At Purple Nectar 2017

Nov. 28, 2017

It was a busy day at Purple Nectar 2017 in Vlasakkers in Amersfoort (Netherlands), an event organized by the KIXS (Knowledge Innovation eXperimentation and Simulation) department of the JIVC (Joint IV Command). This is a unique event designed to bring together companies and defense agencies and research institutions to share ideas, promote new ideas and increase collaboration.

Emphasis this year was given to C4I interoperability and improved Situational Awareness (SA) in ground applications. Speakers covered a range of interesting topics and I especially enjoyed the talk on progress being made in the NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA - STANAG 4754) and the ongoing works to ratify this emerging standard along with the PLEVID (Platform Layer for Extended VIDeo Standard – STANAG 4697) for streaming video. It’s great to see this broader adoption of the UK GVA specification and the LOSA (Land Open Systems Architecture) data model. NATO countries are not just adopting these but modifying them to meet their specific needs and requirements for today and for tomorrow’s future requirements in the connected battlespace.

We were in attendance with our local partner Arcobel, exhibiting our latest single board computer products (SBC329/SBC314/IPN252) featuring CPU and GPU processors along with a live AI (Deep Learning) demonstration running on the GVC1000 rugged small form factor box featuring the NVIDIA Jetson TX2.

Platforms for developers, integrators

We spoke with a number of customers with varied interests from secure networking to sophisticated computer vision applications where Abaco Systems solutions can provide platforms for application developers as well as systems integrators on which to build their capabilities.

There were a number of robotic and drone applications on display with live demonstrations in the army base grounds where various vehicles were demonstrated in action. I was lucky enough to get a look inside the Boxer eight wheeled people carrier, an impressive vehicle in its own right but also fully equipped with a range of technologies and equipment being integrated and tested.  The Netherlands has an aging fleet with the CV 90 (Combat Vehicle 90) infantry fighting vehicle and needs to upgrade the capabilities to address obsolescence while making efforts to accommodate the new open architecture approach.

It was a very worthwhile day: we learned a lot, and met some interesting companies. There was a great deal to see, and I was surprised by the size of this annual event. It was well organized and had both a conference element as well as a large exhibition space. I hope we will find time to come back next year to see how things are progressing in the Netherlands and engage with local companies who are on the cutting edge of technology with innovative products and solutions.

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