Posted by John Keller
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 21 June 2013. U.S. Army helicopter avionics experts needed rugged airborne computers for the OH-58D Kiowa combat helicopter. They found their solution from Parvus Corp. in Salt Lake city.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., announced a potential $7.3 million contract Thursday to Mercom Corp. of Pawleys Island, S.C., to procure Parvus DuraCOR 810 tactical computers that will be integrated into the OH-58D. Mercom is an IT services and personnel company that serves government and private industry.
The Bell OH-58D is a single-engine, single-rotor, military helicopter for armed reconnaissance role in support of ground troops, and has been in use by the Army since 1969. The rotorcraft has a ball-like mast-mounted sight with daylight camera, thermal imaging system, and laser rangefinder. The OH-58D carries guns, rockets, and missiles.
The Parvus DuraCOR 810 is a rugged military-grade computer for high reliability applications requiring MIL-STD-810F resistance to extreme temperatures, shock and vibration, water, dust, salt spray, and other contaminants.
The commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) tactical computer uses integrates a low-power 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium-M processor and a MIL-STD-704/1275 power supply mounted in an aluminum PC/104 card cage. The avionics computer has as many as six spare slots are for PC/104 and PC/104-plus expansion cards.
The DuraCOR 810 has locking MIL-DTL-38999 circular connectors, rugged RJ-45 Ethernet connection, four USB ports, two RS-232 ports, VGA video, keyboard, mouse, and audio signals, as well as an expansion connector for as many as 79 signals from optional add-on cards. The rugged box computer can accommodate application-specific PC/104 modules such as an Ethernet Switch, MIL-STD-1553 interface, video encoders, GPS, and discrete I/O.
U.S. military systems designers have chosen the Parvus DuraCOR 810 rugged computer for several other systems in addition to the OH-58D armed reconnaissance helicopter.
NIITEK in Dulles, Va., has designed the DuraCOR 810 into the company's Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Husky Mounted Detection System (HMDS), for example. Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also has selected the DuraCOR 810 into the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) Increment 1 secure, all-weather shipboard landing system for the U.S. Navy.
Other military systems that use the Parvus DuraCOR 810 rugged computer include the Northrop Grumman MQ-5B Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), unmanned vehicle control systems aboard the Navy Littoral Combat Ship, and the Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.