White Papers

Reducing Development Cycles for 3U VPX Systems

March 3, 2015

This white paper outlines the key challenges system integrators face when building a system with 3U VPX COTS-based solutions. It also explains how the Curtiss-Wright 3U VPX embedded software test infrastructure provides a robust, integrated, and configurable test solution that shortens development cycles, increases test coverage, and verifies hardware performance under high levels of simultaneous interface utilization. The key features of this embedded software infrastructure include a system level Built-In Test (BIT) solution, a configurable stress test suite, hardware-based background BIT, and a common test set infrastructure.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Reduce SWaP and Centralize Control in a Video-Centric System

March 3, 2015

In order to reduce SWaP, a modern, mobile video-centric system needs to have one multi-function device at the heart of the system. With one device for all video functions, a common API can be used for control by all network clients via Ethernet. The all-in-one video functions provide all the needed functions in such a deployed vehicle. We have been hearing for years about network-centric architecture. Indeed many new deployed platforms are using Ethernet as the network backbone. Systems with sensors streaming out video must have a different architecture with video networking at the heart. Such a video-centric system must have the agility to support the display, conversion, distribution, scaling, windowing, and storage of a variety of video formats. This paper gives a brief introduction to stationary systems with further focus on mobile applications.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

OpenVPX Chassis Thermal Management: Overview of Cooling Methods

March 3, 2015

Learn about the 10 most common approaches to cooling an embedded computer chassis.  This free white paper begins with a detailed set of thermal management questions to be used during the initial stages of any chassis design.  The paper then presents a list of all the cooling approaches, with approximate power dissipation values.  

After this introduction of thermal management concepts, the white paper examines each cooling approach in detail.  The pros and cons of all the approaches are discussed in detail, along with associated design parameters.  Example chassis are included, where appropriate, as well the relationship to the OpenVPX standard and other common industry standards.

The detailed information in this white paper provides a foundation for evaluating the thermal management issues and choices available to an OpenVPX system design.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Massive SSD Storage on Intel Single Board Computers

March 3, 2015

Learn about the technology shift that is using solid state storage drives (SSD) to put ever increasing levels of data storage directly onto Single Board Computers.  This free white paper begins with a discussion of today’s defense applications, especially mission logging and moving maps, which require huge amounts of embedded high speed data storage.   It then presents a recent innovation for addressing this need, putting 10s of GB of Flash solid state memory directly onto SBCs, discussing the SWaP, performance and reliability advantages.

The final section of the white paper offers three examples of Curtiss-Wright Intel-based SBCs that offer up to 128 GB of on-board SSD storage, so applications have the data storage capacity they need without adding additional system slots.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

ARM Cortex Processor Technology: The Low Powered, High-Integrity Future of Defense and Aerospace Embedded Computing

March 3, 2015

Learn how SBCs based on the latest ARM Cortex processors can support Defense and Aerospace embedded applications with low power, low cost, secure, high integrity computing in a coveted SWaP-optimized footprint.  This free white paper starts with a discussion on three of the latest ARM-based cores – the A7, A53 and A57 – and their benefits to embedded computing.  Then Freescale’s QorIQ™ Layerscape (LS) series of processors is introduced;  these processors are core-agnostic, and utilize ARM architecture to produce network systems capable of up to 100 GB/s performance with improved packet-processing abilities.

The final section of the white paper presents details and specs on  Curtiss-Wright’s 3U OpenVPX SBCs that implement ARM Cortex processors, including a preview of a next generation ARM-based SBC.

The detailed information in this white paper provides a foundation for understanding how designers can access the high performance, power-efficient characteristics of ARM Cortex processor technology to deliver deployable solutions for rugged SWaP-constrained situations.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Product Reliability Builds on Robust Interconnect Solutions

February 23, 2015

Connectors play a critical role in electrical systems of just about any product we can imagine. For designers advances in connector design, materials, and manufacturing ensure availability of an interconnect solution well matched to each individual application.

The quality and reliability of interconnect directly influences system performance and reliability as a whole. Indeed, the selection of a suitable connector depends on a design’s performance requirements, configuration limitations, operating conditions, and working environment.

If connector selection is not given proper consideration, the entire application can be left exposed to performance and reliability breakdowns. In fact, today’s innovative connectors are high-precision pieces, carefully designed and manufactured using a variety of high-conductivity alloys, application specific platings and high temperature, high strength housing materials.

One of the main components of connectors and discrete interconnect systems is the pin receptacle. This article discusses the various ways that the pin receptacle can be used for myriad applications.

This White Paper brought to you by Mill-Max.

Sponsored by:

Overcome the Challenges of Crafting a Customized Computer

February 18, 2015

Whether they're powering a map-sensor payload for a Global Hawk UAV or a man-pack radio system for a soldier on the move, custom computer solutions have to be small and lightweight. To meet these stringent demands, engineers have created a clever solution – modular embedded computing platforms that allow customers to design their own customized machines. Discover frou ways to use COM Express platforms to tackle the challenges in building rugged computing systems for extreme operations.

This White Paper brought to you by Acromag.

Sponsored by:

FPGA Modules with an Integrated Processor Drive Real-Time Applications

February 18, 2015

Engineers developing DSP and high speed logic applications are now well-aware that FPGAs can help them create an integrated, sophisticated solution. The availability of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) FPGA boards can make these solutions viable and do so in reduced development times. Today, with systems architected to perform extremely time-critical tasks on a COTS FPGA module, the host CPU is often relegated to managing the flow of processed data to and from the FPGA module across a PCI-X bus, PCIe, Serial RapidIO, or other data interface. This data transfer is usually necessary because some processing or data storage activities are shared between the FPGA module and host CPU. Must these activities be shared? Could more processing and management of the data be performed in one place? If the application has high-speed requirements and more of the slower data management or calculation tasks can be lifted from the host CPU, then a COTS FPGA module with an integrated processor might be the solution.

This White Paper brought to you by Acromag.

Sponsored by:

Introduction to VPX

February 18, 2015

VPX (also known as VITA 46) is the next generation of ruggedized compact embedded
systems. After years of VME systems dominating the military/aerospace field, users have finally reached the limit of available bandwidth on the VMEbus. VPX expands the possible bandwidth, compared to the traditional VME system, by replacing the parallel bus with high speed serial busses. Much as the desktop market is transitioning from PCI to PCIe, the VME standard has been transformed to embrace the new VPX standards. The serial busses offer higher data rates while using a fraction of routing resources. This allows the new VPX standard to focus more physical backplane resources on improving other design aspects such as supporting larger power draw and more User I/O.

This White Paper brought to you by Acromag.

Sponsored by:

Should You Manufacture Your Product?

February 17, 2015

Thinking about whether to manufacture your product in-house (make) or to outsource it to a contract manufacturer (buy)? That make vs. buy decision is about cost and capacity, people and processes, expertise and equipment. It’s a decision that demands careful consideration of all of these factors and more. And because it will impact your business on strategic and operational levels for years to come, it’s a decision that cannot be taken lightly. Our white paper will lead you through some of the most critical — and complex — issues you’ll need to untangle to prevent headaches and ensure the best outcome.

This White Paper brought to you by Sparton.

Sponsored by:

Avoiding Redesign: The Importance of Upfront Planning

February 5, 2015

When starting a new project, the people responsible for delivering that new product into the boardroom are under pressure. There are delivery dates, quality expectations, and the need to bring it in within budget. Because of these outside stresses, a metal component being developed to prove a concept is often not ready for a high-speed stamping press. If the end goal is not addressed early, a redesign is looming in the future. What constitutes the development of a precision metal part? What should an engineer responsible for a project be thinking in order to avoid delays and cost escalations? For this discussion we will focus on the photo-etching and forming process as the first step in prototyping a metal component. Photo-etching is a very quick and economical method that can hold good tolerances specific to light-gauge metals during the prototyping phase.

This White Paper brought to you by Orbel Corporation.

Sponsored by:

Basic Elements of MIL-STD-704

February 2, 2015

Electronic systems designed for operation in a U.S. DoD aircraft must comply with MIL-STD-704, which defines certain parameters and characteristics the electric power in an aircraft must meet. To demonstrate compliance, these systems must pass comprehensive acceptance testing, measuring responses to a large set of events and conditions, including voltage transients, over- and under-frequency, over- and under-voltage and power transfer operations.

This white paper is not a primer on designing for MIL-STD-704 compliance but simply a high-level summary of what is covered by the standard, a first step in understanding its requirements.  The white paper supplies a summary of the standard and presents some ideas regarding ways to achieve compliant designs.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Intel SBCs for Small to Mid-size ISR Applications

February 2, 2015

Learn how SBCs based on the latest Intel Core processors can support sophisticated ISR deployments in smaller platforms, from ground mobile radar to EO/IR on rotor aircraft.  This free white paper starts with a discussion of the design challenges faced by small platform ISR, contrasted with the traditional ISR processing approach of large 6U multiprocessor systems.  Then the new approach is examined, using Intel’s powerful multi-core processor family in a 3U OpenVPX form factor to build smaller, SWaP-optimized solutions.

The final section of the white paper presents details and performance specs on a sample 3U OpenVPX module, the Curtiss-Wright VPX3-1258, which is based on the quad-core Intel Core i7 (Haswell) processor.  A sample multi-module system configuration for ISR is included.

The detailed information in this white paper provides a foundation for understanding how designers can create processing systems that are physically small, cost-effective and support straightforward application development. SBCs based on the latest Intel Core processors are positioned to meet this need, with exploding processing power, Gen3 data bandwidth and configuration flexibility.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Basic Elements of MIL-STD-461

February 2, 2015

Learn about the industry standard that establishes interface and verification requirements for the control of the electromagnetic interference (EMI) emission and susceptibility characteristics of electronic equipment and subsystems designed for the U.S. DoD.   This free white paper starts with an overview of EMI and EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and then lists the complex set requirements defined by the standard.   Certain emissions apply to certain applications or certain types of platforms and a table shows each requirement’s applicability to various platform types.

The final section discusses design considerations related to creating MIL-STD-461 compliant systems.  The control of EMI is an art and science that seeks to prevent the various interdependent and independent electronic systems on military platforms from interfering with each other’s normal operation.   This white paper provides an introduction to the topic.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Tackling Defense Apps by Harnessing the Intel Core i7’s Integrated GPU

February 2, 2015

Learn about the integrated, on-chip Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) within a new generation of Intel x86 architecture chips and where they offer significant advantages to Defense applications.  This free white paper starts with a discussion of the original graphics rendering intent of GPUs and how their use has expanded into floating point math acceleration for a multitude of commercial and defense related high performance compute applications.   This is followed by a comparison of GPU functionality to math acceleration using FPGAs and SIMD units.

The white paper continues with a discussion Intel’s new designs which integrate a GPU within multi-core processor silicon and the advantages this approach brings to SWaP-constrained and security-sensitive defense applications.  The final section of the white paper presents details and performance specs on a sample implementation, the Curtiss-Wright CHAMP-AV9 6U OpenVPX DSP module, which brings two Core i7 processors, with integrated GPUs, onto a single PCB.

The detailed information in this white paper helps system designers compare GPUs to other processing elements and evaluate the advantages of integrated GPUs for SWaP savings, high performance, low latency and enhanced security.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Video Management Systems Support Services

February 2, 2015

Traditionally there has been a difference between the product support models provided by mission equipment manufacturers and the requirements for aircraft fleet maintenance and equipment certification. Aircraft mission equipment life time cycles are longer than standard commercial product life times.

The integration of different products from multiple suppliers, can often lead to problems with connectivity and functional inconsistencies. This is a common problem attributed to mismatches between different suppliers’ documentation details and product functions. End user training is a common program requirement; this is expensive to provide if a training course has to be created by an installer, solely for any particular program. Some programs require complete control or visibility over the internal build configuration of all units being fitted to the aircraft.

Curtiss-Wright Video Management System (VMS) support services resolves these issues, making it easier for mission equipment installers to work with our products.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

Scalable Standards for Mil-Aero Design

January 28, 2015

 Intel® processor-based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware is being deployed everywhere from handheld devices to high-performance computing centers. Find out why, and how to take advantage of this trend.

This Whitepaper brought to you by Intel.

NVIDIA’s Tegra K1: A Game-Changer for Rugged Embedded Computing

January 26, 2015

Many applications that could have benefited from GPU technology were prevented from doing so by SWaP constraints. NVIDIA®’s Tegra® K1 changes that.

This White Paper brought to you by GE Intelligent Platforms.

Sponsored by:

Analog Input Performance of VPX3-530

January 1, 2015

Designers working on a mixed-signal application need to evaluate system components based on their fit with a specific situation; there are always technical tradeoffs to be considered.  This white paper provides detailed information on the VPX3-530, a 3U OpenVPX transceiver card that combines a Virtex-7 FPGA with a pair of Texas Instrument ADC12D2000RF ADCs and a pair of Analog Devices’ AD9129 DACs.

The paper provides the typical (measured) performance of the analog inputs of the VPX3-530, what the advantages are of various modes and how well they compare with the formal device datasheets. The white paper then proceeds to give an insight to the true performance of the VPX3-530 in order for the developer to make reasoned decisions as to whether the VPX3-530 will meet application requirements and which configuration would be most effective for a particular application.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

It is easy to design a complex rugged system – once you know how!

January 1, 2015

Have you ever watched a skilled craftsman glass-blowing, stone carving or even building a wall and thought – “They make that look easy!” No false starts, an economy of movement and a perfect piece every time? Although we don’t assume we can pick up tools and create a masterpiece on our first attempt, this level of accuracy takes practice and dedication with, no doubt, many mistakes along the way to reach the pinnacle of achievement.

Keeping this in mind, the parallels with designing complex rugged systems are not that hard to imagine. Rugged system design requires extensive technical knowledge across multiple engineering disciplines and the ability to clearly grasp the trade-offs between design disciplines, for example between hardware and software. Add to this the extra dimensions of performance, size, weight, power demands, ruggedization and cost. This can be extremely difficult to achieve by functionally siloed engineering teams. Read more.

This White Paper brought to you by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.

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Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2015
Volume 26, Issue 2
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