Carlo Gavazzi provides rugged enclosure for digital video surveillance content-management system

BROCKTON, Mass., 17 March 2009. Electronics system designers at EchoStorm Worldwide in Suffolk, Va., needed a rugged enclosure to house their adLib digital video content management technology for a military application or other government rugged electronics solution. They found their solution in a rugged chassis from Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions in Brockton, Mass.

Mar 17th, 2009

BROCKTON, Mass., 17 March 2009. Electronics system designers at EchoStorm Worldwide in Suffolk, Va., needed a rugged enclosure to house their adLib digital video content management technology for a military application or other government rugged electronics solution. They found their solution in a rugged chassis from Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions in Brockton, Mass.

Anyone who has ever taped a television show using a VCR knows how difficult it is to find a particular spot on the tape after the show has been recorded. The same frustration is a reality in military digital video surveillance operations; finding one moment in a month's worth of surveillance tapes is no easy task.

EchoStorm Worldwide in Suffolk, Va.,, a provider of video and sensor management solutions for military, government, and commercial applications, responded to this need by developing adLib, a digital content management solution that captures, standardizes, processes, and fuses video, image, and data simultaneously from several sources.

The system then disseminates this information to users in a secure standard format in near real-time regardless of location, bandwidth, or device. Its software makes it simple to pick out specific information from the archived material.

Such a software package is particularly useful in surveillance, data recovery, and processing. That is where rugged backplane chassis designer Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions of Brockton, Mass., comes in. Carlo Gavazzi engineers designed a rugged enclosure to make adLib suitable for

"Our primary customers use the product for situational awareness to understand what someone or something is doing at a particular time and place," says Kevin Dumville, EchoStorm's director of marketing and public relations.

Officials from a U.S. government agency approached EchoStorm earlier this year to gather aerial digital video surveillance of specific areas, then either watch the video in real-time or easily retrieve the archived data for later viewing.

After some discussion, EchoStorm developed a product called MDAR: mobile data archive and retrieval, which combines software and hardware into one solution. The adLib software would process incoming video from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and store it on a hard disk drive. These components would be compiled into a hard enclosure and subsequently mounted in a Humvee.

It was the enclosure that presented EchoStorm with the greatest challenge. "The customer had two specific requirements," says Clark Kreston, EchoStorm's program manager for the MDAR project. "First, they wanted the software to be mounted in a particular space in an existing shelter within the vehicle. In order to fit in this shelter, it had to meet some strict environmental criteria, such as resistance to temperature, vibration, and humidity -- the kind of conditions that would be experienced as the vehicle moved around the countryside.

"The second requirement concerned storage capacity. The customer wanted 30 days worth of storage; that translated to six terabytes of hard drive storage, or six separate hard drives. Not only would the enclosure have to fit the software and all the hard drives, the hard drives had to be easily removable. That's not the kind of thing you can just buy in a store."

The physical shape of the box itself became an issue as well, Kreston says. EchoStorm found that help from Carlo Gavazzi. "When EchoStorm initially began talking with us, they were only looking for a hard drive bay for their own solution," says Jim Tierney, vice president of government systems for Carlo Gavazzi. "After we understood the application better, we realized that their box was not deployable. They were taking a commercial-grade box and trying to deploy it in a rugged, caustic environment.

"So, instead of getting us to just do the drive bay, we suggested looking at how we could solve the entire packaging issue. Structurally, their solution may have been viable, but the alarms really went off the second we saw that they were bringing in air from the outside environment to cool off the hard drives inside. The sand and dust that's usually found in the foreign countries where the vehicles are deployed is almost like talcum powder. Filters clog quickly in this type of environment, and they would have had to be changed quite frequently to have any chance of working."

For Carlo Gavazzi, one of the main directives would be to design a sealed box that would let air circulate freely through the MDAR box without bringing in the outside contaminants.

"We created a sealed box, called a re-circulating air chassis, that protects the internal electronics from the harsh environmental conditions," Tierney explained. "There's still a fan inside, but because of its tightly welded design, no sand or dust, not even salt air, will enter the enclosure. Consequently, the device will never require filter changes."

The thermal efficiency of the enclosure also solved the issue of overheating. "The sealed unit uses the sides of the box to radiate heat," says Kreston. "The operating environment for this device is hot, and our own solution was not doing a great job of dissipating the heat.

With the help of Carlo Gavazzi, the MDAR box was designed to mount easily on slides. The mounting process is a quick installation, one that the government customer can actually undertake themselves.

For more information contact EchoStorm Worldwide online at www.echostorm.net, or Carlo Gavazzi at www.gavazzi-computing.com.

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