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November 2016, Volume 18 – Number 11 •

The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing JOURNAL

SFF Solutions Reach New Compute-Density Levels


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


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.

November 2016 Volume 18 Number 11

FEATURED p.10 SFF Boxes Beef Up Their Processing and Functionality SPECIAL FEATURE Advances in Small Form Factor Box Systems 10

SFF Boxes Beef Up Their Processing and Functionality Tradeoffs Drive Distributed vs. Consolidated Architecture Choice


Leveraging MIL-STD-810 Takes More Than Meets the Eye

Mike Southworth, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

Spectrum Access Reimagined


The Inside Track


COTS Products


Marching to the Numbers

David Lippincott, Chassis Plans

TECH RECON Jeff Child’s Top Video Display Systems Display Console System Meets Shipboard/Shore Needs

Coming in December See Page 48

Jeff Child

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT Leveraging IoT Strategies for Defense Needs 28

6 Editorial

Jeff Child




EXCLUSIVE: Expert Shares Insights on Digital Transformation in the IoT Age Nick Michaelides, Cisco Systems

On The Cover: The core mission system of the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is built on General Dynamics Mission Systems’ open architecture computing infrastructure (OPEN CI), an infrastructure not bound by proprietary systems. Shown here, the USS Independence (LCS-2) is the lead ship of the Independence-class LCS. (Photo: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

DATA SHEET Rugged Box Systems Roundup 32 Box-Level Rugged Systems Feed Tech Readiness Needs Jeff Child


Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Digital subscriptions available:

COTS Journal | November 2016



The Journal of Military Electronics & Computing



WESTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER John Reardon, (949) 226-2000 EASTERN REGIONAL SALES MANAGER Ruby Brower, (949) 226-2004


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PUBLISHED BY THE RTC GROUP Copyright 2016, The RTC Group. Printed in the United States. All rights reserved. All related graphics are trademarks of The RTC Group. All other brand and product names are the property of their holders.




COTS Journal | November 2016

PRESIDENT John Reardon, VICE PRESIDENT Aaron Foellmi,



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EDITORIAL Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

Spectrum Access Reimagined


or anyone who has followed this column over the years, I’ve always been keenly interested in the various DARPA “Challenge” events. Beginning over 10 years back with the DARPA Grand Challenge, Congress has continued to authorized DARPA to award cash prizes to further DARPA’s mission to sponsor revolutionary, high-payoff research that bridges the gap between fundamental discoveries and military use. The initial DARPA Grand Challenge was created to spur the development of technologies needed to create the first fully autonomous ground vehicles capable of completing a substantial off-road course within a limited time. Over the years there’s been a number of challenges addressing technology areas like cyber security and robotics. Over the next couple years another DARPA challenge is underway that very much is in line with the advanced electronics technologies of interest to COTS Journal readers: the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2). This is the first-of-its-kind collaborative machinelearning competition to overcome scarcity in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. A little background: spectrum today is managed by dividing it into rigid, exclusively licensed bands. But this human-driven process is not adaptive to the dynamics of supply and demand, and thus cannot exploit the full potential capacity of the spectrum. The team whose radio design most reliably achieves successful communication in the presence of other competing radios could win as much as $3,500,000. Competitors will reimagine spectrum access strategies and develop a new wireless paradigm in which radio networks will autonomously collaborate and reason about how to share the RF spectrum, avoiding interference and jointly exploiting opportunities to achieve the most efficient use of the available spectrum. SC2 teams will develop these breakthrough capabilities by taking advantage of recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and the expanding capacities of software-defined radios. According to DARPA this competition aims not only to challenge innovators in academia and business to produce breakthroughs in collaborative AI, but also to catalyze a new spectrum paradigm that can help usher in an era of spectrum abundance. In October the SC2 Open Track Hurdles page went providing an overview of the process to follow to successfully complete the three Phase 1 hurdles. Teams wishing to participate in the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge, must complete 3 entrance hurdles. The competition will unfold in three year-long phases beginning in 2017 and finishing, for those teams that survive the two Preliminary Events, in a high-profile Championship Event in late 2019. The team


COTS Journal | November 2016

whose advanced, software-defined radios collaborate most effectively with a diversity of simultaneously operating radios in a manner that optimizes spectrum usage for the entire communicating ensemble will walk away with a grand prize of $2 million. The teams that rank as the second and third best collaborators will take home $1 million and $750,000, respectively. A leading player in our industry National Instruments has stepped up to serve a major role in the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge. NI has begun a collaboration with DARPA to supply core infrastructure for a path-breaking channel emulation testbed, called Colosseum. NI will provide USRP software defined radios (SDRs) that support a wide variety of open source and proprietary tool flows including GNU Radio, RFNoC and LabVIEW system design software. The Colosseum channel emulation testbed supports up to 256-by-256-channel, real-time channel emulation, calculating more than 65,000 channel interactions at up to 80 MHz of real-time bandwidth per channel. The testbed, based on the USRP X310 software defined radio and NI ATCA-3671 high-performance FPGA processing system, will be housed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and will be accessible remotely for nextgeneration wireless research. The testbed will provide a level playing field for the three-year competition. Ettus Research, a subsidiary of NI, provides a key piece of hardware: the USRP X310 scalable software defined radio (SDR) platform. The hardware architecture combines two extended-bandwidth daughterboard slots covering DC to 6 GHz with up to 160 MHz of baseband bandwidth, multiple high-speed interface options (PCIe, dual 10 GigE, dual 1 GigE), and a large user-programmable Kintex-7 FPGA in a convenient desktop or rack-mountable half-wide 1U form factor. In addition to providing best-in-class hardware performance, the open source software architecture of X310 provides cross-platform UHD driver support making it compatible with a large number of supported development frameworks, reference architectures, and open source projects. Like all of DARPA’s other challenge “events, the SC2 shows much wisdom on the part of the DoD in not simply looking inward for technology innovation, but rather to cast as wide a net as possible to leverage all the thinking power of academia and industry. I look forward to following the progress of this challenge over the next couple years. Information on the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge is available at


INSIDE TRACK Crystal Group Provides Rugged Systems for B-2 Bomber Communications Suite Crystal Group has released a new case study on the U.S. Air Force B-2 Stealth Bomber Adaptive Communications Suite (ACS) in which the company provided rugged servers and displays. Incremental technology refreshes for the B-2 ACS provide the aircraft with the latest advances in commercially available electronics (Figure 1). Aircraft engineers sought updated rugged server and display options to meet critical requirements for high reliability and dependability. The B-2 team selected Crystal Group’s RS112 Rugged 1U Server, RS112PS18M Rugged 1U Carbon Fiber Server and RD1119 Rugged Display for the ACS upgrades based on

Crystal’s proven reliability, advanced rugged technology, manufacturing expertise and customer centered responsiveness. Crystal’s rugged solutions provide an improved SWaP profile offering less weight, less power consumption, and a smaller form factor size. Following the ACS upgrade, the B-2 team realized enhanced communication and control capabilities along with easier system maintenance access which helps to keep the aircraft mission-ready.

BAE Systems Extends Cognitive EW Development for DARPA

Under the contract modification, for Phase 3 of the ARC program, BAE Systems will perform work that includes the planned completion of algorithm development, advanced readiness testing, and key milestones for transitioning the ARC technologies to critical airborne warfare platforms, such as fifth-generation

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a $13.3 million contract modification to extend its work on the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) project. The ARC program’s goal is to enable airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter new, unknown, and adaptive radars in real time (Figure 2). To ensure mission success in future anti-access/area denial environments, EW systems will need to isolate unknown hostile radar signals in dense electromagnetic environments, and then rapidly generate effective electronic countermeasures. The cognitive EW technologies developed for the ARC program employ advanced signal processing, intelligent algorithms, and machine learning techniques.


Crystal Group Hiawatha, IA (319) 378-1636

Figure 1 The ACS upgrade gave the B-2 enhanced communication and control capabilities along with easier system maintenance access which helps to keep the aircraft mission-ready.

fighter jets. DARPA’s contract modification for Phase 3 brings the cumulative value of BAE Systems’ ARC contract to $35.5 million. BAE Systems Nashua, NH (603) 885-3653

Figure 2 The ARC program’s goal is to enable airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter new, unknown, and adaptive radars in real time.

COTS Journal | November 2016

Mercury Systems to Acquire Creative Electronic Systems (CES) Mercury Systems has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CES Creative Electronic Systems (CES). The acquisition is expected to close during Mercury’s second fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2016. For the twelve month period ended September 30, 2016 CES had revenue of approximately $23 million. The total purchase price for the transaction is approximately $38 million, subject to net working capital and net debt adjustments and will be funded with cash on hand. According to Mark Aslett, Mercury’s President and Chief Executive Officer, the addition of CES adds important and complementary capabilities in mission computing, safety-critical avionics and platform management that


INSIDE TRACK are in demand from our customers. These new capabilities are expected to substantially expand Mercury’s addressable market into commercial aerospace, defense platform management, C4I and mission computing. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, CES specializes in the design, development and manufacture of safety-certifiable product and subsystems solutions including: primary flight control units, flight test computers, mission computers, command and control processors, graphics and video processing and avionicscertified Ethernet and IO. Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA (978) 967-1401

Lockheed Martin Delivers Fourth C-5M Super Galaxy to Air Force Reserve The newest C-5M Super Galaxy was ferried from the Lockheed Martin facility on Oct. 28. This C 5M will be assigned to the 433rd Airlift Wing, the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command unit at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, TX. The aircraft, formerly assigned to Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, was flown to Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, for interior paint restoration and to receive its new Texas state flag tail flash prior to final delivery. It will be the fourth C-5M assigned to Lackland, TX (Figure 3). An Air Force Reserve Command aircrew led by Brig. Gen. James J. Fontanella, the commander of the Force Generation Center (FCG) at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, ferried the aircraft. This aircraft (U. S. Air Force serial number 87-0038) was originally delivered to the Air Force in December 1988 as a C-5B and

Figure 3 The newest C-5M Super Galaxy was ferried from Lockheed Martin’s facility on Oct. 28.

had recorded approximately 18,950 flight hours prior to the ferry flight. Some of those flight hours came in 2006, when Fontanella, then assigned to Travis Air Force Base, California, led a crew that flew 870038 around the world. Lockheed Martin Bethesda, MD (301) 897-6000

NI Provides SDR Technology for DARPA’s Spectrum Collaboration Challenge National Instruments (NI) has announced a collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to supply core infrastructure for a pathbreaking channel emulation testbed, called Colosseum, which will play a central role in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge. NI will provide USRP software defined radios (SDRs) that support a wide variety of open source and proprietary tool flows including GNU Radio, RFNoC and LabVIEW system design software. The Colosseum channel emulation testbed supports up to 256-by256-channel, real-time channel emulation, calculating more than 65,000 channel interactions at up to 80 MHz of real-time bandwidth

per channel. The testbed, based on the USRP X310 software defined radio and NI ATCA-3671 highperformance FPGA processing system, will be housed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD., and will be accessible remotely for nextgeneration wireless research. The testbed will provide a level playing field for the three-year competition with winning teams vying for a total of $3.75M in prize money from DARPA. National Instruments Austin, TX (512) 683-0100

OceanServer’s Iver-3 AUVs Participate in Unmanned Warrior 2016 OceanServer Technology recently participated in the first ever Unmanned Warrior (UW) in Loch Alsh, Scotland. Part of Joint Warrior, the semiannual, United Kingdom- led training exercise is designed to provide NATO and allied forces with a unique multi-

warfare setting in which to prepare for global operations. Multiple Iver AUVs were put in active roles by members of the Royal Navy, US Navy and the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). The Iver-3 systems were used in a segment of Unmanned Warrior known as Hell Bay, during which groups of underwater vehicles demonstrate how they collaborate to carry out autonomous tasks like target location and recognition (Figure 4). Several of the Iver3 AUVs were equipped with SeeByte Neptune, an open architecture enabling autonomous multivehicle collaboration. Designed to enhance Mine Counter-Measure (MCM) missions, the system offers launch and recovery software management, water column flight management, static and dynamic exclusion zones, survey and re-acquire tasks, and real-time progress and status monitoring. OceanServer Technology Fall River, MA (508) 678-0550

Figure 4 At the Unmanned Warrior event the Iver-3 systems were used in a segment during which groups of underwater vehicles demonstrate how they collaborate to carry out autonomous tasks. COTS Journal | November 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE Advances in Small Form Factor Box Systems


COTS Journal | November 2016


SFF Boxes Beef Up Their Processing and Functionality Offering whole new levels of compute density in ever smaller sizes, SFF box systems are now also embedded advanced networking and security functions. Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


t’s clear that small form factor rugged box have become a staple in today’s military embedded computing market. On the standard-based side, only one of the three VITA specification efforts is continuing forward toward full ANSI standardization. Meanwhile a new wave of smaller, more compute-dense SFF systems is emerging. As prime contractors continue to try to reduce their costs by outsourcing more technology, they’re often now looking to upgrades at box- or subsystem level and not just at the slot-card level. For the past several years embedded computing industry has made moves to apply some standardization on the format or I/O configurations between vendors of rugged box systems products. These efforts have evolved around standardization on the mechanical format or I/O configuration. The three VITA draft specification efforts jockeying for acceptance have been VITA 73, VITA 74 and VITA 75. Today only VITA 74—also dubbed VNX—in on path toward full ANSI-standardization status in VITA. Stakeholders for VITA 75 meanwhile don’t plan to move its specification beyond its current status and VITA 73 has been scrapped. Standards or not, small form factor rugged- box level systems are perhaps one of the most active design activities in the embedded computing industry. Some have remarked that the whole idea of a “standard” small form factor format is a bit of contradiction. They argue that any system developer that wants the smallest possible box will opt for a smaller

COTS Journal | November 2016



ing, UAS and UGVs as well as signal processing and persistent video surveillance. The A176 Cyclone measures only 4.3- x 4.3- x 1.18 inches and weighs less than 2.2 lbs. Operating temperature is -40°C to +70°C with vibration and shock to VITA 47 levels V2 and OS1, respectively. The system withstands rain, dust, salt fog and bench handling to MIL-STD-810G and EMI/RFI levels to MILSTD-461.

Figure 1 The A176 Cyclone delivers 1 TeraFlops performance integrating a GPU with 256 CUDA cores and Gbytes of LPDDR4 RAM. The system’s SWaP specs include 17 W power consumption, 4.3- x 4.3- x 1.18 inches size at a weight less than 2.2 lbs.

box each time rather than fitting some standard. These solutions are edging out traditional backplane-centric slot card system architectures in many military platforms. This box-level system trend is dominating wherever size, weight and power (SWaP) is a priority concerns—especially in UAVs and military vehicle electronic systems. Rugged box-level systems span a wide range of formats, sizes and configurations with a wealth of non-standard formats that have emerged.

Pushing Compute-Density Envelope Exemplifying the trend toward achieving the smallest form factor possible, Aitech Defense Systems a fanless, rugged GPGPU supercomputer that measures only 20 cubic inches, while providing 1 TFLOP of parallel processing. The self-contained, military grade A176 Cyclone redefines SFF (small form factor) power density by delivering 60 GFLOPs/W in a compact, low power HPEC (high performance embedded computer). Using the NVIDIA Maxwell architecture for the GPU subsystem, the A176 integrates 256 CUDA cores with 4 Gbytes of LPDDR4 RAM. The Quad-core ARM Cortex A57 CPU provides an operating frequency to 1.9 GHz per core, with an overall maximum power consumption of only 17 W (8-10 W typical) (Figure 1). Specific uses include C4ISR, intelligent video analytics, image capture and process12

COTS Journal | November 2016

Processing and Routing A recent trend in small form factor systems is the marrying of processing and network routing into a system. Along those lines SFF rugged embedded system from Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) is the XPand6052. The conduction-cooled XPand6052 combines the XPedite5205 highperformance XMC/PMC Embedded Services Router (ESR).router and the XPedite7450 Intel Core i7 quad-core general-purpose processor in a compact, Small Form Factor system (Figure 2). The XPand6052 system has been comprehensively designed to meet or exceed the demanding military specifications of MILSTD-810 and DO-160. The XPand6052 has been tested against the rigorous environmental requirements of MIL-STD-810 for vibration, shock, humidity, contamination by fluids, storage and operating temperature, altitude, temperature variation, and the EMI requirements of MIL-STD-461G. The

XPand6052 provides an abundance of XPedite7450 processor I/O, including two USB 2.0 ports, two configurable RS-232/422/485 serial ports, DisplayPort and VGA graphics ports, and two 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet ports. The XPedite5205 router adds four 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with two RS-232 serial ports. The XPand6052 also provides up to 64 Gbytes of internal SATA-accessed storage. The XPedite5205 is an XMC/PMC-based Embedded Services Router (ESR) router that runs Cisco IOS Software with Cisco Mobile Ready Net capabilities.

Xeon-D Multicore System General Micro Systems also takes the router/processing blend approach in its Blackhawk SB2002-SW “Blackhawk” switch/ router product. It’s among GMS’s latest offerings designed to serve requirements of the Army’s WIN-T program. The system boasts 20 managed ports, 64 Gbytes of RAM, removable storage, Cisco routing software, and high-level security in compact sevenpound box. The Blackhawk server supports the Xeon D processor with hyper-threading for a total of up to 16 logical cores (32 threads) in a single SoC device-12 cores in the extended-temperature version. Each core operates at up to 2.5 GHz and can turbo boost up to 3.1GHz. The product is part of product line of deployable, rugged, small form-factor server systems, based on the In-

Figure 2 The conduction-cooled XPand6052 combines a XMC/PMC Embedded Services Router (ESR).router and an Intel Core i7 quad-core general-purpose processor in a small form factor system.


tel Xeon D processor. General Micro Systems supplies the multi-domain boxes in several of all six of the WIN-T program’s ground vehicles. The SB2002-SW Blackhawk also boasts a secure storage subsystem with up to 16 Mbytes of BIOS Flash with hardware-write protect and a fixed on-board mSATA boot device up to 1 Terabyte with optional hardware write-protect, secure-erase, and encryption functions. In addition, the Blackhawk supports one enterprise-class x4 PCIe SSD or up to four 2.5 inch SSD drives with hardware write-protect, secure-erase, and encryption functions. The Blackhawk can also support FIPS-140-2 and FIPS-197 encryption standards for ultra-secure data storage, along with the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and the Trusted Execution Technology (TXT).

Designed for VICTORY Function-specific kinds of rugged box systems are an interested sub-trend happening in this technology area. One of Curtiss Wright’s small form factor boxes aims specifically at vehicle platforms using the VICTORY standard. Recently the company added a reliable PNT capability to its VICTORY in-vehicle network implementation (Figure 3): the DuraDBH-672. Able to support all vehicle platforms in GPS-denied environments, the resulting system provides accurate Mounted Assured-PNT (MAPS) functionality, including support for an integrated military GB-GRAM (Ground Based GPS Receiver Application Module), Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). Combined with a proven VICTORY infrastructure switch and shared services processor, this pre-qualified Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) is ready for deployment on ground vehicles. The system empowers the U.S. Army’s MAPS approach to distribute Assured Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) to systems on mounted platforms even in GPS-denied environments. This LRU provides affordable PNT hub capabilities using non-GPS augmentation for mounted platforms. To help bring this COTS-based MAPS/VICTORY solution to the warfighter, Curtiss-Wright is currently working with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)


Figure 3 DuraDBH-672 system empowers the Army’s MAPS approach to distribute Assured Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) to systems on mounted platforms even in GPS-denied environments.

to test and evaluate the DuraDBH-672.

VITA 74 Borrows from VPX and FMC Of the three VITA small form factor system specification efforts, VITA 74 is only remaining that’s on a path toward ANSI standard approval. Also called, VNX , the specification leverages concepts from the VPX and OpenVPX standards as well as the VITA 57 FMC specification. VNX defines two standard modules. Each are 89 mm by 75 mm, but differ in thickness and the number of pins associated with each module. The 12.5 mm module is well suited for applications such as an I/O carrier for MiniPCIe mezzanine cards, data storage, or functions such as GPS. The 19 mm module has a higher power dissipation capability and can host functions such as SBCs, Software Defined Radio components, Graphics/ Video, FPGAs or more complex I/O implementations. Because the VNX specification does not define the enclosure, a system developer is free to configure the modules in the most appropriate combinations for the specific deployment. Inherently conduction cooled modules provide maximum flexibility for cooling the enclosure. Choices of enclosure designs can include cooling by natural convection, conduction cooling, and forced convection cooling. Enclosures vary in size from a sleeve to hold a single module to designs incorporating more than ten modules. For its part, Creative Electronic Systems (CES) provides the ROCK-3 based on VNX (VITA 74). The ROCK-3 mission computer family extends ability of the system architect to deploy the right compute power at the right Size, Weight and Power

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SPECIAL FEATURE Advances in Small Form Factor Box Systems

Tradeoffs Drive Distributed vs. Consolidated Architecture Choice Today’s technology enables multiple functions to consolidate into one subsystem. But there are some cases are a distributed set of subsystems is preferred. Mike Southworth, Product Marketing Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions


hanks in large part to the ongoing miniaturization of technology, today’s system designers have an increased ability to integrate more functionality into a single small-form factor subsystem chassis than ever before. This trend has been a boon for size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) constrained embedded solutions deployed in defense and aerospace applications. Over the last five years, the evolution of technology has delivered lower cost, smaller size and reduced power consumption. It’s also made it far less burdensome to consolidate more functions into a single box that can be successfully cooled, built, and fielded. On the surface, it might seem that easing the ability to get more functionality into a smaller footprint is an ideal pursuit for all embedded system designs. Perhaps counter-intuitively, there are clear cases where a distributed architectural approach, where multiple boxes are installed in different locations on a platform, is superior to a consolidated approach in which as many functions as possible are co-located in a single enclosure (Figure 1). While there’s no single rule-of-thumb for all applications, a preferred system architecture can emerge after evaluating a number of design tradeoffs and considerations. 16

COTS Journal | November 2016

Distributed LRU Strategy At one time—before the semiconductor industry had successfully advanced component integration and power management to the level seen today—the norm was to architect a system solution with distributed line replaceable units (LRU). Simply put, technology couldn’t support packing all the different desired functionality, such as mission processing, data networking and I/O communications, into a single small enclosure. What’s more, a particular program requirement, or the customer’s approach to fiscal budgeting and their supply chain may have encouraged the use of “single function” distributed solutions. Some programs might not have had enough leeway to permit the inclusion of additional functionality beyond the defined

functions of that LRU’s specification. Even if there were SWaP-C benefits to be accrued by adding more functionality into an LRU, systemic purchasing constraints might have obviated their consideration. Often, the funds simply aren’t available for something “out of scope”.

Inefficient Redundancies Historically, the US government approached system upgrades with a “bolt-on” tactic. This led to military platform upgrades comprised of any number of “stove-piped” narrow function devices that might not be interoperable with other equipment. These bolt-on boxes might have been added at different times to achieve different program objectives. The kludge-like result was often left to the system integrator, and ultimately the

Figure 1 In a distributed approach multiple boxes are installed in different locations on a platform. In a consolidated approach as many functions as possible are co-located in a single enclosure.


Advantages of distributed subsystem approach Information assurance (IA):

Separate boxes used to partition security levels

Redundancy and reliability

Minimizes mission impact if a single box is rendered inoperable

Thermal management

Reduces total power dissipation requirements for a single box


Eases replacement of specific functionality without impacting other functions

Figure 2 There are some good reasons and strong cases for taking the distributed system approach.

warfighter, to deal with. This led to undesired results such as limited cabin room for solider or weapons, along with antenna proliferation, since each unrelated new communication or navigation box might have its own GPS and antenna. The end result was all too often a non-SWaP-optimized architecture. Today, technology is able to support ever smaller subsystem architectures, and new ef-

forts, such as the US Army’s VICTORY initiative, are helping to eliminate unnecessary redundancy, reduce SWaP burdens, and foster networking and interoperability on ground vehicles. While new technology might be capable of supporting a consolidated “allin-one” solution, there are still many good reasons and strong cases for taking the distributed subsystem design route. The table in

Figure 2 reviews the major factors in favor of a distributed system approach.

Distributed vs. Consolidated System integrators for once have a real choice between which of the two approaches they should take—distributed or consolidated. To help shed some light on the different types of scenarios in which one of these two architectures has a clear advantage, some real world examples follow. Scenario #1: An aircraft platform has characteristics that encourage the placement of electronics in specific payload locations. Goal: To minimize SWaP, while optimizing weight distribution of electronics and wiring harnesses. Solution: Employ the smart distribution of LRUs and cabling on the platform to support aircraft operations. A customer for an unmanned helicopter program had initially been buying a combined Ethernet router and switch LRU for their network backbone installed on the

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COTS Journal | November 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE aircraft. Their rationale was that since they were very space-constrained, they wanted to fit as much functionality as possible into a single device. The customer performed a detailed analysis of the mass and weight of the aircraft’s on-board devices and how the placement of these devices and their associated cabling weight impacted platform performance. As a result, the customer is now evaluating a change for their system architecture to integrate separate smaller switch and router LRUs and separate wiring harnesses, with consideration on their effect on the aircraft’s center of gravity. Conclusion: For weight sensitive platforms, a distributed architecture may enable optimized system placement. Scenario #2: A system integrator faces supply management headaches due to multiple SKUs Goal: Reduce logistics complexity. Solution: A consolidated architecture enables system integrator to standardize on

fewer multi-function systems, to simplify procurement, installation, and sparing. A system integrator under contract with a foreign military service had to consider purchasing and maintaining half a dozen different subsystems for each of its reconnaissance aircraft. This customer was faced with daunting purchasing and maintenance concerns resulting from the use of multiple different boxes, the functionality of which ranged from simple to more complex. Some of these subsystems were primarily tasked with network routing or switching, others primarily supported the mission computer side, with some performing red/black separation of the networks. Rather than source six different boxes, each with their unique SKU that would complicate procurement and installation, the customer came to the conclusion that, although slightly more costly as a single LRU, significant simplification of their system configuration and supply manage-

Figure 3 The multi-function DuraWORX 80-41 combines a quad-core Intel Core i7based mission processor and a Cisco IOS-managed secure network router into a single modular platform.



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SPECIAL FEATURE ment chores could be achieved by simply purchasing these multi-function systems that provided a superset of desired functionality and could be tasked for particular purposes in the platform architecture. Conclusion: Deploying multi-function systems on some platforms (versus different distributed LRUs) can potentially deliver more functionality than needed in some cases, yet greatly reduce supply chain management complexity. Scenario #3: Ground vehicle requirement to leverage network backbone and PNT technologies Goal: Identify the best architecture for implementing VICTORY network services and assured position navigation timing (PNT) solution without adding SWaP burden Solution: A consolidated system enabling a SWaP-optimized PNT hub that combines network switch, processing, secure GPS, navigation, and miniaturized atomic clock. The US Army is pursuing an assured precision navigation timing (A-PNT) initiative to enable warfighters to operate in GPS-denied environments, using technologies such as M-Code GPS receivers, chip scale atomic clocks (CSACs) and inertial navigation systems. One of the currently favored system architectures for deploying assured PNT is based on a IP networked architecture, where a PNT hub device can leverage Ethernet to distribute all navigation/position/timing information other networked devices on-board the platform. Thanks to the miniaturization of technology, this PNT Hub device can today also have an integrated computer, embedded GPS and network switch to support a host of VICTORY services. When combined with integrated CSAC atomic clock and inertial measurement unit (IMUs), this design approach eliminates multiple redundant GPS and antennas, while providing assured PNT in a single box. Conclusion: As new functions emerge, system integrators need to add them to their platform without having to pay a harsh penalty for increased SWaP. The “all-in-one” consolidated approach offers the best way to eliminate redundancy and weight while adding needed functionality.

Modular System Solutions An example of a COTS product line that supports both distributed and consolidated architectures are the Parvus Dura small form factor subsystems that use a modular stackable design to optionally combine computer networking and processing. The multi-function DuraWORX 8041 model combines a quad-core Intel Core i7-based x86 compatible mission processor and a Cisco IOS-managed secure network router into a single modular platform (Figure 3). It integrates the capabilities of the standalone DuraCOR 80-41 computer, DuraNET 30-2020 IOS switch, and DuraMAR 5915 router subsystems. Alternatively, the DuraDBH-672 Digital Beachhead provides low-power ARM-architecture processing and Layer 2 switching in a single box with options for pre-integrated atomic clock, embedded military GPS receiver, and IMU. The before-mentioned examples highlight just a few applications and the architecture best suited for a particular customer design challenge. The examples also show that the benefits of miniaturization (prominently SWaP reduction) don’t always lead to favoring a system architecture consolidation as the single best option. Ultimately, a system integrator will need to determine which architecture is preferred by considering such factors as the size of their platform, electronics weight distribution, desired integrated technical capabilities, maintenance and supply chain constraints, redundancy, and information assurance, among others variables. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.

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COTS Journal | November 2016


SPECIAL FEATURE Advances in Small Form Factor Box Systems

Leveraging MIL-STD-810 Takes More Than Meets the Eye Even though most people in the industry have heard of MIL-STD-810, understanding the details and nuances of the standard is key to its successful use. David Lippincott, Chief Technology Officer, Chassis Plans


he MIL-STD-810 standard continues to be a fixture in today’s military system design realm. But understanding what the standard is almost as important as understanding what it isn’t. What is the purpose of MIL-STD-810? The standard states: “…the environmental management and engineering processes described in this standard can be of enormous value in generating confidence in the environmental worthiness and overall durability of materiel system design.” What does that mean and how are vendors applying the standard? It’s important to understand that MILSTD-810 is not a specification per se but a standard. A specification provides for absolute criteria which must be satisfied to “meet the spec”. MIL-STD-810 as a standard provides methods for testing material for use in various environments but provides no absolute environmental limits. As stated in the Standard, “It is important to note that this document does not impose design or test specifications.” MIL-STD-810 is simply a collection of recommended tests and procedures to confirm that an item being tested will perform its function reliably under certain stated conditions. 810 provides guidelines for negotiations between the customer and vendor as to how to test an item. Figure 1 shows a display system after being put through 810G testing Method 510.5 for blowing sand and dust side by side with a 20

COTS Journal | November 2016

Figure 1 Display system on left after being put through 810G testing for blowing sand and dust. System on right looks similar and it’s an actual system returned from field use in Afghanistan.

display system actually sent back from use in Afghanistan to be refurbished. Note how the two look quite similar. The customer or program manager and vendor collaborate on—or the program manager can simply dictate—a set of test criteria an item must pass and the physical parameters the item is tested to. With a test plan in place, the item is tested per the recommendations of the standard and the test plan, operationally examined, and the

test results documented. For example, the program manager and vendor can agree the item will be used in a humidity- and temperature-controlled environment at sea level, devise a test plan to assure function in those conditions, and “meet MIL-STD-810G”. Not exactly what most people think of when they consider MIL-STD-810G.

810 in Historical Context Prior to 1940, formalized environmen-


What is in 810G? PART ONE



Environmental Engineering Program Guidelines at 63 pages.

Laboratory Test Methods at 683 pages.

World Climatic Regions – Guidance which is new to 810G at 52 pages.

Discusses the roll of the acquisition team and lays out a disciplined, tailored approach for acquiring systems that will withstand the stresses of climatic, shock and vibration environments that this equipment is expect to see in its service life.

Details the 28 test Methods which comprise the bulk of the Standard. A Method is a section of the Standard detailing a particular environmental condition such as altitude, high temperature, etc., and suggested testing to ensure a device will survive in the required environment.

Provides planning guidance for realistic consideration of climatic conditions around the world.

Figure 2 MIL-STD-810G is divided into three parts.

tal testing was practically non-existent. World War II brought with it the requirement for new military hardware including clothing, weapons, vehicles, and so forth, to be operated worldwide, in desert to jungle to artic conditions. As a result, improper packaging, handling, transportation, storage and extreme environmental conditions resulted in extensive damage to equipment and vehicles. We’ve all heard stories of uniforms rotting off soldiers stationed in the South Pacific. During the war years, environmental testing at Wright Field, Ohio, was greatly increased to fill this gap in formalized testing. However, there were few standard tests and each of the laboratories conducted tests on items within their jurisdiction as they saw fit. In 1945, the Army Air Force released specification No. 41065 titled “Equipment: General Specification For Environmental Test Of ” which comprised 7 pages and provided guidance for testing for high and low temperature, humidity, high altitude, salt spray, vibration, sunshine, sand and dust and rain. This specification finally codified testing procedures allowing industry to provide standardized testing services. Through the late 40’s and into the 50’s, the Navy released several specifications for testing aircraft electrical systems with the end result being the release of MIL-T-5422 (BuAir). The Army Air Force re-issued 41065 as MIL-E-5272 (USAF) and coordinated with the Navy MIL-T-5422 specification. Both documents contained almost identical test

procedures and it was decided that combining the documents into one would be advantageous. In December, 1961, the first draft of MILSTD-810 was circulated within the Air Force for coordination and the final Standard was released June 14, 1962. The original MILSTD-810 was 66 pages long and included 17 Methods. In June, 1964, MIL-STD-810A was released to include the very latest engineering input. The ‘A’ revision is slightly longer at 77 pages but still only includes 17 Methods. There have been 7 revisions since the original document and MIL-STD-810G is the current revision since October, 2008.

Current MIL-STD-810G Version The current revision, MIL-STD-810G, is 804 pages long and includes 28 Methods including 5 new Methods since revision F. New also in 810G is a 53-page section for World Climatic Regions Guidance. MIL-STD-810G is divided into three parts as detailed in the table in Figure 2. There are 28 Methods included in Part Two of 810G with 5 new Methods since revision F. The decimal number references the Method revision so 500.5 for Low Pressure has undergone 5 revisions since the original publication of the standard in 1962. When a new Method is published, it starts at an integral number such as the new-in-‘G’ Method 526 for Rail Impact. What MIL-STD-810G brings to the party for most companies is the experience of specifying a test program. For example, what temperatures would be experienced in

a desert setting? The customer and vendor could research and make an educated guess as to the temperature environment in, say, Afghanistan. Or they can simply take advantage of the work that has gone into MILSTD-810G and the previous revisions where these high and low temperature extremes are documented. Chassis Plans manufactures rackmount and transit case mounted computers and LCD displays. As such, there’s a particular set of appropriate test Methods they test to and which are appropriate for manufacturers of similar devices. These 29 test Methods range from everything from 506.5 Rain test to the 511.5 Explosive Atmosphere test to the 524 Freeze / Thaw Test. See online version of this article for a complete list of these tests.

Simple and Complex Many of these Methods are fairly straight forward. For example, Method 500.5, Low Pressure, is used to simulate high altitudes for high ground elevation sites or transportation in aircraft. The Method is also applicable to rapid or explosive decompression. For the tests, the item is placed in a pressure chamber which allows the pressure to be lowered to simulate high altitudes. Failure modes of the equipment may include fluid leakage, electrical arcing, mechanical distortion, and so forth. Other Methods can be quit complex. For example, Method 522.1, Ballistic Shock, discusses shock propagation through a vehicle in which electronics may be installed. COTS Journal | November 2016



The physics of such shock propagation are not particularly well understood and simulation can be difficult and misleading. The best way to perform the test may be to mount the equipment in the actual vehicle and shoot it with appropriate non-exploding ammunition. This is an expensive test and generally not available at civilian test labs.

RFQ Specification Confusion Often an opportunity to bid will be posted by a military customer wherein the statement “Must meet MIL-STD-810G” is included. What exactly does that mean? There are 28 distinctly different Methods included in 810G. Perhaps a major program such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be tested to most of the 28 Methods but should it be subjected to Method 526 for Rail Impact—for transport on rail cars? Items such as rackmount computers or LCD displays should be tested to an appropriate sub-set of Methods but certain Methods, such as Method 509.5 (Salt Fog), are certainly not applicable and

Figure 3 An F-35B Lightning II undergoes ice evaluation testing at the 96th Test Wing’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida (Photo by Michael D. Jackson, F-35 Integrated Test Force).

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COTS Journal | November 2016


would destroy the unit under test. On the other hand, a sealed fanless computer might have a requirement to be tested for Salt Fog and it would survive. What Methods in MILSTD-810G the customer wants the product to meet should be documented within the RFQ. Figure 3 shows an F-35B Lightning II undergoing ice evaluation testing at the 96th Test Wing’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Vendors freely use the phrase “Meets or designed to meet MIL-STD-810G”. Which Methods are they referring to? Often a vendor will test to Method 514.6 (Vibration), Procedure II, for Loose Cargo Transportation and claim “Meets MIL-STD-810G”. For this Method, the item is packaged for shipment, either in a transit case or cardboard box with appropriate packaging material and subjected to 1-inch peak-to-peak circular motion at a frequency of 5 Hz. This simulates the item under test being transported in the open bed of a truck where it is not tied down or restrained. Not a hard test to pass, especially if the product routinely survives handling by UPS. Does that mean the product “Meets MIL-STD-810G”? Yes, you could say that but only in a very limited sense. To be accurate, a vendor should reference the Method(s) and limits their device was tested to. Pre-testing may be sufficient to satisfy a Program Manager’s requirements in which case the product would be in conformance with the Standard. “Designed to Meet” can be construed as a statement by the company’s engineers that they have made their best efforts to assure the design will conform with appropriate parts of the Standard but, until the item is actually tested, there are no guarantees. In any case, a product cannot “meet” MIL-STD-810G without input from the customer to determine which Methods and environmental considerations are appropriate for their particular program. It is legitimate to state a product has been tested per Method ‘xxx’ with stated conditions to indicate to interested customers the product has a chance of surviving in the field.

introduced. There transpired 11 years between revisions E and F and 8 years between revisions F and G. Program Managers need to communicate their testing requirements more clearly. Contracting Officers need to quit using a broad “Meets MIL-STD-810G” requirement. Vendors need to be forthcoming with what Methods in 810 they have actually tested to. “Designed to Meet” doesn’t really mean much given that compliance with 810G is a contract between a customer and vendor. MIL-STD-810 binds two entities together in a complex relationship for the greater good. MIL-STD-810G is a compendium of suggested tests and not an absolute specification to which assemblies can be tested and said to “meet the spec”. The Standard is 804 pages of the collected wisdom and experience of many engineers over many years verifying that military equipment will function reliably in the incredibly harsh conditions of the battle field. Chassis Plans offers military grade computers, LCD displays

and Zero Clients, many of which have been tested per MIL-STD-810G. Working closely with multiple customers, Chassis Plans has tested various products to the requirements of MIL-STD-810G to meet the customer’s specific application and mission requirements. Chassis Plans San Diego, CA (858) 571-4330

Highly Integrated Memory Modules (HiMODs) DDR2/DDR3/DDR4 up to 8 GBytes in 16 x 22 mm x 1.5 mm package Two independent channels in one package for small embedded systems Wide word widths x32/x40/x64/x72/x80 bits Fast – currently to 2400Mbs Low Power – typcially 50% of discrete DRAMs Wide temperature range available – industrial, extended, military Simpliied layout routing of critical high speed buses Evaluation boards available Solves SWaP challenges in HPEC and network switching & routing applications Approximately 80% less board area than discrete components, even greater savings compared to DIMMs

MIL-STD-810 Here to Stay Like it or not, MIL-STD-810 is here to stay and will be updated periodically as new requirements, technology, testing methods and computational analysis capabilities are

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COTS Journal | November 2016


Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief

JEFF’S PICKS Display Console System Meets Shipboard/Shore Needs


isplay systems function as the key human interface points that are part of major ongoing modernization efforts across the U.S. military. There are a couple factors driving that. First there’s a fundamental shift in technology network-centric operations. For naval systems in particular, that’s translating as complete consolidation of shipboard networking and computing systems. At the same time there’s an acknowledgement that a reduced military will need to increase its situational awareness capabilities, and that increases in collecting, sharing and displaying of information feeds into that trend. It’s often on these large, rugged high-resolution displays and panel PCs, that the naval warfighter gets the complex situational awareness data—maps, video, images and text—interfaced directly to military weapons platforms on networks. Aside from purpose-built display system there’s a growing base of product solutions—some designed for industrial use—that provide military system integrators a complete computer embedded within a flat panel. These can be simply connected to a keyboard or used as touchpad panels if that feature is available This month’s Jeff ’s Pick section looks at complete display systems that integrate keyboards and other peripherals. (This is in contrast to our May COTS Journal Jeff ’s Pick section that focused on display panel products only). For this month’s Editor’s Pick section COTS Journal evaluated several display system products on three aspects: technology leadership, design innovation and market relevance. This month’s Jeff ’s Pick is the new Shore/Ship 24

COTS Journal | November 2016

Figure 1 Jeff’s Pick this month is the Shore/Ship Display Console (SSDC) from Cemtrol. This console comes fitted with two 24 inch displays and one 10.4 inch multi-touch screen. Its touch display capability enables the user to easily input data.

Display Console (SSDC) from Cemtrol, the latest product from its shipboard display console series. The SSDC is comprised of two controlling units; one that controls the unmanned water vessel itself, and the other that controls the Payload. These units were uniquely customized according to the requirements of Cemtrol’s customer (a leading defense contractor). For example, the customer required dual systems where one controls the unmanned vessel and the other has application capabilities for Surveillance, thermal imaging, sonar mine searching and camera sensors. The SSDC is fully qualified for naval application and has the flexibility to be moved from shore to sea and vice versa. The SSDC will soon be mission ready, according to the company. The system can be utilized on ships and/or on

shore based command centers to control unmanned water vessels. See the online version of this article for a set of YouTube videos of ship systems Cemtrol is involved in.

Rugged Design at Low Cost The SSDC is a low cost, sturdy and adaptable command and control system uniquely designed to fit the customers’ needs and has the flexibility and adaptability of Cemtrol’s original generic GPDC (General Purpose Display Console) to fit any need (Figure 1). That GPDC is a ruggedized Multi Function Display Console built using the latest technology and COTS modules. It was designed and developed with the intention of ensuring low weight and cost. This console can be used in several areas such as C4I, commercial applications, civil air and maritime traffic control applications and other field installations. This console comes fitted with two 24 inch displays and one 10.4 inch multi-touch screen. Its touch display capability enables the user to easily input data. The console has been enhanced with high performance capabilities that enable the console to handle highly demanding applications. Its build and capabilities meet all the essential rigorous environmental standards, enabling it to work in highly demanding environments at sea, in the air, and on land. Cemtrol Anaheim, CA (714) 666-6606

...and the Runners Up Display Computer System Meets Harsh Environmental Requirements IXI Technology’s Data Display Computer (SDDC) is a rugged general-purpose computer designed to meet harsh environmental conditions. The SDDC has passed rigorous military and industrial test requirements for environmental conditions, design and safety, including electromagnetic interference (EMI). In addition to industrial and general military applications, the SDDC is a direct replacement for the OJ-454(V)/UYK Data Display Console and ORTSNET workstation used in the Aegis Operational Readiness Test System (ORTS). In this configuration, the SDDC runs ORTS Network Emulation Terminal (ORTSNET) software, providing status, maintenance direction, fault reporting, indication and display, and readiness assessment of the Aegis Weapon System (Figure 2). The SDDC can be configured with 4 Gbytes to 16 Gbytes of memory and features a large 19-inch display for optimal viewing. The SDDC has a backlit 102-key keyboard and a three-button HULA pointing device. The keyboard and pointing device are environmentally sealed and can be operated by workers with heavy gloves when required in tough environmental conditions. The SDDC contains one Blu-ray read/write drive and two removable solid-state hard drives. Audio communications are supported with microphone and headphone jacks, and an integrated speaker provides an audible alarm. Dual copper Gigabit Ethernet and dual fiber Ethernet ports provide LAN connectivity through locking sealed connectors. For added flexibility, the SDDC can be configured with an upgraded processor, expansion cards, mass storage devices, a rear-mounted USB 2.0 port and connectors as required. Other I/O options are available such as MIL-STD-1397C NTDS, ATDS TADIL A, MIL-STD-1553, IRIG-B and others. The rear panel has multiple connector plates that can be customized for specific connectors. In addition to meeting MIL-STD 810 and 901D, the SDDC is designed to meet UL, CE and CSA listed safety standards and can operate from -40 to 85 degrees.

Figure 2 In addition to general military applications, the Data Display Computer (SDDC) is a direct replacement for the OJ-454(V)/UYK Data Display Console and ORTSNET workstation used in the Aegis Operational Readiness Test System (ORTS).

IXI Technology, Yorba Linda, CA (714) 692-3800.

2U Rackmount 17-inch Dual Display System is Sunlight Readable The RD2217 Rugged Rackmount Dual 17-inch Display from Crystal Group features a 2U EIA form factor, SXGA resolution, 1000 nit, low reflectance, high ambient contrast and full color TFT LCD (Figure 3). The display is high brightness backlight and low reflectance cover glass yield sunlight readability. Crystal Group’s specialized Rugged LCD Displays (RD models) are designed for shipboard, airborne, and land-based applications. The low specular reflectance and high brightness displays yield excellent high ambient contrast. These displays are rackmountable with locking slides and available with HD15 and DVI interfaces. Some models are wall mount, pole mount or RAM mount capable, and many offer keyboard package options. Crystal Group’s Industrial Displays (RPD models) feature compact design as 17 inch, 1U rackmount LCDs, with micro keyboards and come with or without KVM switch. The displays are front mounted for ease of use and stowage, and sealed iKey keyboard option available.

Figure 3 The RD2217 Rugged Rackmount Dual 17-inch Display features a 2U EIA form factor, SXGA resolution, 1000 nit, low reflectance, high ambient contrast and full color TFT LCD.

Crystal Group, Hiawatha, IA (319) 378-1636.

COTS Journal | November 2016


Check Out These Rugged Display Products Too… Rugged Portable Computer from Chassis Plans is a rugged light weight The

portable computer provides a 17-inch 1280×1024 LCD and NEMA class keyboard, It is a purpose built customized solution used for ground based communications, weapons and radar systems testing. Chassis Plans San Diego, CA (858) 571-4330

Rugged Integrated Systems Packaged for Performance Embedded computing platforms brought to you by the leaders in electronic packaging and systems integration, Elma Electronic. Field proven solutions including compute, IP routing, switching and storage support with custom I/O for demanding applications and environments.


COTS Journal | November 2016

The G2 Series LCD from Core Systems is an industry leading19 inch rackmount LCD display in a 1U form factor. It has an integrated touchpad or trackball pointing device. The G2 is the shortest and lightest combination DVI and VGA input 1U clamshell display in the industry Core Systems claims. Core Systems Poway, CA (858) 391-1006

NextComputing recently added Intel’s

newest Core i7 Broadwell-E series processors to its products including its Radius Edge portable workstation. It features a briefcase-like form factor with integrated 17.3-inch Full HD display. NextComputing Nashua, NH (603) 886-3874

SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT: EXCLUSIVE Leveraging IoT Strategies for Defense Needs

Expert Shares Insights on Digital Transformation in the IoT Age Going a step beyond IoT, digital transformation entails securely connecting devices and extracting data and insights critical for warfighter missions.


hile the DoD and defense industry are playing close attention to the booming Internet of Things phenomenon, for the military the scoped has to focus beyond just devices (things). To serve the warfighter, a broader picture that encompasses both people and systems is necessary. With all that in mind, COTS Journal’s Jeff Child had the opportunity to chat with Nick Michaelides, U.S. Federal Lead at Cisco Systems (Figure 1) to explore the issues and challenges of digital transformation and how advanced networking technologies are playing a key role.

COTS Journal What are the critical technological challenges military organizations are facing today? Network bandwidth? Application delivery? Security monitoring?

Nick Michaelides:

Jeff Child, COTS Journal: Would you help me understand what exactly is “digital transformation” in comparison to the Internet of Things and how is it helping modernize federal organizations?

Nick Michaelides: The Internet of Things traditionally refers to an interconnected network of sensors and “smart” objects, with the purpose of allowing a programmatic interface and easier interaction with humans. Digital transformation, however, refers to connecting people and things so we can make sense of data in a meaningful and secure way. This increased focus on technology enabling the outcomes, rather than the technology alone, is the foundation and primary driver for helping organizations embark on their digi28

COTS Journal | November 2016

Figure 1 Cisco Systems’ Nick Michaelides warns that as IoT-connected devices become engrained in military practices, security must become a built-in part of the digital transformation process.

tal transformation journey. Digital transformation is helping modernize federal organizations by providing them with the means by which they can securely connect devices, extract data and insights and further drive the mission..

With regards to embracing digital transformation, the DoD faces a variety of technological challenges that are unique to carrying out precise military operations. First and foremost, connectivity and security are major factors in choosing new technology systems, and things that have to be considered from every angle. Currently, there are a multitude of communication standards that exist within the DoD. Given the importance of reliable communications between operations rooms and the battlespace, agencies should constantly be considering how to securely connect and manage devices across a multitude of communication standards to keep our soldiers safe and prepared. Data aggregation is another challenge that the military faces today due to the millions, even billions, of heterogeneous data sources that all simultaneously communicate. Collecting this data for retrospective analysis, while laborious, gives the DoD the potential to uncover temporal patterns that may otherwise remain hidden. Of course, this depends not only on the ability to bring in all this disparate data, but also the ability


to analyze it out in the field and translate it into meaningful insights. Achieving this real-time visibility across all devices is another obstacle for DoD agencies. By pushing analytics out to the edge, data can be analyzed in real time and transferred back to a central repository when additional bandwidth is available. Having the capability to perform data analysis in the field is critical because it enables self-sufficiency for warfighters that find themselves in situations where they can’t connect to the central repository. Warfighters often require real-time information, whether it’s about the geographical terrain in the area or analysis of adversary whereabouts. Accelerating the time for delivering intelligent insights to the warfighter is critical to the mission. Also, given the volume and diversity of data being collected, the DoD’s ability to automate and manage the analysis and communication of information is essential. Defense and military agencies need to find ways to automate these processes to streamline operations and meet

unique mission requirements.

COTS Journal: Now for the big question: What specifically can digitizing the battlespace do to enhance military communications and operations?

Nick Michaelides: Operationally, digitizing military facilities management across the DoD will result in substantial cost savings because the energy consumption currently measures in the billions. Implementing an IoT-enabled facility has the potential to significantly reduce costs and provide facility managers with continuous monitoring capabilities to ultimately give them a greater level of fidelity in implementing controls, rather than simply dimming lights. For the warfighter, research is being done on wearable sensors that monitor the health of individual soldiers. Solutions like this address the fact that nearly 90 percent of battlespace deaths are preventable if a US Army surgeon gets to the injured soldier

within one hour – often referred to as the ‘golden hour.’ To address this issue, experts have equipped medics’ vests with a device that’s wrapped in an Ultra Wide Band sleeve, connecting a blood oxygen sensor to the mobile device. The Army application then tracks data from the sensor and can tell a surgeon which soldier is going into shock so they can take action to respond appropriately. Ultimately, both DoD employees and soldiers will reap the benefits from the digital transformation taking place. Whether it’s in the DoD facilities, remote military base operations or out in the battlespace, digital technologies are delivering military personnel with more efficient ways to communicate with technology systems and with each other. For the DoD, having a reliable, secure communications foundation is not only mission critical, it can be the difference between life and death.

COTS Journal: What are a few of the key, next-generation technologies that military organizations

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INDUSTRY LEADERS Q&A should be looking into to achieve modern, digital-ready operations?

Nick Michaelides: Sensors are one of the major next-generation technologies for military personnel that will continue to rapidly evolve in the near future. LoRaWAN, or Long Range Wide Area Network, is a Low Power Wide Area Network specification intended for wireless battery operated devices. Leveraging this technology allows devices to shrink in size allowing soldiers to carry multiple such devices. Additionally, given the reduction in price and power consumption, new capabilities, such as connected vehicle applications (e.g. fleet management) and simple asset tracking are feasible. As devices continue to proliferate, the data being collected will provide critical insight. Given the sheer volume and variety of data, manually capturing information through human involvement is not practical. Additionally, there are challenges presented by the lack of existing data format


COTS Journal | November 2016

standards. As such, in order to truly drive successful outcomes and gather useful intelligence, a common data delivery platform is critical. A common data delivery platform should offer secure and scalable data transport in order to securely connect the millions of devices that are deployed, as well as transport the billions of messages via a highly scalable data pathway. Additionally, this should allow for flexible device connectivity through a variety of technologies. By providing the data in a common platform, processes can be automated, allowing for systems to react to data much faster than humans ever could.

COTS Journal: Why is the digitization of military environments and processes more important now than ever before?

Nick Michaelides: The DoD leadership recognizes the impact that IoT will have on the future of the department. As evidenced in the DISA

Strategic Plan (2014-2019), “From improved logistics tracking, to optimized building security and environmental controls, to health monitoring of individual soldiers, the Internet of Things will impact everything we do.� The number of connected devices and things is growing extremely fast and like any other government agency or private organization, the DoD needs to take advantage of the opportunity by utilizing digitization and IoT-enabled technologies. Embracing digital transformation will support DoD communications across both unclassified and classified networks, and better enable military leaders to support troops in the field.

COTS Journal: Security is obviously a big consideration for the military. How can military leaders balance the need for security, from the data center all the way out to endpoints in the field, with advancing digital objectives? What security capabilities are needed to meet today’s changing environment?


Nick Michaelides: With the evolution of digital transformation, the network edge is expanding out to devices and sensors. Given the lack of structure and form of the edge, no one solution alone can secure a network. Traditional network edge security mechanisms like firewalls and intrusion detection mechanisms are no longer sufficient to secure the entire network. Instead, security capabilities must be layered and protect holistically. For devices, such as smart phones, that have advanced capabilities, next-generation encryption technologies can allow for secure communications allows for real-time access to mission critical data. Additionally, if a sensor/device is only permitted to transmit data (such as temperature readings) on one network, policies should be deployed and enforced such that it can’t transmit to another network. Similarly, if a device is traditionally transmitting data, but suddenly starts receiving information, this behavior should drive an alert and request intervention. Given the number of

devices that can be deployed, an automated approach to deployment and monitoring is critical, as human involvement won’t be able to track any such anomalies in a practical timeframe. Ultimately, agencies need to know there is no silver bullet for security. Military agencies should be looking for comprehensive solutions that provide increased visibility and real-time threat response capability, as well as the right foundation for establishing an enterprise security architecture. As IoT-connected devices become engrained in military practices, the potential attack surface widens and the risk for vulnerabilities increases. Nowadays, a modern environment requires security to be a built-in part of the digital transformation process.

Nick Michaelides:

COTS Journal:

Cisco Systems San Jose, CA 1-800-553-6387

Do you see certain digital technologies or capabilities becoming a requirement for military operations?

Digital technologies that can drive warfighter effectiveness through increased, real-time intelligence or by removing warfighters from harm’s way will absolutely become requirements. Currently, unmanned aerial vehicles are providing live data streams of the battlefield, allowing for real-time decisions to be made around force deployment and logistics. As sensors are added to vehicles and warfighters, greater fidelity around the data and situations can be provided, allowing for more precise decisions. Additional telemetry can ensure that a vehicle in disrepair won’t be sent out on a patrol, or that a soldier who needs medical attention will be appropriately triaged—all of which will ensure that our soldiers will come back home.

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

COTS Journal | November 2016


DATA SHEET Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Box-Level Rugged Systems Feed Tech Readiness Needs Rugged box systems vendors continue to enhance their product offerings with high-integrated solutions for both development and end-application needs.

Jeff Child, Editor-in-Chief


he demand for higher levels of system integration is only ramping up among military system developers. That demand has placed rugged box systems squarely in the limelight. No longer are these products a niche or specialty segment of the embedded computing industry, but instead they have become a category of technology just as central as the single board computer. One force driving demand for these systems is a hunger for complete systems that are at a high TRL (Technology Readiness Level). Motivated by the desire to avoid staking military programs on immature technologies, the DoD is pushing for demonstrations earlier in the program development phase. That means that technologies used also have to show higher TRLs than previously required. All of that has helped fuel demand for prepackaged and prequalified subsystems as primes find themselves without the time or the DoD funding to develop a prototype subsystem themselves. As TRL becomes a more significant part of military requirements, suppliers are crafting solutions with that specifically in mind. As shown in the product roundup in this section, the latest wave of rugged box systems includes many that are functionspecific, whereas others are more generic computing/networking platforms. The emergence of the function-specific type 32

COTS Journal | November 2016

Figure 1 A derivative of the Global Hawk, the NATO AGS unmanned aircraft has the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time.

of system doesn’t mean that the more general-purpose approach is going away. Most vendors that offer function-specific offerings also continue to develop a robust set of general-purpose pre-integrated systems. Driving the function-specific system demand is the trend among prime contractors toward an ever greater reliance on embedded computing suppliers. They’re asking for integration expertise and a level of software development as part of those integration efforts, and more I/O configuration tailored to the application need or a category of applications.

An example of the function-specific type of box-systems are the Curtiss Wright systems used aboard the Global Hawk UAV and its variants. One such variant NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) UAV(Figure 1) achieved a successful first flight late last year by Northrop Grumman operating out of a manufacturing facility in Palmdale, CA. Curtiss-Wright supplies two box-levels systems to aircraft: the Integrated Mission Management Computer (IMMC) that controls the aircraft’s flight, and the Advanced Mission Management System (AMMS) that communicates with onboard sensors and relays information to the ground station. A derivative of the Global Hawk, the NATO AGS unmanned aircraft has the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time. The highaltitude long-endurance (HALE) system will perform all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time. The NATO-owned and operated system will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support a range of NATO missions such as protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control, maritime safety and humanitarian assistance.


Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Modular Development System Provides Six 3U VPX Slots

System Serves FACE-Compliant DO254/DO-178 Certifiable Needs

The VPX370 from 4DSP is a second generation VPX development platform in a compact 3U VPX form factor. The VPX370 is a 6-slot system developed specifically for aerospace and defense applications. The modular architecture enables users to add high performance FPGA and I/O to the base configuration addressing many application requirements such as digital RF memory (DRFM), synchronous multi-channel MIMO systems, software defined radio (SDR) and more.

Abaco Systems’ FORCE2 Open Reference Computing Environment is designed to support the planned development of safety-critical, DO-254/DO-178 certifiable applications compliant with the FACE initiative. This rugged, pre-integrated small form factor system for mission computing and avionics display comprises a high TRL SBC314 3U VPX single board computer and graphics card housed in a robust enclosure.

• 4th Gen Core i7 SBC system controller.

• Freescale QorIQ T1042 or T2081 processor; AMD Radeon E8860 or core AVI E8860 GPUs available.

Small Form Factor Computer Offers Removable SSD Storage for Data Security Acromag’s ARCX box is a rugged, mission computer that is customizable-off-theshelf and SWaP-optimized. Available in single or double PMC/XMC expansion site versions, this small deployable embedded computer has thick circuit boards and advanced thermal management to allow the computer to operate reliably under hostile conditions. Compatible with industry standards and manufactured to IP67 standards and shock and vibration tested to MIL-STD-801G makes the ARCX a deployable solution for a wide range of industrial, military and aerospace applications.

• High-speed inter-slot communication via independent links up to 4 Gbytes/s.

• 1553/ARINC429 I/O options.

• Compatible with 0.8-, 0.85- or 1.0-inch pitch modules.

• Weight: 6.8 lbs (4kg).

• 4th Generation Intel Core i7 processor.

• MIL-STD-704F 28VDC power.

• IP67 NEMA rating; MIL-STD-810F environmental specification.

• Rear Transition Module (RTM) support for additional storage or I/Os. • Supports VP780 Virtex-7 FPGA boards. • Supports multi-channel A/D and D/A using FMCs. • 5-payload slots, 1 switch/ management slot. 4DSP Austin, TX. (800) 816-1751

• Solid state disk option up to 1 Terabyte.

• Qualified to MIL-STD-461G, DO-160G, MIL-STD-704F, MIL-STD-810G. • -40 to +71 degrees C operating temperature; Cold-plate cooled. • FACE-aligned operating systems and I/O services. Abaco Systems Huntsville, AL (866) 652-2226

• Provides access to standard computer peripherals via Type 6 COM Express CPU. • Ports available include two HDMI/ DVI ports, one VGA port, three USB 2.0 ports, one SATA port and two Gbit Ethernet ports. • Two mPCIe/mSATA slots, PMC/XMC expansion, dual SSD drive bay (optional) and two SATA SSD drive bays. Acromag Wixom, MI (248) 295-0310

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COTS Journal | November 2016



Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Fanless Embedded Computer Supports Three HD Displays

Rugged 3U OpenVPX System Supports Safety Critical Standards

Broadwell-based SFF Mission Computer Suits Deployed Platforms

The Matrix MXC-6400 series from ADLINK Technology is a line of highperformance fanless embedded computers, integrating 6th generation Intel Core i7/i5/ i3 processors and the QM170 chipset. The MXC-6400 series offers independent digital display support from DisplayPort and DVI-I with HD 4K resolution.

ROCK-2 from CES is a series of rugged, modular, pre-qualified, COTS subsystems optimized for C4ISR applications. With the ability to interact with sensors, acquire and process data and share it on a network or other standard avionic buses, ROCK-2 features all the core functions to fulfill the requirements of C4ISR applications. The system has been engineered with Design Assurance Level (DAL) safety certifications,

The Parvus DuraCOR 80-42 from Curtiss-Wright is a rugged tactical mission computer subsystem based on a quad-core (8-thread), 5th gen Intel Core i7 (Broadwell) processor with PCI Express (PCIe) Mini Card slots and a PCIe/104 bus architecture to support platform-specific add-on I/O modules. The DuraCOR 80-42 is optimally designed for SWaP-sensitive mobile, airborne, ground, manned/unmanned vehicle and sensor applications.

• 6th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors and QM170 chipset. • 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM sockets support up to 32 Gbytes of memory. • 1x PCI and 2x PCIe Gen3 x8 (or 1x PCIe Gen3 x16) slots. • 2x Mini PCIe and 1x USIM slots. • Support for 3 independent displays with 2x DisplayPort and 1x DVI-I ports. • 3x Intel GbE LAN ports with teaming function, Intel iAMT 11.0. • 2x 2.5 inch hot-swappable SATA III trays on the front panel and 2x internal SATA III ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support. ADLINK Technology San Jose, CA (408) 360-0200

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COTS Journal | November 2016

• Up to 4 Freescale QorIQ P3041 processor with 2 Gbytes DDR3L each. Option for Intel Core i7. • Avionic I/O rich; Advanced video and graphics processing. • 3U OpenVPX architecture. • Fully integrated and prequalified. Tested to DO-160, MIL-STD-810. • Option for DAL-C (DO-178C/DO-254). • 40 to +70 degrees C operating temperature. • Rugged sealed air-force-cooled subsystems with internal conductioncooled modules. Creative Electronic Systems Geneva, Switzerland. +41 (0)22 884 51 00.

• Intel 5th Gen Core i7 (Broadwell) processor; 32 Gbytes of DDR3L RAM. • 2 x Gbit Ethernet interfaces; 2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 5 x COM, 8 x DIO, 2 x PCIe MiniCard slots. • 3 x independent displays (VGA, 2 x HDMI/DVI/DP). • Up to two mSATA SSDs in base unit, eSATA interface on DTL-38999 connector. • Qual-tests pending for MIL-STD-810G and DO-160G shock, vibration, thermal, altitude, humidity, ingress protection. • -40 to +71 degrees C fanless extended temp operation. Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA. (703) 779-7800.


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

Fanless Embedded Computer Features Quad Core Atom E3800

COM Express-based System Runs Cisco IOS Software

Rugged Server-Level Box Blends Switch/Routing and Security

The EC700-BT Fanless Embedded System from DFI Tech features an Intel Atom E3845 quad core 1.91 GHz processor and 4 Gbytes of DDR3L ECC on-board memory. The lightweight fanless system is rugged, conforming to MIL-STD-810F (514-5C-2) for vibration and can handle 15G half sine wave of shock for 11 ms in 3 axes. The EC700 can be wall-mounted or VESAmounted and supports expansion for 3 Mini PCIe, 1 mSATA storage, 1 SIM card, and 1 microSD. There is also I/O of 8-bit DIO, 4 serial ports, 5 USB, 2 WiFi antenna holes, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, and 2 LAN.

Extreme Engineering Solutions’ XPand6052 integrates the Intel Core i7 processor-based XPedite7450 COM Express mezzanine module and the XPedite5205 XMC/PMC Embedded Services Router (ESR) to provide processing with networking capability in one Small Form Factor rugged embedded module. The new combined unit, XPand6052, complies with multiple military specifications including MIL-STD-810, DO-160 and MIL-STD461G. It is flight-qualified and meets the MIL-STD-704A-F 28 VDC power input requirement.

The SB2002-SW “Blackhawk” from General Micro Systems is an ultra-rugged, small, lightweight server system with up to 16 CPU cores and up to four removable drives. It is designed to provide a 20-port intelligent hardware switch/router system supporting Layer 2/3 routing functions with customizable rules while providing the highest level of workstation performance possible in a fully ruggedized, conductioncooled, sealed system.

• Intel Atom E3800 Series processor. • 4 Gbytes of DDR3L ECC DRAM onboard. • Video support: 1 HDMI + 1 VGA or 1 DVI. • Storage: 1 Notebook HDD, Optional eMMC onboard. • I/O includes 4 COM, 2 LAN, 5 USB. • Size: 180mm x 33mm x 121.2mm. DFI Tech Sacramento, CA (916) 568-1234

• Includes XPedite7450 Intel Core i7 ruggedized COM Express module. • XPedite5205 Cisco IOS Gbit Ethernet Embedded Services Router. • Four 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports on XPedite5205; Two 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports on XPedite7450. • 8.2- x 4.88- x 1.85 inch; Weighs 4.0 lbs.; Environmentally sealed. • Integrated MIL-STD-704F 28 VDC input voltage power supply; Integrated MILSTD-461 EMI filtering. Extreme Engineering Solutions Middleton, WI. (608) 833-1155

• Intel Xeon processor D up to 16 cores (D-15xx). • Up to 64 Gbytes of DDR4 ECC memory. • Up to four removable 2.5-inch SATA or one NVMe SSD. • Two 10 Gbit and 17 Gbit Ethernet (4x PoE) ports; Supports Layer 2/3 software routing functions. • Security features for authentication, authorization, multicast IPv4, IPv6 with IGMPv2/3 snooping. • Extended temperature from -40 to +85 degrees C. General Micro Systems Rancho Cucamonga, CA. (909) 980-4863

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COTS Journal | November 2016



Rugged Box Systems Roundup

Rugged Embedded Computer Sports XMC IO Site and 1 Gbit Ethernet

6-slot 6U OpenVPX System Features Advanced Cooling Options

Suite of Rugged, Application-Ready Systems Require no NRE

Innovative Integration’s SBC-Nano is a user-customizable, turnkey embedded instrument that includes a full Windows/ Linux PC and supports a wide assortment of ultimate-performance XMC modules. With its modular IO, scalable performance, and easy to use PC architecture, the SBC-Nano reduces time-to-market while providing the performance you need. It provides an XMC site for IO, user-programmable FPGA for IO interfaces, triggering and timing control, and USB ports.

Mercury Systems has developed a 6 slot rugged 6U OpenVPX subsystem for SWaPoptimized high performance computing. Featuring Intel Xeon server-class compute blades, 40 Gbit/s switch fabric and VITA 46.11 system management, the subsystem is cooled with Mercury’s Air Flow-By technology. It is also available in OpenRFM 6U VPX configurations as well as with either conduction-cooled or high-altitude Liquid Flow-By redundant air/fuel cooling.

NAI offers multiple application-ready rugged systems that use NAI’s, scalable Custom on Standard Architecture (COSA), approach. An example shown here is the VMS-35CP0A is a 3U 5-slot Vehicle Management System. This preconfigured system with an Intel Core i7 processor is suited to applications that require highdensity, multi-channel, programmable LVDT Measurement; Discrete I/O; D/A Conversion; AC Reference; CANBus; Differential Transceiver; RTD Measurement; TTL/CMOS I/O; ARINC 429/575 and Dual-Port Gig-E Ethernet.

• Combines an industry standard COM Express CPU module with XMC IO module.

• 6-slot rugged 6U OpenVPX subsystem. • Intel Xeon server-class compute blades. • 40 Gbit/s switch fabric interconnect.

• Intel-based CPU core via COM Express.

• VITA 46.11 system management.

• Small form factor: 150 x 75 mm.

• Air Flow-By cooling technology.

• Rugged, stand-alone operation; Able to operate headless.

• Available in OpenRFM 6U VPX configurations.

• Configurable IO uses standard XMC IO modules.

• Available with either conductioncooled or high-altitude Liquid Flow-By redundant air/fuel cooling.

• PCI Express IO site (VITA 42.3) delivers greater than 1600 Mbytes/s to CPU memory. • USB 3.0/2.0 x1, USB 2.0 x2, SATA x2, mini DisplayPort; Optional 1 Gbit Ethernet link. Innovative Integration Simi Valley, CA (805) 578-4260

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COTS Journal | November 2016

Mercury Systems Chelmsford, MA. (978) 967-1401.

• Meets or exceeds MIL-STD-461F and MIL-STD-810G requirements. • Linux (CentOS, Red Hat) and Windows Embedded Standard 7 OS. • Continuous Background Built-in-Test (BIT). • Less than 15 lbs. typical. • COTS/NDI, no NRE required. • COSA architecture. • SWaP-optimized. North Atlantic Industries Bohemia, NY (631) 567-1100


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

Rugged Box-Level System Boasts Quad-core GPU and Rick I/O

Stackable Expandable Ethernet System Leverages PCIe/104

Small Form Factor Core i7 System Supports 3G-SDI Video

Octagon Systems’ TRAX-10 is a miniserver/router optimized for the rugged mobile market. It is powered by the latest Intel Quad-core CPU with high performance graphics capabilities. TRAX10 features a substantial amount of I/O including 5 Ethernet ports, CAN bus and multiple wireless modes. The versatility and processing power make it ideally suited for deployment on vehicles and equipment that run multiple on-board applications in stressful environments.

StackNET from RTD Embedded Technologies is a stacking, expandable 1 Gbps Ethernet switch. The initial Host module offers eight switched ports and an Ethernet connection through the PCIe/104 bus to an optional host CPU. The switch expands in groups of eight simply by stacking an expansion boards on the Host. New boards automatically connect to the switch. Integrators can choose from easy to wire 10-pin headers or standard RJ-45 jacks. StackNET is compatible with RTD’s stacking expandable IDAN enclosure system, which includes the Cisco 5915 Embedded Services Router.

Systel’s EB7001 is a rugged small form factor 3 in 1 platform. It offers the power of an Intel i7 quad core processor for critical computing, simultaneous quad HD-SDI or dual 3G-SDI video capture and encoding using the H.264 standard, dual HD video output and8 gigabit Ethernet ports for realtime playback, and dual SSDs for secure storage of mission data. EB7001 is a TRL 9 fully sealed system with an operating temperature range of -40 to 55 degrees C. It meets MIL-STD810G for shock and vibration, MIL-STD-461E for EMI, and IP66 for water

• Open Architecture - Windows and Linux ready. • Intel Dual Core CPU, 1.91 GHz. • Future Proof - Plug in I/O. • Gbit Ethernet, CAN, Serial, USB & Digital. • GPS, WiFi, Cellular. • -40 to 85 degrees C temperature range. • Server, router and I/O in one. Octagon Systems Westminster, CO (303) 430-1500

• Stacking expandable 1 Gbps Ethernet switch with 10-pin headers or RJ-45 jacks. • Eight ports per board, and expandable in groups of eight. • CPU is connected through the PCIe/104 stack and does not use any of the eight ports. • Compatible with the Cisco 5915 Embedded Services Router. • Cylindrical MIL-STD connectors available in rugged, watertight HiDANplus configurations.

• Rugged Embedded High Performance Video Capture Solution. • (2) x 3G-SDI or (4) x HD-SDI Simultaneous Video Inputs. • (8) x GbE Ports, (2) x HD Video Output. • (2) x USB and (2) x SSD. • Latest Quad Core Intel i7 Processor. • KLV and CoT Metadata Synced with Video Stream. Systel Sugar Land, TX (281) 313-3600

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

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COTS Journal | November 2016



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Compact Rugged GPGPU System Delivers 60 Gflop/W Performance Aitech Defense Systems has announced the fanless, rugged GPGPU A176 Cyclone system capable of 1 Tflops parallel processing. The system is based on the NVIDIA Maxwell architecture which includes two processors. One is the graphic processor unit (GPU subsystem) with 256 CUDA cores and 4 Gbytes of LPDDR4 RAM and the Quad-core ARM Cortex A57 CPU operates at 1.9 GHz per core (maximum). Power requirement is 17W with 8-10W typical. Video encoding is 4K at 60 Hz with decoding of 4K at 30 Hz. System storage is 16 Gbytes of eMMC and SATA SSD with quick erase/secure erase. Available I/O includes gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, UART Serial and discrete. Multiple video outputs (DVI/ HDMI, composite, SDI, STANAG) and video Inputs (composite, DVI/HDMI, SDI, Camera Link) are available. The overall system performance comes to 60 Gflop per watt. The compact A176 measures 20 cubic inches (4.3- x 4.3- x 1.18 inches) and weighs less than 2.2 lbs. Operating temperature

SFF Chassis Enables Mini-ITX Modules in Airborne Platforms Atrenne Integrated Solutions has announced an extension to the Small Form Factor (SFF) 760 Series electronic packaging design which enables off-the-shelf Mini-ITX and PCIe commercial electronics CCA’s to be deployed in airborne applications that reach stratospheric altitudes, well above 50,000 feet. Commercial components are typically not designed to operate in reduced pressure environments. For example, standard aluminum electrolytic capacitors, are designed for atmospheric pressure corresponding to 10,000 feet and below. Atrenne created a hermetically sealed rugged enclosure which maintained an atmospheric pressure of one atmosphere at all times, essentially simulating a lab operating environment. In order to maintain a seal, Atrenne employed a gasket able to buffer mechanical occlusions between the two precisely machined aluminum surfaces of the enclosure. Atrenne also developed a creative solution to maintain a seal around fiber optic cables, I/O cables and connectors. The solution also incorporated workmanship standards, and design for vibration, shock, and temperature. With a robust enclosure design, the system was able to meet stringent application requirements by isolating sensitive internal electronics from the harsh external environment. Atrenne Integrated Solutions Brockton, MA (508) 588-6110


COTS Journal | November 2016

ranges from -40 to +70 degrees C. The system complies with VITA 47 levels V2 (vibration), OS1 (shock), MIL-STD-810G (rain, dust, salt fog) and EMI/RFI levels to MILSTD-461. With capability of embedded deep learning, computer vision, graphics and GPU computing in harsh environments, the system is designed for applications in image capture, persistent video surveillance intelligent video analytics/ processing, signal processing, C4ISR, UAS and UGVs. Aitech Defense Systems Chatsworth, CA (888) 248-3248

Scalable 100G Adapter Provides Network and Security Monitoring Accolade Technology has announced the third generation dual 100G packet capture adapter ANIC-200Ku. Based on the Xilinx UltraScale FPGA, the adapter’s hardware-based flow classification is capable of 32 million unique IP and the 100G full line rate capture with zero packet loss and Inline Operation for IDS/IPS. The blacklist Tables for security Flows can be forwarded, dropped, or redirected. When maximum performance is required, two ANIC200Ku adapters can be interconnected to deliver full 200 Gbps transfer across the PCIe bus. Market segments served include service provider, telco, network monitoring and security. Accolade Technology Franklin, MA (844) 399-9903

Rugged Solutions for Mission Critical Applications All Systel products are designed, manufactured, and tested in the USA

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Rackmount System Boasts Multiple PCIe Motherboard Options DFI Tech has released new rackmount computer systems with a variety of PCIe motherboard options. The first in the line of 19 inch rackmount chassis is a 4U high version. The versatile R4UXX series features 6th Generation Intel Core i7 and Xeon processors with multiple chipset options. The standard chassis depths are 18-, 20- and 24-inches, with custom sizes available. The enclosures have 7 slots with various configurations of x1, x4, or x16 PCIe Gen3 or PCI expandability. There are several I/O options as well as multiple configurations of USB, serial, Ethernet, graphics, and audio ports. The R4UXX series systems have many SATA port choices as well as RAID 0/1/5/10 options. DFI Tech Sacramento, CA (916) 568-1234

Star Communications, Inc.

Desktop Simulator Provides Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Function Tests dSPACE has announced the SCALEXIO LabBox for bench testing. The unit has two components. The SCALEXIO Processing Unit and the LabBox are connected via the dSPACE-proprietary IOCNET network technology optimized for real-time applications. The LabBox supports up to 18 I/O boards accessible from the front of the unit. Available I/O boards include simple digital or analog I/O as well as complex I/O functions for engine simulation and automotive bus systems. Additional units ( for I/O or computing) can be connected to the existing bus. Finally, a software tool dSPACE ConfigurationDesk is made available for system configuration. dSPACE Wixom, MI (248) 295-4704

3G-SDI 1x4 Video Splitter Has Built-In Signal Regeneration

signal processing receivers computing accelerators x 6.6� >65 Teraop/s 4.4 Small. Powerful. Affordable. Easy-to-use.

4.4 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches >65 Teraops/sec scalable 1-4 FPGAs installs in any PC or server made in the U.S.A. 40

COTS Journal | November 2016

EIZO Rugged Solutions has introduced the Hydra 1004 a 3G-SDI 1x4 video splitter designed to conform to MIL-STD810G for modern rugged airborne and ground-based video distribution applications. This device can act as an SDI splitter to distribute sensor data to multiple locations and as a repeater, ensures that video quality is not compromised when distributed over longer distances. The Hydra 1004’s builtin signal regeneration capability retimes and conditions the SDI signals to remove jitter and interference. It supports a high operating temperature range (-40 to 85 degrees C), shock (up to 40g) and vibration (0.1g2/Hz). The Hydra 1004 features one 3G-SDI video input (BNC) and this is split into four 3G-SDI outputs. EIZO Rugged Solutions Altamonte Springs, FL (407) 262-7100


3U Power Supply Integrates VITA 46.9 XMC and PCIe Gen 2 Switch Curtiss-Wright has announced the rugged PSU3-THOR power supply which integrates the dual XMC (VITA 46.9) mezzanine slot expansion and a 6-port PCI Express (PCIe) Gen2 switch in a single 3U VPX unit. The built-in 24-lane, 6-port PCIe switch backplane supports dual XMC sites using separate XMC carrier or switch card. Four extra x4 PCIe ports are available for I/O expansion. The conduction-cooled unit has system output power of 285 or 485 watts with 50 ms hold up time (to 280 W) while output voltages are 5V, 3.3V, and +/- 12V. Input power is 28VDC and complies with MIL-STD-704, MIL-STD-1275, DEF-STAN or DO-160. Up to 15 watts are supported by each XMC (VITA 46.9) mezzanine slot. Temperature is operational from -40 to +85 degrees C with humidity from 0 to100 percent condensing. Safety designs include transient protection, current limiting, and polarity protection. Voltage and temperature sensors are built-in with an elapsed time indicator. In today’s demanding size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) environment, the PSU3-THOR power supply is the first in the industry to reduce the overall system size in many rugged applications. The unit measures approximately 1.49 (H) x 3.93 (W) x 7.10 (L) inches and weighs 1.4 lbs. In the past five years, Curtiss-Wright has reduced the overall system size by 40% with increased functionalities and continued to support the legacy 3U VPX. If you are ready for a more robust handle/panel solution, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Ashburn, VA come to Pixus! Our OpenVPX handles feature a metal (703) 779-7800 engagement claw and rugged design that ensures the highest reliability. Ask about our new rugged horizontal extruded rails with thicker material for OpenVPX and high insertion force systems today!

Are Your OpenVPX Handles Breaking?

Superior Rugged Metal Claw

COTS Journal | November 2016



PRODUCT GALLERY Rugged COM Express Type 6 Module

75G5 – 3U cPCI Multifunction I/O Board

• Intel 4th Gen processor: i7 or i5

The rugged 75G5 is a 3U cPCI multifunction I/O and communications board that can be configured with up to three intelligent function modules. Ideally suited for rugged military, industrial, and commercial applications, this low-power/high-performance board delivers off-the-shelf solutions that accelerate deployment of SWaP-optimized systems.

• Programmable CPU power for heat sensitive applications • Intel 8-Series QM87 PCH chipset • Up to 16GB of high-speed DDR3L memory with SODIMM lock-down mechanism • Up to -40 to 85°C operating temperature


Phone: (877) 295-7085 FAX: (248) 624-9234 Email: Web:

• Support for three independent, intelligent function modules • 40+ modules to choose from • Custom-On-Standard Architecture™ (COSATM) • Control via PCI Bus or Dual Gigabit Ethernet (Gig-E) interfaces • 2x 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet: 2 to rear, or 1 to rear and 1 to front I/O • Background Built-in-Test (BIT) continually checks and reports on system health • Software Support Kits (SSKs) and drivers available • Commercial and rugged models • Operating temperature: 0°C to 70°C commercial, -40°C to +85°C rugged

North Atlantic Industries, Inc. Phone: (631) 567-1100 Web:

Type 6 COM Express Carrier Cards Feature XMC/PMC Sites and Mini PCIe Sites • Type 6 COM Express module site for compact or basic size processor board • High-density, high-speed connector for CPU, I/O, and PMC/XMC interface • On-board DC/DC power source up to -40 to 85°C operating temperature • Ruggedized for harsh environments


Phone: (877) 295-7085 FAX: (248) 624-9234 Email: Web:

Pentek Introduces Evolutionary Jade™ Kintex Ultrascale FPGA Architecture & Navigator™ Design Suite Software for Vivado The Jade Model 71861 is an XMC module with four 200 MHz A/D channels and programmable multiband DDCs. The Model 71861 is based on the Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA family with FPGA choices to match price, power, and processing performance needs. The Jade products utlize the Navigator Design Suite to ease IP development and BSP connectivity. • Complete radar and software radio interface solution • Supports Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGAs • Four 200 MHz 16-bit A/Ds • Four multiband DDCs (digital downconverters) • Ruggedized and conduction-cooled versions available

Pentek Inc.

Phone: (201) 818-5900 FAX: (201) 818-5904 Email: Web:


COTS Journal | November 2016


1U Rackmount System Serves up Low Latency 48-Port FPGA

Intel Xeon D-based Serveron-Modules Achieve 10 Gbit Ethernet Performance

BittWare and LDA Technologies have teamed up to release the LDA e4, a 10/25 Gbps capable FPGA board enclosure. The companies have done a demonstration of LDA's TCP Offload Core that showcases the 48 high-speed port platform with BittWare's XUSP3S PCIe board, featuring a Xilinx UltraScale VU095 FPGA. The LDA e4 networking enclosure repurposes the serial links on BittWare's PCIe FPGA boards into high-speed Ethernet ports, making the two a perfect fit for a high-performance, 48-port networking product. With FPGA-to-port trace lengths of 6 inches, the networking product allows the lowest possible latencies and makes an ideal platform for financial FPGA applications.. Additional features suited for trading-related applications include Layer 1 replication, support for various CPUs and operating systems, and a high-accuracy clock source that allows for precise timestamping even in data centers with no GPS connectivity. The e4 board enclosure also provides out-of-band management and a zero configuration option—all in a 12-inch-deep 1U device that takes only half of the rack. The variety of FPGAs available on BittWare’s numerous boards makes it possible to offer a full range of pre-integrated solutions on LDA e4.

Congatec has announced the Intel Xeon D-based (codename Broadwell) Server-on-Modules complied with the COM Express Basic standard form factor (95 x 125 mm). The conga-B7XD COM Express Type 7 Server-on-Modules have 32 PCIe lanes and headless server performance currently with up to 16 server cores and 48 gigabytes of DDR4 ECC RAM, capable of delivering 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance. Based on the headless design, the modules are available with ten different server processors ( from the 16 Core Intel Xeon processor D1577 to the Intel Pentium processor D1519) the modules can operate in industrial temperature range (-40 to +85 degrees C). Depends on the requirement, 48 Gbytes of 2400DDR4 memory can be selected with or without error correction code (ECC). Available I/O interfaces include 4x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, LPC, SPI, I2C Bus and 2x UART. Optional Flash memory can be connected via up to 24 PCI Express Gen 3.0 Lanes and 8x PCIe Gen 2.0 Lanes with 2x SATA 6G for conventional storage media. NC-SI Network Controller Sideband Interface is supported for connecting a Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) allowing out-of-band remote manageability. Either Linux or Microsoft Windows can be selected to run on the modules.

Bittware Concord, NH (603) 226-0404

Congatec San Diego, CA (858) 457-2600

IQ Mixers Achieve High Level of Image Rejection and Sideband Suppression Fairview Microwave has announced a family of six unique models of IQ mixer. The RF and LO frequency bands range from 4 GHz to 38 GHz while the In-Phase and Quadrature IF bandwidths range from DC to 4.5 GHz. The MMIC IQ mixers also known as IQ modulators are manufactured with the GaAs MESFET semiconductor process. By combining a pair of matched double balanced mixer cells, a 90-degree hybrid and a 0-degree splitter/combiner, more accurate amplitude and phase balance can be achieved over the discrete module assembly approach. Adding an external 90-degree IF hybrid module, the IQ mixers can be used as either a Single Sideband Upconverter Mixer or an Image Reject Down-converter Mixer. These can be done without pre-selection filtering in the applications of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio, VSAT, military radar, electronic warfare, satellite communications, test equipment, and sensors. In the image reject mixer (IRM) application, low conversion loss ranges from 7.5 to 10 dBm, high image rejection is up to 35 dB (typical) and LO to RF isolation is up to 42 dB. The IQ mixer linearity is rated as +20 dB (with input of 1 dB compression) and +35 dB (input IP3) accordingly while the LO drive power ranges from +15 to +19 dBm. All units are compliant with MIL-STD-883. Fairview Microwave Allen, Texas (972) 649-6678

COTS Journal | November 2016



6th Gen Intel-based Embedded Computer Comes in Small Form Factor DFI Tech has announced the M90 series Small Form Factor (SFF) Embedded Computer measured approximately 7.9- x 7.36- x 2.11 inches and weighs about 5.6 pounds. The design is based on the 6th Gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor and H110 chipset. It can be either dual or quad core. Intel HD Graphics 530 is available along with HDMI/DP and DVI graphics ports with optional dual serial ports. Storage capability includes dual 32 Gbyte DDR4 memory and a 2.5 inch drive. The dual GbE LAN is built-in while a Wi-Fi antenna is available as an option. DFI Tech Sacramento, CA (916) 558-1234

Board Shield Prototype Kits Reduce Development and Test Time Leader Tech has announced the board shield prototype kits (BSP) as a do-it-yourself kit for production-quality circuit board shield without special tools. Assembly photos and step-by-step directions are included to demonstrate how to make the prototype board shields in minutes by cutting and forming the materials provided to fit the exact shape and size of the user boards. The results will be a quick prototype with shielding against electronic magnetic interference (EMI). The BSP Kits are immediately available from stock. Leader Tech Tampa, Florida (813) 855-692.1

Body Worn Camera Capable of 130-degree Panoramic 1080p Video Getac has announced the Veretos Body Worn Camera (BWC) for law enforcement. The unit is capable of delivering 130-degree panoramic 480p to 1080p video in low light conditions with 12 hours of battery life. By swiping the ID card, RFID will use the built-in software to automatically assign the unit to the officer. With in-field tagging, officers can file the video into one of the four predefined incident categories. Officers can stream live video directly to the Veretos Cloud using the unit’s Wi-Fi capability. the unit is rugged, waterproof and complies with IP67 and MIL-STD 810G-tested. Getac Irvine, CA (949) 681-2900


COTS Journal | November 2016


FPGA-based XMC Family Comes with Navigator Design Suite Software Tools Pentek has announced the Jade family of XMC products based on the Xilinx flagship Kintex UltraScale FPGA. Compare with the previous generation of Pentek Cobalt and Onyx architectures, the Jade architecture improves the digital signal processing (DSP) performance by over 50 percent and reduce power by 18 percent. The FPGA can be populated to match the specific requirements of the processing task from the KU035 to KU115. The high-end KU115 which supports 5520 DSP48E2 slices can perform tasks of modulation/ demodulation, encoding/decoding, encryption/decryption, and channelization of the signals between Embedded Solutions transmission and reception. The KU035 for the Next 25 Years provides a low-cost approach when large DSP Acromag Redefines SWaP-C With resource or logic is not required. The FPGA Our New AcroPack® I/O Platform has access to all data and control paths and be optimized for factory-installed functions The AcroPack® product line updates our popular Industry Pack I/O modules by using the (data multiplexing, channel selection, data mPCIe interface format. We added 19mm and a 100 pin connector to provide up to 50 packing, gating, triggering and memory isolated rear I/O signals, giving you a tremendous amount of capability on an control). The board supports a Gen. 3 x 8 PCIe Extremely Small Footprint - Without Cabling! interface, eight additional gigabit serial lanes and LVDS general purpose I/O for custom solutions. Optionally, a 5 Gbyte bank of DDR4 Key Features Include: SDRAM memory can be installed for custom ▪ A/D, D/A, serial, digital I/O, applications. counter/timers and FPGA The Navigator Design Suite is a designer ▪ Low-power consumption toolkit with a built-in API for software development and a graphical interface for ▪ Solid-state electronics IP design. The suite has two components. ▪ -40 to 85°C standard operating The Navigator FDK (FPGA Design Kit) temperature is for integrating custom IP into Pentek ▪ Conduction cooled models available sourced designs and the Navigator BSP (Board Support Package) for creating host ▪ Mix and match endless I/O combinations applications. Based on the Xilinx Kintex in a single slot by using our VPX or Two AcroPack I/O modules shown UltraScale FPGA, the first Jade architecture PCIe-based carriers plugged into a PCIe carrier family is the Model 71861, an air-cooled, XMC module with four 200 MHz A/D channels and programmable multiband DDCs (digital downconverters). It also supports PCIe, 3U Visit & 6U VPX, AMC, and 3U & 6U cPCI form TO LEARN MORE Embedded I/O Solutions factors for both commercial and rugged environments. Pentek Upper Saddle River, NJ (201) 818-5900

FPGA Modules

AcroPack I/O Modules


SFF Embedded Computers | | 877-295-7084

COTS Journal | November 2016



SATA Solid State Drive (SSD) Series Designed for Entry-level Users

ARINC-429 Interface I/O Board Delivers 16 TX Channels

Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) has announced the OCZ TL100 SATA solid state drive (SSD) series for entrylevel users to upgrade from traditional hard disk drive (HDD) storage. The SSD series provide better system responsiveness and productivity over hard drives. The sequential read/write speeds is capable of 550 Mbytes per second and 530 Mbytes per second accordingly. The random read/write performance is measured differently. They are 85,000 and 80,000 4KiB input/output operations per second (IOPS). Prices are $67.99 and $49.99 for the 240 and 120 Gbyte version accordingly.

United Electronic Industries (UEI) has announced its new high performance ARINC-429 interface I/O board, the DNx-429-516. This 16-channel board is fully compliant with the ARINC-429 specifications and supports both high speed (100 kHz) and low speed (12.5 kHz) operation. The channel speed is software selectable on a channel-by-channel basis. Data integrity, even when all channels are set in high-speed mode is assured with the use of 256 word FIFOs on all channels. The board is part of UEI’s Guardian Series and provides a diagnostic, on-board ARINC-429 receiver connected to each transmit channel. This allows the application to confirm the correct information has been written to the ARINC-429 bus. Pricing starts at $7,000.

Toshiba America Electronic Components San Jose, CA (408) 733-8400.

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• See Instructional Videos • Shop Boards Online • Read Articles & More • Request a Quote ISS brings confidence to decision making by indexing a compendium of solutions through an advanced search tool with the most nuanced features of importance. Once the desired product is selected the user has the ability to purchase on-line with our “buy-it-now” capability.


COTS Journal | November 2016

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

Ultra Low Noise Amplifier Saves Power with Bypass Switch RFMW has announced the TQL9063, a low noise amplifier (LNA) with integrated bypass switch. The operating range of the unit is from 1.5 to 4 GHz with 0.7dB noise figure and achieves up to 19dB of gain through the amplifier. A bypass switch is available to automatically turn off the LNA for power savings. Applications in defense communications and wireless infrastructure include small cells, repeaters, distributed amplifiers and tower mounted amplifiers. The TQL9063 measures in a 2x2mm surface mount package. Price is set at $6.89 in quantity 1. RFMW San Jose, CA (408) 414-1450


EBX SBC Features Atom E3800 Processor PC/104-Plus Expansion WinSystems has introduced a new line of Intel Atom E3800-based single board computers designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to +85 degrees C. The EBC-C413 models include onboard USB, Gbit Ethernet controllers, serial ports, GPIO and additional I/O expansion through MiniPCIe and PC/104-Plus. These in-stock, off-the-shelf industrial SBCs are optimally designed for rugged embedded applications that require extended temperature operation, long-term availability, and a wide variety of I/O expansion options to meet unique project requirements. The EBC-C413 series features the Intel Atom E3800 family of processors in an industrystandard EBX form factor. The low-profile thermal heat plate design reduces its height by 47 percent – from 1.15 inches to 0.6 inches compared to its predecessor EBC-C384. The SBC EBC-C413 underpins quad-core, dual-core or single-core processors and up to 8 Gbytes of DDR3L SDRAM. The Intel Generation 7-based graphics engine supports up to two simultaneously active displays with interfaces available for analog VGA, Mini DisplayPort and LVDS connections. For networking and communications, the EBC-C413 includes two Intel I210 Ethernet controllers with 10/100/1000 Mb/s multispeed operation. It provides eight USB 2.0 channels and four serial ports to support RS-232/422/485 interface levels. The series also includes two MiniPCIe connectors and PC/104-Plus, enabling further high-speed I/O expansion and/or an mSATA SSD drive. Both of the MiniPCIe connectors accommodate full-length cards with screw-down mounting for improved shock and vibration durability. One MiniPCIe connector also supports bootable mSATA solid-state disks. WinSystems Arlington, TX (817) 274-7553

AdvancedTCA Shelf Provides Up to 2300 CFM of Airflow Pixus Technologies offers its 15U AdvancedTCA Chassis with new blowers that are more powerful and efficient. The Pixus horizontalmount AdvancedTCA chassis employ individually hot-swappable reverse impeller blowers for cooling above 400W/slot. The new RiCool IV versions provide up to 576 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) for each fan and 3.6 inch H20 of static pressure at max speed. The combined four blowers provide massive cooling and the unit continues to operate at full load in a 55 degree C environment for 96 hours with one fan removed. The PXS1510/40 15U AdvancedTCA Enclosure from Pixus features full redundancy of all Field Replaceable Units (FRUs). The 14-slot backplane configurations include 10GbE and 40GbE available now. Pixus Technologies Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (519) 885-5775

VME SBC Marries Xeon D-15xx Processor and Kintex-7 FPGA Interface Concept has introduced its Intel Xeon processor D-15xx-based board. This product is enlarging the overall Interface Concept VME SBC range being Intel or PowerPC. With as many as 8 processor cores, combined with 2 banks of 8 Gbyte DDR4, 4 x Gbit Ethernet ports and 4 SATA interfaces among others, the IC-INT-VMEb is capable of meeting compute-intensive needs, in industrial and harsh environments (available in standard and rugged variants). This VME processing board integrates a Kintex-7 FPGA that is dedicated to customers’ application requirements, and comes with an optional HDMI/DVI video link. To end with, the IC-INT-VMEb supports IC’s FPGA-based VME bridge, preventing obsolescence risks. Interface Concept Quimper, France +33 (0)2 98 57 30 30

COTS Journal | November 2016



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Company Page# Website

Company Page# Website

Acromag..............................................45........................... AIM......................................................18........................ Chassis Plans......................................22................... Critical I/O...........................................2............................ Eizo Elma Electronics.................................26................................. GAIA Converter Inc...............................5................... Intelligent Systems Source.................27, 46.... Mercury Systems, Inc. ........................52................................. NovaSom Industries............................13........... One Stop Systems, Inc. ......................4, 7....................... Pentek.................................................51..............................

Phoenix International..........................29........................... Pico Electronics, Inc............................19................. Pixus Stacked Star Communications Systel USA...........................................39.......................... TE TT Electronics.....................................17..................... COTS Gallery Ad..................................42.........................................................

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: Embedded Solutions for Small UAVs

The flight control, mission control and communications gear aboard Small UAVs—like the Shadow, Raven, Puma and Blackjack—face some of the most rigorous size, weight and power restrictions. Selecting the right embedded electronics and embedded computers in those systems becomes a make or break decision. This section focuses on the electronics aboard UAVs smaller than Predator-sized unmanned aircraft.

Tech Recon: Update/Review from ARM TechCon 2016

In this era where keeping SWaP (size, weight and power) low is key design requirement for military platforms, ARM-based computing embedded solutions are rapidly gaining mindshare. The annual ARM TechCon show is where all the key chip, board and software vendors delivering those ARM-based building blocks gather to showcase their latest technologies. COTS Journal’s staff was there and this section examines the key technology topics and product exhibits we saw at ARM TechCon 2016.


COTS Journal | November 2016

System Development: Optical Backplanes Open New Capabilities Optical backplane technologies have been discussed in theory in the embedded industry for decades. Today the demand for high-bandwidth interconnects and the likely widespread adoption of optical backplanes in the commercial market, are both factors moving the idea toward reality. This year more products and standards for this technology have emerged driven be demands for even faster interconnect speeds.

Data Sheet: XMC and PrXMC Boards

XMCs are now entrenched as the natural successor to PMC as the leading mezzanine form factor in military applications. Meanwhile fabric-based Processor XMCs (PrXMCs)—accommodate that trend nicely; enabling military system integrators to swap out just the computing core and leave the base board unchanged. This Tech Focus section updates readers on these trends and provides a product album of representative XMC and PrXMC products.

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COTS Journal’s




Value of contract the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) to manufacture MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedo afterbody/tailcone sections. The work to be performed will increase the quantity of the MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes for operational use. The contract has a 27-month base period of performance from award to final acceptance and includes options for the procurement of spares, production support material, engineering services, test equipment design and manufacturing, and hardware repair services.

1,000 The total number of H-60M Black Hawk helicopters Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, delivered to the U.S. Army. The 1,000th delivery was commemorated in a ceremony last month held in Stratford, CT.. The event was attended by distinguished guests from the U.S. Army, government officials, the Defense Contracting Management Agency, industry suppliers, and Lockheed Martin employees. Sikorsky delivered the first UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter in 2007 and the first HH-60M MEDEVAC helicopter in 2008. The ceremony marked the delivery of the 792nd UH-60M and the 208th HH-60M helicopters.


Number of M1061 mortar cartridges Orbital ATK produced for the U.S. Army and its customers, 1,000 of which were sent to theater ahead of full materiel release (FMR). The U.S. Joint Munitions Command has approved FMR of the M1061 60mm Mortar cartridge. During the initial phases of development, Orbital ATK produced more than 12,000 M1061 cartridges for the U.S. Army and its customers, 1,000 of which were sent to theater ahead of FMR. Full materiel release signifies that the U.S. Army has rigorously tested and evaluated the warhead and determined it is safe, operationally suitable and logistically supportable for use. 50

COTS Journal | November 2016


Average down time Cascade Aerospace was able to limit to for upgrades to Canada’s CC130J Hercules aircraft. The upgrade adds 29 enhancements to the aircraft including improvements to navigation, communications, and maintenance capabilities. Cascade Aerospace recently delivered the final CC-130J to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) after the entire fleet received the Block 7.0 upgrade. This marks a first for the entire aerospace industry and a first for Cascade as the only non-government organization to complete a production Block upgrade in the global C-130J fleet.

FIFTH The number of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin the U.S. Navy that has reached orbit last month. It successfully deployed its solar arrays and antennas, and is beginning pre-operational, on-orbit testing. For the Navy, MUOS-5 completes a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with MUOS-capable terminals will be able to seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid, as well as into the Defense Switched Network.

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! •

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

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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

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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.


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November 2016

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