Wright. The collaborating companies provided a demonstration of the FACE architecture using all of the FACE segments. The two user applications contained in the Portable Component Segment represent interchangeable software components from different suppliers. These applications when linked into the FACE architecture communicated with the IData RunTime in the Graphics services section of the Platform Specific Services segment via the Transport Services Segment. The IData RunTime Library application receives data via UDP from the TCP/IP stack from the LynxOS-178 RTOS. This data was supplied by another application (X-Plane) running external to the FACE stack and supplying air data. The cockpit display was then rendered through the I/O services segment via a Core Avionics & Industrial safety critical OpenGL driver. The entire FACE stack was run on Curtiss-Wright hardware, including their SBC and Graphic subsystem.

FACE-Compatible Display Compatibility to FACE is also reaching into the display market. In April display vendor IEE showcased a new FACE compatible architecture display product at the Quad-A show. The “Portable Components Segment” of the FACE Architecture is designed to be independent of the lower level hardware and software Input/Output (I/O) functions that are typically unique to each avionics device. The IEE 6- x 8-inch FACE compatible display can be used as an avionics platform on almost any aircraft, offers common aircraft data interfaces, runs an operational

flight program (OFP) designed to FACE guidelines, and is ready to host FACE-compatible apps that meet a customer’s system requirements. These features create lifecycle management efficiencies and facilitate platform-to-platform portability. The portability of the FACE apps makes the addition of avionics functions, such as moving maps, a quick integration. The FACE compatible display will receive data in the FACE payload data format from Enabling Technology and Innovation’s (ETI) Avionics Simulation Environment (link is external) (ASE). The ASE product provides dynamic aircraft data to OFPs over Ethernet and MIL-STD-1553 data buses. Abaco Systems Huntsville, AL (866) 652-2226 CoreAVI Tampa, FL (813) 990-0603 Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800. ENSCO Avionics Endicott, NY (607) 786-9000 IEE Van Nuys, CA (818) 787-0311 Lynx Software Technologies San José, CA (408) 979-3900 Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids, IA (319) 295-1000

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COTS Journal | June 2016


DATA SHEET PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

PC/104 Keeps Space-Constrained Systems on Course Perfectly suited for a variety of space-constrained applications, PC/104 and all its follow on variants continue to shine. MiniPCIe enhances PC/104 as way to mix and match functionality.

Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


ver since the birth of the PC/104 specification in March of 1992, the technology’s open design provides the power and flexibility of a PC compatible computer in a size ideally suited for embedding. PC/104—along with its wider family of follow on versions including PC/104-Plus, PCI-104, PCIe/104, PCI/104-Express and EPIC—provide a mix of functionality and low, With over 20 years of success, the PC/104 form factor and its follow-on variants remain staples for both legacy and new military embedded systems. A PC/104 board provides the computing inside Klein’s UUV-3500 high resolution side scan sonar for unmanned underwater vehicle. The system is used on OceanServer Technology’s Iver3 AUV (Figure 1). As can been seen in the roundup on the next couple of pages there’s a good representative mix of examples of PC/104, PC/104-Plus, PCIe/104 and PCI/104-Express board products. There are new designs along with legacy products upgraded to sport the latest processor and memory technologies. A recent trend is PC/104 family boards that include Mini PCIe sockets. MiniPCIe acts as a ling of small mezzanine function, and leverages the emerging ecosystem of Mini PCIe peripheral cards that have become available.


COTS Journal | June 2016

Last year saw the PC/104 Consortium making its latest revision of the PCI/104Express and PCIe/104 Specification, Revision 3.0, that provides an additional option called “OneBank”. The PCIe/104 OneBank utilizes a smaller, lower-cost bus connector which is compatible to the full size PCIe/104 connector currently in use today. It allows designers to stack boards using a complimentary format that frees up PCB real estate for additional components as well as potential cost savings. The OneBank connector concept consists of removing two of the three “banks” of the standard PCIe/104 connector, resulting in a 52-pin connector as opposed to the full-size 156-pin connector. The OneBank connector is positioned so that it will plug into the bank 1 of the standard PCIe/104 connector. Thus, the signals of the OneBank include the same four x1 PCI Express Links, Two USB 2.0, ATX power and control signals: +5V Standby, Power supply on, Power Good, Power: +3.3V, +5V (reduced current) as found on the first bank of the standard PCIe/104 bus making them plug in compatible. This preserves the stackability and compatibility of PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 modules along with the new OneBank modules. By removing two of the banks, 0.513 in2 of

Figure 1 A PC/104 board provides the computing inside Klein’s UUV-3500 high resolution side scan sonar aboard OceanServer’s Iver3 AUV shown here.

PCB real estate on each side is freed up. And with speed scales up to PCIe Gen 3 on the PCIe/104 bus, developers are given plenty of bandwidth for the future even with just four x1 PCIe links.


PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

PCIe/104 SBC Boasts Improved Graphics and TPM

PC/104 SBC Servers up Latest 1 GHz Vortex86DX3 System-on-Chip

AMD G-Series SBC Expands Via PC/104 and Half Size Mini PCIe

The ADLQM87PC from ADL Embedded Solutions is claimed to have the industry’s highest GIPS per square inch and the most densely-packed comprehensive set of features. The board’s 17 in2 footprint features 4th gene Intel Core processors with Intel 8-series QM87 PCH chipset, onboard Mini PCIe/mSATA socket for on-board WiFi, GPS, bootable flash storage and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM v1.2). Also featured is an improved HD4600 graphics engine.

ADLINK Technology’s CM1-86DX3 is a PC/104 form factor SBC featuring the Vortex86DX3 SoC, running at 1.0 GHz and supporting 2 Gbytes soldered DDR3L. The board offers full ISA bus support according to the PC/104 2.6 specifications to extend the lifecycle of applications using ISA bus. It features one SATA port and one CFast socket. With built-in SEMA (Smart Embedded Management Agent) Cloud platform functionality, the card is readymade for IoT applications.

Advantech’s PCM-3356 supports DDR3L on board memory up to 4 Gbytes on SODIMM. The card sports an AMD G-Series Processor T16R 615 MHz /T40E 1.0GHz and supports 18-bit LVDS and VGA. I/O includes 3 COM ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, dual GbE and audio codec. Extended temperatures are supported from -40 to 85 degrees C. Expansion can be done via PC/104 and half size mini PCIe.

• 4th Gen Intel Core Dual and Quad Core; BGA1364 with 8-Series PCH Lynx Point QM87 Chipset. • CPU total power dissipation: 37W to 47W.

• Ultra low power, DM&P Vortex86DX3 SoC. • Full ISA bus support. • 2 Gbytes of soldered DDR3L.

• Up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3L-1333/1600.

• 1x GbE, 1x Fast Ethernet.

• Type 1 Bottom-Stacking PCIe/104 V2.01 with Gen2 PCIe x1 Lanes and Gen3 PEG x16.

• SATA, CFast.

• 2xUSB 3.0, 4x SATA 6 Gbit/s, 2x GLAN, DisplayPort, HDMI/DVI, VGA, 8x USB 2.0. • Onboard VGA/DVI, HDMI/DisplayPort, and eDP; Drives three independent displays. ADL Embedded Solutions San Diego, CA. (858) 490-0597.

• VGA and 18/24-bit single channel TTL/TFT. • Supports Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) functions. ADLINK Technology San Jose, CA. (408) 360-0200.

• AMD G-Series Processor T16R 615 MHz /T40E 1.0GHz. • Supports up to 4GB DDR3L SODIMM/1G DDR3L On board memory. • Supports 18-bit LVDS and VGA. • Supports 3 COM ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, dual GbE and audio codec. • Supports extended temp: -40 to 85 degrees C. • Expansion: PC/104 and half size mini PCIe. • Supports SUSIAccess and Embedded Software APIs. Advantech Irvine, CA. (800) 866-6008.

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COTS Journal | June 2016



PC/104 and PC/104 Family Boards Roundup

PCI/104-Express Card Provides 20- or 8-Port Gbit Ethernet Switch

PC/104 SBC Sports DMP Vortex86DX3 and Data Acq Functions

PCIe/104 SBC Marries 2.1 GHz Core i7 and 32 GB SSD

The Parvus SWI-22-10 from Curtiss Wright Defense Solutions is a rugged Gbit Ethernet switch card optimized for SWaP sensitive embedded military and civilian computer network systems applications. Featuring advanced Layer 2 networking features with from 8- to 20-ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps connectivity, an integrated management processor, low power consumption, and robust carrier Ethernet software features, the SWI-22-10 enables reliable LAN switching across -40 to +85 degrees C temperature ranges.

Diamond Systems’ HELIX PC/104 SBC is based on the DMP Vortex86DX3 system-onchip (SoC) processor. It offers high feature density in a compact size and providing optional integrated high-quality data acquisition circuitry, PCIe MiniCard I/O expansion, and rugged construction. Two standard Helix models are available off-theshelf; one aimed low-cost basic applications and the other targeting data acquisition applications.

The CMA34CRQ from RTD Embedded Technologies is a quad-core PC/104 single board computer with a PCIe/104 stackable bus structure. As a part of RTD's advanced PCI Express offering, this Intel Core i7 based CPU is exceptionally suited for applications requiring performance-rich technologies. The surface-mount Type 2 PCI Express connectors enable users to stack multiple peripheral modules above and below the CPU.

• 1 GHz dual core DMP Vortex86DX3.

• Rugged embedded Gigabit Ethernet switch.

• Up to 2 Gbytes of on-board 64-bit DDR3 SDRAM..

• 20 port and 8 port versions.

• 24-bit LVDS LCD and VGA CRT display support; 1920 x 1080 maximum resolution.

• Layer 2 fully managed network switch with Layer 3 static routing capability. • Low-power, Energy Efficient Ethernet ( compliant. • IEEE-1588v2 Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) support. • Qual tested to MIL-STD-810 for 40 to +85 degrees C and high shock/vibration. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.

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COTS Journal | June 2016

• A broad range of system I/O, including 4 multiprotocol serial ports, 6 USB ports, 2 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, and 1 SATA port. • PC/104 (ISA) and PCIe MiniCard / mSATA sockets • Optional data acquisition circuitry: 16 16-bit A/D channels, 4 16-bit D/A channels, and 11 programmable digital I/O lines. Diamond Systems Mountain View, CA. (650) 810-2500.

• PC/104 form factor, PCIe/104 stackable bus structure, PCIe Type 2 expansion buses. • Intel Core i7 2.1 GHz 3612QE Quad-Core Processor. • Dual-Channel DDR3 SDRAM surfacemounted 4 and 8 Gbyte options. • Surface-mounted industrial-grade SATA 32 Gbyte flash drive. • Eight x1 PCIe Links, Three x4 PCIe Links, Five SATA Ports, Four Serial Ports (RS-232/422/485), Four USB 3.0 Ports on Type 2 expansion buses. • Dual Gigabit Ethernet. RTD Embedded Technologies State College, PA. (814) 234-8087.


PC/104 AND PC/104 FAMILY BOARDS ROUNDUP Links to the full data sheets for each of these products are posted on the online version of this section.

PCIe/104 OneBank SBC Marries Xilinx Zynq SoC and FMC I/O

PC/104-Plus SBC Sports 1.9 GHz Intel Atom Bay Trail Processor

The EMC²-Z7030 from Sundance Technology is a PCIe/104 OneBank SBC with a Xilinx Zynq SoC and a VITA57.1 FMC LPC I/O board. The main processing power of the EMC²-Z7030 is a Dual Core ARM9 and combined with traditional FPGA fabrics/gates + High-Speed I/O interfaces, like USB2.0, HDMI, 1 Gbit Ethernet and SATA and to provide a total solution for any embedded application.

The BayCat from Versalogic is a lowpower / high-performance SBC with a traditional PC/104-Plus expansion interface. This combination makes it easy to upgrade existing systems to a powerful 4th generation Atom processor, while preserving plug-in expansion to existing specialty I/O boards. In addition, it also contains a full complement of on-board I/O interfaces, including USB 3.0, mini PCIe expansion socket, TPM chip, and a 24 bit digital I/O port.

• PCIe/104 OneBank SBC with dual 1GHz ARM9 and 1 Gbyte DDR3. • Xilinx Zynq SoC FPGA for I/O interface and processing. • Integrated 1 Gbit Ethernet, combined with USB 2.0, SATA-2. • PCI Express Gen 2 compatible and integrate PCI Express switch. • Infinite number of EMC²-Z7030 can be stacked for large I/O solutions. • Expandable with any VITA57.1 FMC I/O Module. • PC/104 form-factor with cable-less break-out PCB connector. Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Chesham, UK +44 1494 793167

• 1.9 GHz Intel Atom “Bay Trail” Processor. Quad, dual or single core options. • Integrated Intel Gen 7 graphics core supports DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0, and H.264, MPEG-2 encoding/decoding. Analog and Dual mini DisplayPort video outputs.

1.66 GHz Atom PC/104-Plus SBC Features -40 to +85 degrees C Operation Winsystems’ PPM-C393-S is a Single Board Computer (SBC) with PC/104-Plus expansion that uses Intel’s Atom N455 single-core 1.66GHz processor paired with the ICH8M I/O controller hub. This SBC is a full-featured unit with onboard I/O that supports CRT/LVDS video simultaneously, a Gbit Ethernet port, eight USB 2.0 ports, two serial RS-232/422/485 COM channels, two serial RS-232 COM channels, audio, and a watchdog timer. • Low Power 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N455 processor. • PC/104 computer module with SUMIT and PC104 Expansion. • Fanless operation.

• On-board TPM security chip.

• Eight USB 2.0 ports, four serial ports (two RS-232/422/485 and two RS-232), 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port.

• Up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3L DRAM.

• CompactFlash socket.

• Dual Ethernet interfaces, one USB 3.0 port and four USB 2.0 ports, dual serial ports, three timer/counters, I2C and audio support.

• Dual video with simultaneous LVDS and CRT outputs.

• Industry-standard PC/104 and PC/104Plus expansion. Versalogic Tualatin, OR. (503) 747-2261.

• -40 to +85 degrees C temperature operation. WinSystems Arlington, TX. (817) 274-7553.

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COTS Journal | June 2016



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QorIQ-based 3U VPX SBC Leverages PowerPC AltiVec Performance Aitech Defense Systems newest SBC, the rugged 3U VPX-based C912. The new board combines NXP’s latest generation T4 series of QorIQ SoC multicore e6500 processors with AltiVec along with extensive on-board I/O features. Available with four or eight PowerPC cores, the C912 gives system designers flexibility to implement the optimum high-performance SBC for specific application needs. Each e6500 core supports two hardware threads that appear to the application software as virtual CPUs and features a dedicated AltiVec vector execution accelerator allowing up to 16 complex math operations per clock cycle per core. For improved security and data assurance, the C912 also includes the latest QorIQ Secure Boot and Trust Architecture 2.0 with onetime programmable crypto key storage protection and external tamper detection. The C912 provides 4 Gbytes of fast DDR3 SDRAM operating at 1600 MT/s in two banks, each with a dedicated memory controller integrated into the QorIQ processor. The SDRAM is ECC-protected for high data integrity and a 16 Gbyte SATA Flash II disk eliminates the need for external storage media. The VPX fabric options provide eight PCIe lanes or two 10-Gbit Ethernet ports (XAUI) to the backplane P1 connector. On-board I/O includes up to four ports of integrated Gbit Ethernet, two SATA II and two USB 2.0 ports, four serial UART ports, discrete I/O channels to facilitate the attachment of a diverse set of peripherals such as sensors, communication devices, storage media and user interface devices. An industry standard XMC slot connected to the QorIQ SoC via an automatically configured, 4-lane (x4) PCIe port extends flexibility by enabling integration of additional processor, memory or I/O elements. Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA (888) 248-3248

1,000 W Full Brick Power Supply Boasts Extended Operating Temp Option

Rugged XMC Network Access Controller Meets FibreChannel Needs

Calex has announced the addition of the "-T" option on the 1,000 W FXW series. The "-T" option allows for extended temperature operation of the converters from -55- to +105-degrees C including cold start at -55 degrees C. The FXW series features an ultra-wide 9-36VDC input range accommodating a variety of power sources from 12V to 24V to 28V nominal. Output voltages available are 24 and 28VDC. All models are isolated input to output. The FXW offers high efficiency, up to 96.5 percent, and high power density which is accomplished through the use of synchronous rectification, advanced circuit, packaging and thermal design resulting in a compact, highly reliable product. The FXW operates at a fixed frequency and follow conservative derating guidelines.

Data Device Corporation (DDC) has introduced the next generation of rugged, improved throughput/ latency performance FibreACCESS Fibre Channel XMC Network Access Controllers, offering 1 Gbit/s or 2 Gbit/s operation via an x4 PCI Express (XMC) Initiator/Target host interface. The new FC-755XX boards, available with either 150 ohm differential or 75 coax ( for MIL-STD-1760E) copper, or fiber optic physical layers, are based on DDC’s leading Fibre Channel technology, designed to meet the multi-decade life cycle demands of aerospace and defense programs. Utilizing DDC’s proven IP, integrated multichip modules, and advanced manufacturing capabilities, DDC can tailor the board for a wide range of Fibre Channel interfacing requirements.

Calex Concord, CA (925) 687-4411

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COTS Journal | June 2016

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Scalable UPS System Features Auto-Sensing and Auto-Switching The PowergridM intelligent backplane stacking system from AJ’s Power Source represents the latest advancement in integrated power management technology providing technical and operational capabilities not seen before within the power industry. The PowergridM stacking design, based on modular power service building blocks, allows multiple rugged UPS units to be intelligently stack connected and function as a single unit. This intelligent stacking design provides a highly resilient non-stop power support for operationally critical

applications and with its Plug-&-Play Hot Swap Backplane capability and load-sharing design, allows for Repair/Replace maintenance activities with zero down time for attached systems. To provide Global Power Of Choice capabilities, PowergridM UPS systems are the first to incorporate Auto-Sensing/Auto Switching technology allowing them to operate on either an AC or DC power sources. To provide deployable power resiliency, you can connect PowergridM to both services at the same time and the systems will automatically select the “best available” power source significantly improving mobile On-The-Move, On-The-Pause, and On-The-Stop applications. The PowergridM backplane design can accommodate the integration of AC, DC, and expanded battery support power services into a single Integrated Power Management System (IPMS) with backplanes available from 3U (800W-3600W) to 10U (1200W-12KW) fully ruggedized stack configurations for transit case, mobile shelter, or vehicle based mobile systems. AJ’s Power Source, Land O Lakes, FL (813) 996-2583.

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Crystal Group has introduced the RE1401 NUC (Next Unit of Computing), an extremely compact, high performance rugged embedded computer appropriate for operational deployment in harsh environments. The platform is a highly configurable, fan cooled, ultrasmall form factor system designed around Intel’s 5th or 6th Generation Core i5/i7 CPU options. Measuring 6.3- x 1.9- x 4.8-inches and weighing only 2 pounds, the RE1401 NUC is small enough for placement in sizeconstrained areas and rugged enough for the harshest environments including shock and vibration. With a rugged all-aluminum compact chassis footprint, the RE1401 NUC is based on Intel’s NUC motherboard form factors 5th or 6th generation i5/ i7 workstation. The RE1401 NUC features a single removable SSD and single fixed SSD with a removable SD card slot. The system utilizes standard USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm headset jack, one or two mini-Display ports and HDMI 2.0 or mini HDMI. Mounting alternatives include table-top and tray options. The unit’s low profile design is easy to use for transportation, storage and deployment making it a valuable choice for many harsh environment applications. Crystal Group, Hiawatha, IA (319) 378-1636.


COTS Journal | June 2016


Rugged Dual GPGPU OpenVPX Module Boasts 5 TFLOPS Performance Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions has announced its second generation rugged GPU module for deployed Radar, SIGINT and EO/IR high performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications. The new CHAMP-GP3 GPGPU Application Accelerator is a 6U OpenVPX module that brings the extensive floating point processing power of NVIDIA’s latest generation of Maxwell architecture class GPGPUs to the embedded aerospace and defense market. The board features dual 1536-core Tesla M6 MXMs to provide an unprecedented 5 TFLOPS of compute performance in a single slot. The CHAMP-GP3 is designed for use in ISR and EW applications that require TFLOPS of accelerated processing. Thanks to its support for the popular CUDA and OpenCL programming languages, system designers using the CHAMP-GP3 can develop new applications in a fraction of the time required by FPGA-based solutions. The module is ideal for addressing the massive amounts of data generated by modern Radar, SIGINT and EO/IR sensors and provides unparalleled HPEC performance in cross-cueing applications. Because the CHAMP-GP3 supports Allinea Software’s CUDA profiling, Curtiss-Wright’s OpenHPEC Accelerator Suite of best-in-class software development tools, including Allinea DDT and Allinea MAP, can significantly speed and ease the development of systems using the CHAMP-GP3. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA (703) 779-7800

Compact COM Express Module Sports 6th Gen Intel Core Processorr

21.5-inch Waterproof Monitors are Sunlight Readable

WIN Enterprises has announced the MB-73440, a compact-size COM Express module with Type 6 pinout type. The unit supports a wide range of Intel 6th Generation Core i7/i5/i3 and Celeron SoC processors. The 6th generation Intel Core processor comes packed with advanced features to boost productivity, 3D gaming, and your creative potential, opening a world of eOEM embedded application possibilities. MB-73440's small size (95x95mm) makes it ideal for today's mobile and other IoT devices. Memory includes up to 32 Gbytes of non-ECC Dual channel DDR4 at 2133/1867 MHz. I/O includes two DDI channels, one LVDS, support up to 3 independent displays GbE, 2x SATA 6 Gbit/s, 4x USB 3.0 and 8x USB 2.0.

TRU-Vu Monitors has released a new 21.5 inch Sunlight Readable LCD monitor which produces clear, sharp images even in direct sunlight. The new SRMW-21.5R-SS is specifically designed to produce clear, sharp video images in direct sunlight, or in any other high ambient light conditions. With a brightness of over 1,000 nits, this screen is 4 to 5 times brighter than conventional LCD monitors. The rugged NEMA 4X waterproof stainless steel enclosure resists rust and ensures dependable performance in nearly any conditions. The SRMW-21.5R-SS features 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution; protective Anti-Reflective glass; Auto Re-start after power loss; rear VESA mount holes; VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort video inputs and 90-240VAC operation.

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

TRU-Vu Monitors Arlington Heights, IL (847) 259-2344

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COTS Journal | June 2016



3U CompactPCI Serial Board is Designed for High Data Volumes MEN Micro offers the G25A, a high-performance multicore CPU platform based on Intel’s Xeon D-1500 System-on-a-Chip (SoC). The 3U SBC is first in a family of CompactPCI Serial boards designed specifically for high data bandwidth based on PCIe 3.0, PCIe 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet via the backplane. To enable easy handling of high data volumes, MEN Micro's G25A supports two 10 Gbit Ethernet interfaces on RJ45 or M12 connectors, a USB 3.0 port, an RS232 port for configuration as well as a PCIe 3.0 interface via the backplane. This new SBC features up to 32 Gbytes of soldered DDR4 DRAM with ECC and a board management controller that provides thermal supervision of the processor and acts as a watchdog for the operating system. A microSD card can be connected via a USB interface providing added space for user applications or for use as a local boot medium and an integrated trusted platform module (TPM) provides enhanced system security. All the of the unit’s components are firmly soldered into place and are guaranteed to be shock and vibration resistant, making it suitable for applications outside of a protected server room like in a vehicle or airplane. MEN Micro Ambler, PA (215) 542-9575


PRODUCT GALLERY Rugged COM Express Type 6 Module Acromag’s XCOM-6400 is a basic size platform (95 x 125mm) processor module with Type 6 interconnects. Several models are available with the 4th generation (Haswell) Intel Core i7 or i5 CPUs. Designed for industrial and defense applications, the XCOM-6400 has an extra rigid PCB and extended temperature support. Cutting-edge technology features programmable power limits, allowing the user to “dial-down” the maximum power consumption of the CPU in systems where power is a concern. • Intel 4th Gen (Haswell) multi-core processor: Core i7 CPU for high performance (47W) or Core i5 CPU for low power (25W) • Programmable CPU power for heat sensitive applications • Intel 8-Series QM87 PCH chipset( formerly Lynx Point) • Up to 16GB of high-speed DDR3L memory with SODIMM lock-down mechanism (permits user removal or upgrades) • Advanced heat management technologies with heat spreader plates, conduction-cooled rails, and optional fan • Up to -40 to 85°C extended operating range • PEG/ General Purpose PCIe x16(bifurcation/trifurcation supported)


Phone: (877) 295-7084 Web:


COTS Journal | June 2016

Quarter Brick DCDC Converters Suited for Harsh Environment Use TDK has announced the introduction of the TDK-Lambda HQA120 isolated DC-DC converters. Rated at 120W, the HQA120 has been qualified with methods consistent with MIL-STD-883 and MIL-STD-202, making it suitable for use in COTS and harsh environment equipment. Initially available with 12V, 24V and 28V outputs, the encapsulated quarter bricks accept a wide range DC input of 9V to 40V, withstanding a 50V surge for 10 seconds. A choice of two grades is offered: -S for standard industrial applications or -M using wide temperature, high grade components and additional product testing for enhanced reliability. Two package styles are offered; a flanged type measuring 2.39- x 2.2- x 0.5-inches and a non-flanged version measuring 2.39- x 1.54- x 0.5-inches. TDK-Lambda Americas San Diego, CA (619) 628 2885


COM Express Module Serves up NXP QorIQ T4240 Processor Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) has announced the XPedite5850, a ruggedized COM Express module supporting an enhanced Type 5-based pinout and NXP ( formerly Freescale) QorIQ T4 processors. Available in both conductionand air-cooled configurations, the XPedite5850 features the NXP QorIQ T4240 processor with twelve dualthreaded Power Architecture e6500 cores and includes up to 16 Gbytes of DDR31866 ECC SDRAM. All of this power is efficiently packaged into a COM Express Basic form factor (95 mm x 125 mm). NXP QorIQ T-Series processors offer a broad range of solutions from singleto dual-core and multicore devices, featuring up to 24 virtual cores. The T-Series improves on the proven NXP P-Series 45 nm process technology, scaling down to just 28 nm. Feature size reduction and improved power management techniques allow for a power reduction of up to 50%. The T-Series also introduces the e6500 core, a multithreaded 64-bit Power Architecture core operating at up to 1.8 GHz with an integrated NXP AltiVec SIMD engine to provide DSP-level Floating-Point •• performance. The XPedite5850 hosts a large number Modular enclosure of I/O ports, making it extremely versatile. The module includes up solutions and components to four Ethernet ports PHYs (two 10/100/1000BASE-T and two 10GBASE-T Pixus offers virtually unlimited Ethernet PHYs), eight SerDes Gigabit configurations for 19” rackmount, Ethernet ports, two XFI 10 Gbit Ethernet ports, a single x8 PCIe port, a single x4 desktop, and rugged enclosures. PCIe port, two SATA ports capable of From electronics instrumentation 3 Gbits/s, two USB 2.0 ports, two I²C ports, two serial ports, a Serial Peripheral cases to embedded systems in the Interface (SPI) with two chip selects, and latest backplane architectures, Pixus IEEE 1588 support. The XPedite5850’s SerDes routing provides simultaneous has a solution for you. access to a large number of these signals, connecting nearly all of the SerDes signals directly from the backplane to the processor to allow for many options.

The only limit is the imagination

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COTS Journal | June 2016


“It looks like the drone industry has chosen their go-to event!” —Robert Rodriquez, President of the Society of Aerial Cinematography

September 7-9, 2016 Paris Hotel, Las Vegas

The Largest Commercial Drone Show in the World! InterDrone is Three Awesome Conferences:

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Ruggedized Smart Power Control Provides 28V, 200A, and 8-Channels Data Device Corp. (DDC) offers its 8-Channel, Solid-State Power Controller (SSPC) in a ruggedized military-grade form factor, offering advanced programmability and high-power density in a compact, highly reliable package. In addition to improved reliability and smart power control, the 8-Channel SSPC Power Distribution Unit (RP20S19XXX) provides significant Size, Weight, Power and Cost (SWaP-C) savings. CONVERTER These compact, high density 8-channel PDUs enable a 7X powerto-volume and 5X power-to-weight savings, compared with larger enclosed mechanical alternatives, enabling for Military & High Reliability Applications reduced space consumption and • 800 Watts Conduction Cooled (No Fans) fuel costs, while extending mission • 9~45 or 16~80 VDC Input Ranges range. Additional SWaP-C savings • MIL-STD-704, 461 & DO-160 Compliant are realized through a 70 percent • Measures only 180 x 120 x 60mm reduction in power dissipation, along with energy savings through intelligent load shedding and prioritization. Inventory costs can be saved, as these PDUs can be programmed to support multiple platforms and varying mission requirements. 800 Watt Modular DC-DC Power System DDC’s SSPCs enable network control, programmability, and autonomous • Up to 4 Isolated Outputs operation—simplifying vehicle control • Parallel or Serial Connections and freeing crew members’ time, • -40~+85°C Ambient (-55°C Option), so they can concentrate on mission Conduction Cooled Operation critical tasks. They also provide channel • Ultra-Wide input ranges: paralleling, controlled rise/fall times, 9~45Vdc (transient 60Vdc/100ms) and I2t trip protection, to deliver high - 16~80Vdc (transient 100Vdc/100ms) precision load protection and flexible • Reverse Polarity Protection power distribution. DDC’s SSPCs also • Inrush Current Limiting offer flexible control options, including • Advanced Status & Control CANbus interface, and a range of - Global Output Enable / Inhibit discrete control interfaces. These high - Individual Voltage Enable / Inhibit power PDUs allow each channel to be - Synchronization In/Out (560kHZ) individually programmed within a 10:1 - Over Temperature Monitor current range, from 2.5 to 25 Amps. - Remote Sense (≤10% compensation)


Flexible DC-DC Power Systems


Data Device Corp. Bohemia, NY (631) 567-5600

- Output Voltage Trimming - Output Current Trimming - Active Current Share (± 5% Accuracy) • Up to 88% efficiency

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



BGA Socket Adapter Supports -55 to +180 Degrees C Temperatures Ironwood Electronics has introduced a new BGA socket addressing high performance requirements for memory devices - CBT-BGA-6048. The contactor is a stamped spring pin with 31 gram actuation force per ball and cycle life of 125,000 insertions. The self inductance of the contactor is 0.88 nH, insertion loss less than 1 dB at 15.7 GHz and contact resistance is less than 30m Ohms. The current capacity of each contactor is 4 amps at 60 C temperature rise. Socket temperature range is -55 to +180 degrees C. Socket also features a floating guide for precise ball to pin alignment. The specific configuration of the package to be tested in the CBT-BGA-6048 is a BGA, 9x14mm, 0.8mm pitch, 96 position, 16x9 ball array. The socket also comes with 4 different inserts which are used when testing 78 pin and 64 pin memory devices with different IC size. The socket is mounted using supplied hardware on the target PCB with no soldering, and uses smallest footprint for nearby passive components. Socket uses 5 post stiffener plate to support back side of the PCB and allows passive components to be placed in between posts. This socket utilizes double sided latch with integrated compression mechanism. Pricing for the CBT-BGA-6048 is $745 at qty 1. Ironwood Electronics Eagan, MN (952) 229-8200

LIGHTWEIGHTS THAT PACK A PUNCH Even the smallest parts can make a big difference. TE Connectivityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (TE) INSTALITE Molded Boots provide a rugged, low-weight solution for sealed harnesses while significantly reducing weight and increasing fuel economy. The new Black Zinc Nickel Plating provides a smart, lightweight and RoHS-compliant alternative to cadmium plating to help meet tightening environmental restrictions without sacrificing the electrical performance, harsh environment protection and temperature ranges as cadmium finishes. Connect with TE to learn how lightweight connectors can deliver powerful results for military applications at Š 2016 TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies. All Rights Reserved. INSTALITE, EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS, TE, TE Connectivity and the TE connectivity (logo) are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies.


TE-ADM_SealedHarness_HP_COTS.indd 1


COTS Journal | June 2016

6/3/16 4:10 PM


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


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Pelican Products, Inc. 23215 Early Avenue, Torrance, CA 90505

FIND the products featured in this section and more at

866.823.0127 (TOLL FREE) • Tel 310.326.4700 • Fax 310.326.3311 All trademarks are registered and/or unregistered trademarks of Pelican Products, Inc., its affiliates and/or subsidiaries.

COTS Journal | June 2016



PCI Express Mini Card Module Family has UserProgrammable FPGA

Voltage Controlled Oscillator Operates from 900 MHz to 940 MHz

Tews Technologies has announced a standard full PCI Express Mini Card with a user programmable Xilinx Spartan-6 LX25T FPGA. The TMPE633 provides a number of advantages including a customizable interface for unique customer applications and a FPGA-based design for long-term product lifecycle management. The TMPE633 module versions are available with either 26 ESD-protected 5V-tolerant TTL lines, 13 differential I/O lines with EIA 422/485 compatible ESD-protected line transceivers or 13 differential I/O lines using Multipoint-LVDS transceivers. All I/O lines are individually programmable as input or output. TTL I/O lines can be set to high, low, or tristate.

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

Tews Technologies Reno, NV (775) 850-5830

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

Industry’s First NVMe over Fabric Flash Array Dramatically Increases Application Performance Middle Canyon and Mangstor delivers the industry’s first flash storage array supporting NVMe over Ethernet or Infiniband fabrics and packaged via an RDMA cluster scale-out architecture that delivers lower latency and higher IOPS performance than traditional SAN solutions. The NX Series provides the highest performance storage tier for business analytics and HPC applications as well as a caching storage layer for Big Data applications. It also provides high concurrent Read/ Write bandwidth for video storage and delivery. The NX Series flash arrays are based on Mangstor’s MX6300 SSDs and its TITAN software stack. TITAN provides industry-leading performance and latency by tightly integrating NVMe SSDs with a high-performance, low latency network and efficient use of x86

your fast, flexible and responsive partner.

server capabilities. The array appears as local Direct Attached Storage (DAS) to any attached servers for seamless integration with existing applications and storage infrastructures, and has all of the management and serviceability benefits of centralized storage.

• Delivers up to 10x higher bandwidth and 10x lower latency versus ISCSI/FC flash arrays • Accesses data at nearly identical latencies as accessing local PCIe-based SSDs

13469 Middle Canyon Rd., Carmel Valley, CA 93924 (408) 718-7854 • •


COTS Journal | June 2016

• User configurable into separate storage volumes and shareable across multiple hosts • 2015 Best of Show winner at Flash Memory Summit


PC/104 I/O Carrier Supports FMC I/O Mezzanine Cards Sundance has announced the availability of the SMT105-FMC, a PC/104 I/O Carrier for the integration of the growing range of VITA57.1 FMC cards. The FPGA on SMT105-FMC can also serve as a data-buffer for data acquisitions solutions, as a frame-buffer for FMC I/O Modules and can be used for pre-processing functions that reduce the amount of data that is moved to the Host Controller for application processing and control. The SMT105-FMC can either be supplied with an integrated FMC I/O Module with all features integrated as a “Turnkey-IO-Board”. The 100+ pricing for SMT105-FMC starts at $1495. Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Chesham. UK +44 1494 793167

High-Density Aircraft Modules Provide Enhanced Pin Protection TE Connectivity has announced its DMC-M high-density 30-23 modules for aerospace. Designed for EN4165, BACC65 and ARINC 809 shells, the modules achieve higher density with a reverse design that protects against damage due to exposed contacts. The increased density of the new 30-position modules provides a 50 percent increase in contact counts over the existing 20-22 modules, allowing two 30-23 modules to provide the same 60-contact density as three 20-22 modules. This reduces the connector and harness sizes, enabling space and weight savings. TE’s plastic clip technology provides additional weight savings and simplifies the assembly process, providing possible weight savings of up to 20 percent. TE Connectivity Berwyn, PA (610) 893-9800

Game Changing Performance for Data-Intensive/ Latency-Sensitive Enterprise Applications Accelerate Application Response Times with Industry’s Fastest PCIe MX6300 SSDs from Middle Canyon and Mangstor. Key Performance Attributes: Innovative software-based host offload design utilizes a highly efficient 100-core processor located on the SSD: • Delivers leading performance / low host CPU utilization • Offloads flash management and application acceleration operations to the SSD locally reducing system power while freeing the host resources for application processing • Includes high-performance algorithms and software that runs on the flash controller • Handles all data management at very high speed to and from the host CPU and SSDs

Performance: delivers industry-leading NVMe SSD IOPS and latency via software configurable flash controller Manageability: provides a suite of management features specific to PCIe flash memory and the NVMe specification

your fast, flexible and responsive partner.

13469 Middle Canyon Rd., Carmel Valley, CA 93924 (408) 718-7854 • •

Reliability: supports end-to-end data protection optimizing the entire data path from network to flash in the event of data corruption and power loss Interoperability: provides seamless integration with server operating systems using standard in-box drivers

COTS Journal | June 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




Phoenix International..........................26...........................

Critical I/O..........................................48...........................

Pico Electronics, Inc............................25.................

Elma Electronics.................................27.................................


Gaia Converter....................................39..................

Star Communications

HVF Precious

Systel USA...........................................33..........................

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

Middle Canyon..................................42, 43................


NovaSom Industries............................13...........

One Stop Systems, Inc. ......................4, 7.......................

Pelican Cases...................................22,

COTS Gallery Ad..................................36.........................................................

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: Military HPEC Systems Leverage Data Center Computing

System Development: Safety Critical and Mission-Critical Choices in Embedded Software

Tech Recon Jeff’s Picks: Jeff Child’s Top MicroTCA and ATCA Approaches

Data Sheet: OpenVPX SBCs Roundup

While the strict definition of High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) varies, the basic idea is to leverage technologies like VPX and PCI Express to provide massive processing power for compute-intensive systems. Such systems can meet immense throughput and processing requirements in space-constrained systems handling more than a teraflop of data. Articles in this section look at the products and tools available to make these systems a reality.

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. July’s section looks at the technology and products in the MicroTCA and ATCA categories.


COTS Journal | June 2016

The fact that military system functionally is now mostly software based means that the burden of security and safety-critical operation falls squarely in the embedded software realm. Such software has to be certified to the safety-critical standard DO-178B and its imminent successor DO-178C. But while those efforts seem costly, they pale in comparison to the huge costs associated with correcting software defects once they’re deployed on an airborne system. This section compares the tools and techniques available to help system developers meet real-time and safety-critical needs. The OpenVPX spec provides implementation details for VPX payload and switch modules, backplane topologies and chassis products. And most importantly, it provides specific profiles on all the key aspects of an OpenVPX so that users and product vendors now have a clear language defining which OpenVPX are compatible with one another. Over the past couple years, the number of new OpenVPX boards continues to ramp. This section updates readers on the progress of those implementations, and displays a sampling of the current crop of OpenVPX SBC products.

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Number of nautical miles range between which the MQ-4C Triton UAV can perform persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and relay collected data to a P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The Navy recently demonstrated this capability during a flight test June 2 where an MQ-4C Triton and P-8A Poseidon successfully exchanged full motion video for the first time inflight via a Common Data Link (CDL). The test demonstrated Triton’s ability to track a target with its electro-optical/infrared camera to build situational awareness for a distant P-8 aircrew. Triton is designed to fly missions of up to 24 hours at altitudes over 10 miles high.

27,000 LBS Weight of external lift payload successfully completed by Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K King Stallion helicopter at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center. The aircraft executed an “out of ground effect” (OGE) external load test at 100 feet above the ground while performing hover maneuvers to demonstrate its excellent control authority in this flight regime. An OGE load is the most stressful of lift conditions for a helicopter from a power required standpoint. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, is developing the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps.



Total potential value of task order awarded to Insitu by the Naval Air Systems Command and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division to provide unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) services via ScanEagle aboard one Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC). The initial $4.5-million task order includes operation, integration, maintenance and sparing of a contractor-owned sUAS on one NSC for one year. The task order has a total potential value of $12.3 million that includes options for deployment of and data from prototype sUAS capability for up to three additional years beyond the base year.


COTS Journal | June 2016


The number of littoral combat ships delivered to the Navy since the Navy accepted delivery of future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) this month during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard. Delivery marks the official transfer of Montgomery from the shipbuilder to the Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning, which is planned for September 2016 in Mobile, Alabama. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant. LCS 8 is an Independence variant.

4.3 Kilometers

Range achieved by the Javelin missile confirmed during a series of ground vehicle launch tests. by the Javelin Joint Venture team, a partnership of Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin. During the five tests were conducted for the U.K. Army, the Javelin missiles were mounted on a Spartan armored fighting vehicle and fired via the Kongsberg M151 Remote Weapon Station. Each missile flew between 1.2 and 4.3 kilometers, hitting the stationary ground target in each test. The live-fire tests confirm Javelin’s greater than 94-percent reliability rate.

Capture. Record. Real-Time. Every Time. Intelligently record wideband signals continuously...for hours Capturing critical SIGINT, radar and communications signals requires hardware highly-optimized for precision and performance. Our COTS Talon® recording systems deliver the industry’s highest levels of performance, even in the harshest environments. You’ll get extended operation, high dynamic range and exceptional recording speed every time! •

High-speed, real-time recording: Sustained data capture rates to 8 GB/sec

Extended capture periods: Record real-time for hours or days with storage up to 100+ TB

Exceptional signal quality: Maintain highest dynamic range for critical signals

Flexible I/O: Capture both analog and digital signals

Operational in any environment: Lab, rugged, flight-certified, portable and SFF systems designed for SWaP

Out-of-the-box operation: SystemFlow® GUI, signal analyzer and API provide simple instrument interfaces

Intelligent recording: Sentinel Intelligent Scan and Capture software automatically detects and records signals of interest ™

Eight SSD QuickPac™ canister, removable in seconds!

Download the FREE High-Speed Recording Systems Handbook at: or call 201-818-5900 for additional information.

Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 Phone: 201-818-5900 • Fax: 201-818-5904 • email: • Worldwide Distribution & Support, Copyright © 2016 Pentek, Inc. Pentek, Talon, SystemFlow, Sentinel and QuickPac are trademarks of Pentek, Inc. Other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

Rugged Data Storage and Recording Solutions from Critical I/O

TCP/UDP Recording at 2.5GB/s Sustained AIRBORNE SHIPBOARD







StoreBox™ 10GbE • Up to 2.5 GByte/s sustained recording • Up to 18TB (36 TB coming soon) • Dual Optical/Copper 10GbE • Hot-Swap flash storage modules • Network based recording control • Small Form Factor and low power • Optional AES secure encryption • Optional 10GbE NAS operation • Optional Data Offload Station • Smaller & larger capacities available


COTS Journal  

June 2016

COTS Journal  

June 2016