2021 Military & Aerospace Technology Innovators Awards announced for aerospace and defense achievement

Aug. 23, 2021
Awards are in three tiers -- ranging from platinum, the highest, to the gold awards, and finally to the silver awards.

NASHUA, N.H. – Military & Aerospace Electronics and Intelligent Aerospace have announced their 2021 Technology Innovators Awards to recognize companies offering substantial military, aerospace, and avionics design solutions.

Awards are in three tiers -- ranging from platinum, the highest, to the gold awards, and finally to the silver awards -- and are based on the recommendations of an independent panel of industry judges.

Platinum honorees

The MESP-100-2 from the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions division in Ashburn, Va., is a size, weight, and power (SWaP) optimized solution for encrypting telemetry streams. It provides a PCM encoder interface, Advanced Range Telemetry (ARTM) transmitter interface, and an optional cryptographic key management software package, with supporting ground station hardware. The module set is for use in missile telemetry and test, flight test, and aircraft monitoring applications.

The SEMIL-1748GC from Neousys Technology America Inc. in Northbrook, Ill., is a IP67-rated, waterproof and dust-proof graphics processing unit (GPU) computer with pre-installed NVIDIA Tesla T4 for demanding environments. It is for rugged edge artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, and features a patented system architecture to guarantee fanless operation in temperatures from -25 to 70 degrees Celsius, and non-throttling GPU performance to 62 C ambient.

The PRX-20-1G18G-850M-SFF-V2 1-18 GHz channelized receiver from Planar Monolithics Industries Inc. in Frederick, Md., is a broadband input, 20 output channelized receiver for surveillance applications with copious transmission signals present in various frequency bands at any given time. The receiver limits the noise to help identify low-power signals without compressing output power for the higher power signals. The channelized receiver offers 20 850 MHz BW outputs up to 4.4 GHz while providing good 50 ohm matches for the broadband input and all outputs.

The Kite-Strike rugged artificial intelligence (AI) edge computing hardware from Systel Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas, offers workstation performance in an embedded size, weight, and power (SWaP)-optimized system. Kite-Strike supports force-protection high-resolution sensor systems, with significant AI-enabling capabilities to help shift the workload from soldier to sensor. Kite-Strike enables the real-time AI inferencing, deep learning, and machine learning capabilities with centralized sensor ingest and data fusion support for edge AI inferencing for mission-critical applications.

The aluminum 3D-printed air transport rack (ATR) enclosure from Atrenne, a Celestica company in Brockton, Mass., offers substantially reduced lead times when compared to a conventional brazement welding fabrication with negligible tradeoffs in thermal performance. Structural and mechanical characteristics are as good or better when subjected to dynamics testing. While providing a demonstration unit in a matter of weeks after critical design reviews compared to months for a conventionally designed unit, customers are able to take the aluminum 3D printed ATR into the meeting room with a tangible piece of hardware, and the unit can be deployed into the field and perform as a functional piece of deployable equipment and anywhere in between.

The Condor NVP2102AxX computer from EIZO Rugged Solutions Inc. in Altamonte Springs, Fla., is for defense applications such as intelligence and electronic warfare (EW) that exchange video, and metadata constantly between sensors and mission systems. The data being analyzed must be captured, processed, encoded/decoded, recorded, and sent to the base station via satellite. Prior to the Condor NVP2102AxX product, program designers had to use external 3G-SDI to DVI converters (for inputs) and DVI to 3G-SDI converters (for outputs) to handle that video format. In the past, systems would need 2-3 graphics cards to get the job done.

The FPGA Workbench from Concurrent Real-Time in Pompano Beach, Fla., is a software tool that provides a complete customizable development environment for its programmable field-programmable gate array (FPGA) processing cards. FPGA Workbench was created from the ground-up for real-time applications. Combine Concurrent’s FPGA’s with a real-time driver for our RedHawk Linux real-time operating system, and FPGA Workbench becomes a powerful tool to create real-time models. This makes Concurrent’s RedHawk RTOS and FPGA Workbench a solution for simulation and testing applications like autonomous driving and flight control, and ultimately enables industries to bring enhanced products to market quickly and economically.

The Voyager 6 embedded computing chassis from Klas Government in Tampa, Fla., helps to extend artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other cloud-enabled battlefield applications to the tactical edge. The Voyager 6 enables the military to integrate tactical communications systems into military ground vehicles without requiring modifications to the vehicle. It enables users to swap hardware and software to a tactical communications package that meets standardized A-Kit / vehicle envelope certifications for size, weight and power (SWaP).

The Rappid Open Spectrum Processing Platform from Mercury systems in Andover, Mass., helps users load spectrum processing applications quickly into systems that are based on different hardware. Rappid offers openness and modularity by separating the hardware from the techniques and applications, similar to how apps run on a smart phoneIt helps reduce development costs with an application-ready framework; deploy defense capabilities faster than adversaries; and deliver new capabilities to multiple systems by leveraging the open platform. Rappid hardware consists of commercial off-the-shelf devices from industry-trusted vendors. Its abstraction capabilities helps deploy applications from the lab, to the prototype, and on to fielded solutions.

The Endura MEMS oscillators from Si Time Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif., are for aerospace and defense applications, and offer ruggedized performance for applications such as field and satellite communications, precision GNSS, avionics, and space. The oscillators are engineered for tough applications, with timing devices that provide the heartbeat in mission-critical electronic equipment. The ruggedized Endura MEMS timing solutions, offer as much as 50 times faster acceleration sensitivity, and conform to MIL-PRF-55310 specifications and can be up-screened in accordance with standard or custom flows. Raytheon’s precision guidance system uses Si Time Endura MEMS oscillators for their precision guidance systems. Si Time devices deliver precise timing, high performance, and reliability in aerospace and defense applications operating in harsh environments.

The WILDSTAR 3XR2 3U OpenVPX FPGA processor from Annapolis Micro Systems in Annapolis, Md., are for embedded computing applications that analog filtering and tuning, as well as digitization and digital processing. Formerly, these capabilities were packaged separately, increasing size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C). The 100-gigabit Ethernet RFSoC board combines analog and digital capability in one 3U OpenVPX slot. The WILDSTAR 3XR2 3U OpenVPX FPGA processor incorporates a full-length coax-connected analog interface mezzanine site that systems designers can populate in three ways: with a direct RF digitization mezzanine; with simple analog circuitry; and with a third-party or customer-supplied analog tuner to enable digitization of higher frequency signals. This multi-function capability does not negatively affect processing performance. Data moves to two Gen 3 Xilinx UltraScale+ RFSoC FPGAs, which allow for eight channels each of A/D & D/A converting, with an A/D converter sample rate of 0.5–5.0+ gigasamples per second and resolution of 14 bits, and a D/A conversion sample rate of 0.5–10.0+ gigasamples per second and resolution of 14 bits.

The INTEGRITY-178 tuMP real-time operating system (RTOS) software from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif., targets the avionics market by providing the technology and safety certification data to be part of the industry’s first two multicore certifications to DO-178C that meet CAST-32A objectives. Certified conformant to the FACE Technical Standard 3.0, INTEGRITY-178 tuMP is a critical part of a system using a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA). INTEGRITY-178 tuMP demonstrates that conformance to the FCE Technical Standard and certification to DO-178C can go hand-in-hand. INTEGRITY-178 tuMP provides partitioning in time, space, and resources across a multicore system, which enables verification of a safety-critical application independently from other applications as well as independent measurement of worst-case execution time (WCET).

The ADAR3000 Ka-band beamformer integrated circuit (BFIC) from Analog Devices Inc. in Norwood, Mass., offer a 4 beam/16 channel device that support the K/Ka band satellite communications bands. Each channel contains a programmable step attenuator and programmable time delay for beam steering and draws less than 12 milliwatts per channel. Not only is there a high degree of RF integration in these BFICs, but there is also a sophisticated digital definition that has memory to support quick and efficient beam state selection via program control over the SPI bus. Each device can support beam hopping and raster scanning which are critical for LEO satellites to be able optimize spatial and frequency reuse. The ADAR3000 and ADAR3001 are on a low power process that is also suitable for space missions. The process itself is radiation tolerant such that the ADAR3000 and ADAR3001 are suitable for not only LEO missions but also GEO missions.

The ICE-Lok thermal management and cooling wedge lock from Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT) Inc.in Lancaster, Pa., thermally outperforms standard wedge locks by greater than 30 percent. The ICE-Lok expands in all four directions, allowing it to engage the heat spreader and chassis on all four sidewalls. This not only doubles the contact surface area but also introduces lower thermal resistance paths for the heat to transfer from board to chassis. While existing solutions provided strong mechanical functionality, they are not able to keep up with the trend of increasing processing power the military embedded computing market has been experiencing. In a conduction-cooled system, which is the most desirable structure due to higher reliability, all heat must be transferred through the wedge lock to the chassis and rejected via air or liquid externally. The ICE-Lok is able not only to increase thermal performance and subsequently add reliability and safety for the system, but also is a drop-in replacement in any VITA 48.2 chassis.

Gold honorees

Leonardo DRS, A-PNT Converged Computer - Embedded and Scalable (AC²ES); Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, NC120A; ViaSat, Dynamic Video Encoding; Elma Electronic, CompacFrame Test & Development Platforms; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, 360SA; MPL AG Switzerland, Rugged MIL/COTS SWaP-C Server Solution; NAG Marine DASPOS Fire Prevention Systems; Pentek, Quartz Model 6350 8-Channel A/D & D/A Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Rugged Small Form Factor Enclosure; MixComm, RFSOI Beamformers for 5G and Satellite Communications; W. L. Gore & Associates, GORE High Performance Aerospace Wires; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, HSR10; Elma Electronic, NetSys 5310/11 Rugged Cisco ESR-6300 Platforms; Mercury Systems Inc., RFS1080 Radio Frequency System-in-Package; Robotic Research, Pegasus Mini; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, VPX3-655; Advanced Cooling Technologies Inc., Space Copper-Water Heat Pipes (SCWHPs); Elma Electronic, 3U Conduction-Cooled Load Card Aligned to SOSA; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, Multi-Platform Mission Management (MPMM) System; and Discovery Semiconductors Inc., Space Qualified, Short Wave Infrared, Extended InGaAs Photodiodes to 2.4 Micron Wavelength.

Silver honorees

Diamond-Roltran, Roll-Rings; Mercury Systems Inc., ARES3100 Advanced Radar Environment Simulator; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, Parvus DuraCOR AGX-Xavier; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, PacStar 448; Vicor, BCM4414; Mercury Systems Inc., TAC3290 Microwave Tuner; Elma Electronic, MR50 Rugged Multi-Rotary Selector Switch; Logos Technologies, BlackKite Wide-Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) System; Kontron America Inc., COBALT S1901; LCR Embedded Systems, AoC3U-410 Air over Conduction VPX Chassis; LCR Embedded Systems, DK3 VPX Development System; Interface Concept, ComEth4000e - 6U VME 1/10/40 Gigabit Ethernet Switch; Infineon Technologies, PowerMOS 650V rad hard MOSFET; and North Atlantic Industries, NIU3A SWaP Optimized Processing and Multifunction I/O & Communications System.

Look for more detail on the gold and silver honorees in subsequent news stories later this week.

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