Curtiss-Wright’s New Rugged Data Recorder is First to Bridge Legacy Fibre Channel-based Sensors with Modern Ethernet Network Architectures

Nov. 1, 2017

ASHBURN, Va. – July 6, 2017 – Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division today introduced the industry’s first rugged data recording system designed to support legacy sensor systems based on the Fibre Channel (FC) data communications protocol and to bridge that data to Ethernet networks. The newest addition to Curtiss-Wright’s industry leading family of data recorders, the CNS4-FC Compact Network Storage subsystem combines four-channel data recording, encryption and removable storage in a single rugged chassis. It uniquely provides system designers with a modernized solution for high-speed data recording, cryptography, and removable storage while protecting their investment in previously qualified FC-based sensor and client system architectures. As FC disk drives have become obsolete, system designers are faced with the challenge of maintaining or updating their existing high-speed data acquisition applications without interruption. The CNS4-FC provides a no-compromise solution for system designers seeking a high capacity FC recorder solution that is capable of bridging the FC protocol and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). The CNS4-FC delivers a cost-effective alternative, to ease access to captured data across modern system networks.

The CNS4-FC ensures the integrity of critical data in demanding military environments, such as those endured by transports, helicopters, unmanned platforms and mobile radar systems. With its high-density storage capacity, broad support for multiple network protocols, and encryption capabilities, the CNS4-FC enables system designers to address all of their data recording requirements with a single solution, eliminating the need for separate, multiple data recorders. For applications that require security for data-at-rest, the recorder also provides support for NSA Type 1 encryption.

“Our new CNS4-FC data recorder uniquely delivers a powerful future-proofing data recording solution to system designers ‘orphaned’ by the obsolescence of Fibre Channel disk drives,” said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division. “Because this rugged recorder bridges legacy Fibre Channel and modern Ethernet architectures, it frees integrators from having to re-qualify the sensor system, re-design it with modern interfaces, or re-wire the airborne platform, which saves significant time, budget and program risk. What’s more, the CNS4-FC enables legacy applications to upgrade with support for NSA Type 1 encryption to protect their critical data-at-rest.”

Bridging Fibre Channel and Ethernet

To make accessing legacy FC data seamless, the CNS4-FC stores FC block data in a single large file. This enables CNS4-FC users to access data using a normal client via NFS or CIFS file server protocols. The recorder also supports iSCSI, which means that modern Ethernet-based clients can access the stored FC block data exactly as a legacy FC client would. This unique feature bridges FC and Ethernet systems.

Flexible I/O

To support contemporary avionics and sensor management systems, the CNS4-FC supports a wide variety of I/O interfaces. In addition to its four built-in GbE ports and two FC ports, it also provides a 3U VPX slot for additional I/O expansion. An optional Universal Capture Card (UCC) XMC module can also be used to record multiple streaming channels of sFPDP, GbE and 10 GbE data. In addition, when combined with a VPX carrier card, the CNS4-FC can host a wide-range of XMC I/O cards to support the capture of legacy protocols such as MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC-429.

Scalable Storage

The CNS4-FC can be configured with up to four Curtiss-Wright Flash Storage Modules (FSM-C) in its fully rugged convection-cooled ATR chassis. The current capacity of the FSM-C, which is based on industry standard 2.5” solid-state drives, is 2TB per module. The maximum capacity of available FSM-C modules will increase as the storage capacities of SSD drives increase. These modules feature a 100,000 insertion cycle connector, which is critical for long-term life in mobile applications such as Mission Recorders, Unmanned Vehicle Data Loaders, Mobile ISR Systems and Ground Vehicles.

Data Protection with Type 1 Encryption

In addition to its VPX I/O expansion slot, the CNS4-FC chassis also accommodates a 3U VPX inline media encryptor (IME) which is certified for Secret and Below Information (SABI) in attended systems. A Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) and DS-101 key fill port are mounted on the chassis’ front panel when this IME is used. Additional encryption options are available.

For more information about Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, please visit

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation is a global innovative company that delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit


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