2023 Military & Aerospace Technology Innovators Awards announced for aerospace and defense achievement

Oct. 24, 2023
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 has announced the 2023 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 PacStar Secure Mesh Command Post (SMCP) from the Curtiss-Wright Corp Defense Solutions Division in Ashburn, Va., is for vehicle-mounted mobile command posts. It is a secure vehicle-to-vehicle tactical communications solution for expeditionary environments, and meets U.S. military demand for secure warfighter mobility. It provides secure encrypted access to classified networks at the edge of the battlefield. Mesh topologies eliminate the threat of a single point of failure. Unlike hub-and-spoke network architectures, the loss of a single node or access point in a mesh network won’t result in the loss of the entire V2V network. The PacStar Secure Mesh Command Post is aligned with Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) requirements.

The X9 Spider AI System from General Micro Systems in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is a small rugged artificial intelligence (AI) system with advanced video capture for applications with small size, cost, and power constraints. Based on the GMS X9 Spider Mission Computer and a member of the X9 Spider family of rugged small form factor (SFF) modules, the X9 Spider AI system uses the NVIDIA AGX Jetson Orin compact system-on-module processor for autonomous applications where live real-time data collection and analysis is essential, such as unmanned aircraft and autonomous vehicles.

The X9 Spider Manpack from General Micro Systems is a rugged soldier-wearable computer that offers office-style computer workstation performance in a small portable package that users can wear on the battlefield. Using the GMS X9 Spider mission computer the Manpack is mounted into a rugged enclosure that provides intelligent cooling and ruggedization to provide embedded computing at the individual, squad, and platoon level. It offers high-performance sensor, video, and AI processing for warfighters moving on-foot. Applications include Blue Force Tracking, tactical/moving maps, JADC2, IVAS, Nett Warrior interoperability, command and control, joint sensor review and display, and any application that would run on a server or high-performance workstation computer.

The Tiqker from Infleqtion in Austin, Texas, is an atomic frequency reference for precise timing and holds the potential to revolutionize modern information systems. Within today’s interlinked global landscape, time is the pulsating core that powers our data networks, telecommunications, and even mundane undertakings such as pinpointing the nearest grocery store. The accessibility of distributed and accurate timing plays a pivotal role in propelling innovation and creating new opportunities in the telecom, data, and geolocation industries. Tiqker will deliver up to 100 times timing performance versus current industry standard solutions and will be 1,000 times quicker to achieve operational frequency stability. Applications include smart grids, timing services, wireless broadband, financial time-stamping, network synchronization, scientific test and measurement, radio astronomy, unmanned vehicles, sensor networks, GPS ground services, and national time keeping.

The MaxUp Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul Optimization (MRO2) tool from Lone Star Analysis in Addison, Texas, constructs a simulation of the existing sustainment environment, enabling the evaluation of labor cost drivers, material cost drivers, and lead time relationships. Military depots must control rising operating and sustainment costs of aging warfare systems and legacy equipment. Unplanned delays in replacement aircraft and higher than projected use have forced life extensions and equipment upgrades for most military legacy aircraft. Determining how best to recapitalize the fleet, while keeping aging aircraft flying longer requires detailed insight and sound risk-based assessment of the long-term capability to maximize readiness. MRO2 helps manage manpower, facilities, equipment, and assets in an ad hoc near real-time environment.

The FLYC-300 from Neousys Technology Inc. in Taipei, Taiwan, helps bring AI computing power and vision capability for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in military applications 297-gram FLYC-300 is an AI-powered mission computer for UAVs, with the NVIDIA Jetson Orin NX. FLYC-300 can connect to several devices for surveillance, reconnaissance, border patrol, infrastructure monitoring and emergency medical aid. As more and more drones are deployed into battlefields, FLYC-300 brings artificial intelligence into drone systems. Currently, UAVs are mostly operated remotely by humans from the ground control center. Therefore, drones that can learn and have autonomous capability are preferable solutions for the future.

The Rigel Edge Supercomputer from One Stop Systems in Escondido, Calif., helps bring elements of data center GPU accelerated computing to rugged edge vehicle applications in land, sea and air. The U.S. and its allies have chosen to implement a distributed or decentralized command and control strategy, with commanders at the battlefield edge to act faster than their adversaries. Key to this strategy is the ability to implement AI to fuse sensor information, assess scenarios, and implement decisive action. Rigel enables data scientists, system integrators, and end users to deploy the same class of hardware they are used to in the lab and data center in vehicles where decisions have to be made now, without compromise.

RTI Connext TSS 3.1 from Real-Time Innovations (RTI) in Sunnyvale, Calif., conforms to the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) technical standard, and the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA), and delivers a low-risk connectivity solution for modular, open, and safety-critical avionics systems. The FACE Approach is an integrated business and technical strategy that employs modular design tenets, uses widely supported and open consensus-based standards for its key interfaces, and has a validation and verification process to ensure the openness of its key interfaces. The standard requires data-centric designs, and the FACE TSS is where this data is presented to the FACE application layer, the FACE Portable Components Segment (PCS). The FACE TSS integrates the flow of data from the FACE OSS, IOSS, and PSSS, and provides a consistent representation of this data to PCS applications.

The Node/Grid from Somewear Labs Inc. in San Francisco is a multi-network device for small team tactics that creates a dynamic mesh network where each device can serve as a relay in the network or as a mobile satellite backhaul. This can provide instant and reliable communication even when traditional networks are unavailable or unreliable. While SATCOM provides near 100 percent coverage on the battlefield, its effective coverage ends when individuals and teams enter subterranean and indoor environments. Additionally, traditional SATCOM equipment requires fixed infrastructure and prohibits teams from remaining agile and networking on-the-move. The advent of Node with Somewear’s SmartBackhaul technology offers operators the ability to overcome these limitations by eliminating the need to establish and stay in range of fixed infrastructure for a dedicated backhaul. Paired with Somewear’s SmartRouting, Node reduces cognitive load and ensures operators can focus on the tasks that matter most. Node provides a level of reliability, security, and efficient situational awareness that was previously unattainable.

The Kite-Strike II from Systel in Sugar Land Texas, is a MIL-SPEC rugged NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin based edge AI embedded computer for demanding computer vision and sensor fusion data processing workloads for edge AI and autonomous mission-critical applications. Kite-Strike II helps bring server-class AI performance to forward-deployed missions in combat. The product is designed using a modular open systems approach (MOSA) and is highly configurable to match exacting mission-specific requirements. In addition to its robust base IO, it can be configured with up to (3) mPCIe and (2) m.2 expansion cards as well as removable u.2 NVME (with zeroize and FIPS 140-2 options) in an expansion "slice".

VxWorks – RTOS container support from Wind River Systems in Alameda, Calif., wraps up applications and services with all their dependencies and isolates several software components running on the same hardware, for the company's VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS). VxWorks now supports application deployment through containers, which will be key to embedded application management.  People are most familiar with containers as part of cloud-native architectures in which applications are decoupled from the infrastructure — including hardware and operating systems — on which they are running. With this approach, teams can automate the software pipeline to remove manual errors, standardize tools, and accelerate the rate of product iterations. Teams can use traditional IT-like technologies to develop and deploy intelligent edge software better and faster, without compromising determinism and performance.

Gold honorees

Concurrent Real-Time, RedHawk Linux for NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, CHAMP-FX7; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, CHAMP-XD4 (VPX6-485); D-Fend Solutions, EnforceAir2; Elma Electronic Inc., SOSA Aligned Deployable Rugged ATR; Elma Electronic Inc., JetSys-5330 - Extreme Rugged AI based Edge Computing Platform; International Rectifier HiRel Products Inc., An Infineon Technologies Company, R9 Superjunction Rad Hard P-Channel FETs; Keysight Technologies, M9484C Vector Signal Generator with Z9500A Simulation View; Leonardo DRS 6KVA uninterruptible power supply; Milpower Source Inc., MILTECH 470 Smart Hub; MITRE Corp., Extremely Wideband Radio Frequency Spectrum Operations (EWO) Testbed; MPL AG Switzerland, Rugged conductive cooled Computer with GPU; New Wave Design & Verification, V6063 3U VPX Versal ASoC FPGA Optical I/O Module; New Wave Design & Verification, V6061 3U VPX Versal ASoC FPGA + Ethernet Offload Optical I/O Module; New Wave Design & Verification, V1163 12-Port Rugged XMC ASoC Card; National Instruments (NI), Vector Signal Transceiver 3; Pendulum Instruments, CNT-104S Multi-Channel Frequency Analyzer; and Quanterion Solutions Inc., Electronic Parts Reliability Data (EPRD-2023).

Silver honorees

Annapolis Micro Systems, WILDSTAR SAF1 Direct RF Small Form Factor Module; Anritsu, Rubidium; Anritsu, PhaseLync Enabled ShockLine Modular VNA; Atrenne Computing Solutions, 719 Series Air Flow Through Chassis; Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, DTS1X; Durabook Americas Inc., Durabook Z14 Fully Rugged Laptop; Durabook Americas Inc., Durabook R8 Fully Rugged Tablet; Elma Electronic Inc., Chassis Manager Aligned to SOSA; Elma Electronic Inc., NetKit-3110 - 3U VPX Rugged Cisco Router; Lynx Software Technologies, LynxElement; Neousys Technology Inc., Neousys Nuvo-9650AWP, IP66 Waterproof Intel 13th-Gen Core Computer; Quantic PMI (Planar Monolithics), 2 to 18 GHz High-Power Amplifier; Sciens Innovations, helux Development Kits; and Spectrum Control, SCI Blocks.

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