Army chooses rugged computer Ethernet switches for MRAP vetronics networking to connect radios and sensors

WARREN, Mich., 14 May 2014. U.S. Army vetronics experts needed rugged Gigabit Ethernet switches for the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored combat vehicle. They found their solution from Aeronix Inc. in Melbourne, Fla.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich., have awarded a $1.8 million contract to Aeronix to provide 404 of the company's Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Ground Vehicle (GES-GV8) for MRAP networking upgrades.

Networking aboard the MRAP combat vehicle involves radios, sensors, network switches, and software to help deliver an integrated voice and data capability throughout the Army's Brigade Combat Team (BCT) formation, from the brigade commander to the foot soldier.

For this contract, Army vetronics experts are asking Aeronix to provide rugged, high-performance Ethernet switches for the MRAP that can provide Ethernet signal routing from several Ethernet ports at speeds of 10 and 100 megabits per second, as well as Gigabit Ethernet rates.

Related: Army chooses rugged Ethernet vetronics networking from Sixnet for deploying MRAPs

For the contract Aeronix will provide the company's GES-GV8 Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Ground Vehicle, with eight individual non blocking ports, each capable of 1000-megabits per second full-duplex, as well as 10 or 100 megabits per second full or half duplex, with auto or manual speed selection.

The GES-GV8 offers reliability of 100,000 hours mean time between failures, virtual local area networking (VLAN) per 802.1Q, and operation in temperatures from -32 to 60 degrees Celsius. The unit measures 11.25 by 5 by 3 inches and weighs 4 pounds 5 ounces.

The vetronics Ethernet switch is based on the Aeronix air-qualified Gigabit Ethernet Switch (GES), a 12-Port Gigabit Ethernet switch designed for aircraft, which measures 8.25 by 5.1 by 1.38 inches and weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces.

Related: Army approaches industry for off-the-shelf Ethernet networking for MRAP combat vehicles

The GES-GV8 Ethernet switches from Aeronix will augment or replace ET-8MG-MIL-1 rugged Ethernet switches from Sixnet in Ballston Lake, N.Y. The Sixnet switches have been installed in Army MRAPs for several years. The Army awarded a $2.1 million contract to Sixnet last year for Ethernet switches for MRAPs that were headed to Afghanistan.

The Aeronix GES-GV8 is based on the airborne GES with more network connectivity, vehicular qualifications, and extensive user interfacing, Aeronix officials say. This switch uses the same power supplies and switching fabric as the GES with added processing power for additional functionality.

The GES-GV8 provides eight tri-speed 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet ports for use in commercial, industrial, and military applications that require ultra-high data transfer rates in a self-contained ruggedized package.

Related: Ruggedized Cisco Ethernet switch for vetronics, avionics, and C4ISR introduced by Parvus

Each of the eight ports can auto-detect data rates individually of 10, 100, or 1000 Base -T, or can be manually managed externally. The eight ports have individual connectors and individual LED indicators that can be turned off for low visibility applications.

The ground-vehicle Ethernet switches require no forced air or conductive cooling, and should be qualified for wheeled vehicles by this summer, company officials say.

For more information contact Aeronix online at www.aeronix.com, or the Army Contracting Command-Warren at www.tacom.army.mil.


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