Curtiss-Wright demonstrates air cooling for rugged embedded computing in 3D printed chassis
HOUSTON, 20 Jan. 2016. Embedded computing designers at Curtiss-Wright Corp. are demonstrating 3D-printed electronics chassis for 3U and 6U computer boards that adhere to the new VITA 48.8 air-flow-through (AFT) cooling standard of the VITA Open Systems, Open Markets embedded computing trade association in Fountain Hills, Ariz.
Engineers from the Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Division in Ashburn, Va., are demonstration the VITA 48.8 AFT-compliant chassis for small-form-factor electronics thermal management this week at the VITA Embedded Tech Trends conference in Houston.
The chassis from Curtiss-Wright are designed to bring the advanced cooling technology to rugged deployed embedded systems, company officials say.
This week's demonstration featured a 3D printed plastic chassis integrated with Curtiss-Wright's VPX3-1258 single board computer and VPX3-716 graphics modules, both outfitted with AFT frames. A functional 3U AFT chassis demonstrator, able to run applications while cooling two VPX modules, is scheduled for availability early this spring.
Curtiss-Wright has delivered commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 3U AFT embedded computing cards to its lead customer and is developing a range of 3U and 6U AFT embedded computing products, company officials say.
The first of the company's modules for VITA 48.8 AFT systems are VPX3-652, VPX3-1259, and VPX3-1258 computer boards and the VPX3-716 graphics module.
Curtiss-Wright engineers point out that the combination of advanced cooling, small form factor AFT, and reduced weight delivered by VITA 48.8 are suitable for size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C)-constrained platforms such as helicopters and unmanned vehicles.
"The aerospace and defense industry is beginning to see power densities as high as 200 Watts per square centimeter with the latest processors, and new technologies are needed to cool the latest generation of components, says Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.
VITA 48.8 is an open-systems standard for air-flow-through electronics cooling to support small-form-factor 3U VPX COTS modules for SWAP-C-sensitive applications.
Based on technologies developed by the Lockheed Martin Corp. Mission Systems and Training segment in Owego, N.Y.m, VITA 48.8 helps reduce weight and cost for high-density, high-power-dissipation 3U and 6U module-based systems by eliminating the use of wedgelocks and ejector/injector handles.
VITA 48.8 also supports alternative air-flow arrangements, allowing air inlet at both card edges. Because VITA 48.8 does not use module-to-chassis conduction cooling, it also promises to help drive innovative use of new lightweight plastic or composite material based chassis.