SIGNAL PROCESSING: NATO minehunting UUV relies on GPU-based embedded processor from GE for imaging sonar

NATO military technology researchers needed real-time digital signal processing (DSP) capability for demonstration of a synthetic aperture sonar data for adaptive track spacing and target detection on an autonomous vehicle. They found their solution from GE Intelligent Platforms in Huntsville, Ala.

The Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) segment of the NATO Science & Technology Organization in La Spezia, Italy, used the GE MAGIC1 rugged display computer for the synthetic aperture sonar demonstration, GE officials announced at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, Calif.

The CMRE Autonomous Mine Search Using High-Frequency Synthetic Aperture Sonar project focuses on enhancing NATO mine detection and neutralization capability with unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The GE MAGIC1 embedded computer is based on graphics processing unit (GPU) technology.

The GE MAGIC1 rugged display computer improves the processing and decision-making capabilities on-board the Minehunting UUV for Shallow water Covert Littoral Expeditions UUV, otherwise known as MUSCLE. The MUSCLE UUV uses multi-resolution, multi-aspect synthetic aperture sonar to create detailed images of the seafloor.

CMRE experts say GPU technology and associated development tools like the CUDA libraries were a key component in the recent sea trials in which the computer executed the sonar processing chain on the MUSCLE UUV.

The CMRE project uses techniques from machine intelligence to develop UUV behaviors that can help with mine hunting. The project also is developing automatic target recognition algorithms to help identify ocean mines.

Moving the algorithms and behaviors on-board the UUV has the potential to significantly increase the speed of operation for mine countermeasure missions, CMRE officials say.

"The key to fulfilling these two objectives is the capability to process the sonar data on-board the vehicle in near real-time, producing detailed acoustic images of the sea bed," says Rod Rice, general manager of military & aerospace products at GE Intelligent Platforms.

MAGIC1 is a rugged, small-form-factor subsystem with an NVIDIA GPU. This kind of graphics processing capability increasingly is being applied in the aerospace and defense industry for complex digital signal processing. The GPU acts as a massively parallel embedded processor.

"GPU technology is being applied to the most challenging problems by military customers because of the ability it provides to process significant amounts of data collected by growing numbers of sensors," Rice says. "These solutions are increasingly being deployed on autonomous vehicles, where size, weight and power-together with the ability to withstand the harshest environments-are critical."

The NATO MUSCLE UUV is based on the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Bluefin-21 UUV from Bluefin Robotics Corp. in Quincy, Mass. The Bluefin-21 is rated to depths of nearly 5,000 feet, upgradeable to nearly 15,000 feet.

The MUSCLE UUV uses a navigation and control system from Bluefin, and a synthetic aperture sonar sensor from Thales Underwater Systems in Brest, France. For surface navigation, the MUSCLE UUV uses a global positioning system (GPS) sensor, and for underwater navigation it uses a combination of a Doppler velocity log and an inertial measurement unit.

Various synthetic aperture sonar processing algorithms had been developed over several years at CMRE, existing in various implementations, although none of them were ideally suited for an embedded and near real-time application, officials say.

GPUs and the CUDA libraries were considered an ideal candidate for the minehunting UUV task. With support of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), the entire processing chain was re-designed and implemented in C++ and CUDA.

Tests were conducted on mid- to high-end workstations equipped with different generations of TESLA GPUs, exhibiting speed-ups in excess of 70X from the original un-optimized scientific code. In parallel with that effort, the Engineering Division at CMRE started the integration of a new payload section for the MUSCLE UUV containing a ruggedized CPU from GE and a ruggedized version of a TESLA GT240 GPU.

The new version of the CMRE SAS processing algorithms can run in near real-time on the NVIDIA GPU in the GE embedded computer installed into the MUSCLE UUV. The UUV performs missions following pre-programmed paths collecting raw sensor data to be analyzed at the end of the survey, which results in no capability to adapt to unexpected environmental conditions and/or sonar performance.

The CMRE tests involved a multinational team of scientists and engineers aimed at finding the best technologies that could be used by Nations in joint NATO mine countermeasures missions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit GE Intelligent Platforms online at www.ge.com, CMRE at www.cmre.nato.int, or Bluefin Robotics at www.bluefinrobotics.com


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XCalibur4500 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4500 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled XMC Module

The XPedite7501 is a high-performance, low-power, XMC module based on the 5th generation Intel® C...

XCalibur4501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4501 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7530 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U CompactPCI Module

The XPedite7530 is a high-performance 3U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugge...

XCalibur4540 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4540 is a high-performance, 6U OpenVPX™, multiprocessing, single board computer that ...

XPedite7570 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7570 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XPedite7572 | 5th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module with SecureCOTS™

The XPedite7572 is a secure and high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

Medusa VPX3424

The AcQ Inducom “Medusa”VPX3424 is a 3U OpenVPX™ Single Board Computer (SBC) featuring the T4240 ...

XPand6200 Series | Small Form Factor (SFF) Sub-½ ATR Rugged COTS System utilizing 3U VPX, XMC, and PMC Modules

The XPand6200 Series is a true Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Rugged system, supporting many 3U ...

XPedite2470 | 3U VPX Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA Module with FMC Site and Freescale P1010 Processor

The XPedite2470 is a high-performance, reconfigurable, conduction- or air-cooled, 3U VPX, FPGA pr...

Related Companies

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...

JuiceBox Energy Inc

JuiceBox Energy develops, engineers and manufactures advanced energy storage systems for residential, government and ...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

Since 1943, EDL has strived to provide quality products, outstanding customer service, and superior technical support...

PTC

PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) delivers technology solutions that transform the way companies create, operate and service their pr...

Powell Electronics

An authorized electronic component distributor and experts of military connectors, switches, sensors and relays. Trac...

Eureka Dry Tech

High reliability electronic components utilized in aerospace and defense, requires strict moisture controlled storage...

Germane Systems

Germane Systems designs and manufactures COTS-based rugged high performance computers, servers, and storage systems f...

Sensoray Co Inc

Specializing in the development of custom OEM embedded electronics for industrial, aerospace, defense, medical and se...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

The Latest from Paris Air Show 2015

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

May 2015
Volume 26, Issue 5
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE