November 2010: Mil Aero Insider

GE Intelligent Platforms: Mil/Aero Insider
Arrow Image ATCA in the Military
Arrow Image New PCI Express Avionics Board
Arrow Image Jay Swenson Reports on AUSA
Arrow Image GE Announces 8-Core SBC
Arrow Image New White Paper
ATCA: Attractive To Combat Applications?

hardware, and make it much more appealing to the military. First of all, ATCA is truly an open, modular platform. This is crucial to the whole idea of "commercial off-the-shelf" (COTS) procurement. The goal of COTS procurement is to avoid single-source proprietary solutions in favor of open, competitive platforms such as ATCA. COTS solutions also offer the sort of long-term roadmaps and migration paths that military applications depend on.

So, why use ATCA over competing COTS technologies? The answer is simple; ATCA offers several key advantages over commercial or enterprise platforms as ATCA was originally designed for the telecom industry where RASM (Reliability, Availability, Serviceability, Manageability) is a requirement. As such, ATCA offers a minimum of 99.999% uptime, together with availability, redundancy, field serviceability and robust platform management capabilities. In addition, the move to 10Gb Ethernet in the backplane is driving ATCA platforms to be the compelling choice for network element platforms. This is a big deal in the military network, where life and safety may be at issue if the network fails.

Currently, DoD planners are stretching the lifecycles of military platforms 25, 50 and in the case of B-52s to an astounding 75 years! This means that when the deployment of new technologies is considered, reliability, support and total life cycle cost are major factors in the selection process. ATCA has a lot going for it when compared to competing technologies like rackmount servers, blade servers and the like as it is an open modular system that is fully interoperable with any other PICMG 3.X compliant system. The modular open architecture, interoperable ecosystem, use of COTS components, packet processing capabilities and built in reliability for telecom applications can make ATCA the natural choice for military communications infrastructure applications.

In the future, these platforms could include providing cell service, cloud computing, voice recognition, networked ops and even unmanned systems control by the soldiers at the forward edge of the battlefield. ATCA could be the enabling technology behind these capabilities.

SBC620 spacer
The demand for real-time information on the battlefield has never been greater with the deployment of ISR assets at the forward edge of the battlefield as the engine driving this demand. Electronic warfare, particularly C4ISR, is gaining favor over
big-ticket weapons systems. The 2010 Army modernization strategy refers to the individual soldier as the “center of gravity” and has a stated goal to integrate soldiers into a common network. The strategy calls for “integrated networked soldiers” in all combat brigade teams by 2025. As such, the Department of Defense pursuit of field deployable advanced networking is taking on new meaning with the introduction of modern communications systems such as WIN-T, Distributed Common Ground Station and Nett Warrior. In the air, programs such as Gorgon Stare, P-8, and LEMV will produce petabytes of data that must be distributed to commanders at headquarters and the warfighter on the ground. All of these platforms could derive benefits from the use of telecom grade enterprise systems using an architecture such as AdvancedTCA (ATCA).

Most military applications require rugged deployable hardware that fits into a specific size weight and power (SWAP) profile. Certainly one would not be able to place an ATCA system into a tank or torpedo. For those systems the venerable form factors of VME and cPCI fit the bill, with VPX soon to follow. However, for those platforms with sheltered, benign environments, such as naval vessels, wide body aircraft, and fixed ground radar stations, ATCA can be an excellent choice.

ATCA - or 'Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture' - refers to a family of computing and communications specifications that hold tremendous promise for the DoD. ATCA has some features that completely set it apart from the enterprise class of

  Arrow Image
RAR-PCIE ARINC 429 PCI Express Avionics Bus Board
Reflecting the latest bus technology, GE's avionics RoHS-compliant products provide high performance with new PCI Express databus boards. With a wide range of existing avionics bus products that are available in a range of channel counts and functionality, GE covers almost all of its customers’ needs. In particular, GE's ARINC 429 interface cards have programmable data buffers and 32MB of built-in memory to alleviate host timing constraints.
  Arrow Image
Jay Swensons Reports on AUSA 2010
Jay Swenson Reports on
AUSA 2010
AUSA continues its tradition of being one of the world’s most impressive defense shows. As always there was the latest in Army ground vehicles, command and control systems, and other equipment for the war fighter. Unmanned vehicles were showing in abundance and are on a clear trajectory to expand their role both on land, air, and sea. That's encouraging for GE, as the strengths we have are an excellent fit for that market.
  Arrow Image
GE Announces 8-core 3U OpenVPX SBC312
Designed specifically for harsh environments, the 8-core QorIQ-based SBC312 delivers improved functionality and performance without increasing power requirements compared with the previous version. It enables a range of scalable solutions from single host to larger multiprocessor systems, and combines a broad I/O set. Support is also provided for GE's PCI Express Peer-to-Peer capability.
arrow spacer Learn More
arrow spacer Read the Full Report
arrow spacer Learn More
webcast spacer WHITE PAPER

Video Electronics Designed with the Unmanned Vehicle in Mind

Choosing the most appropriate video codecs is a critical decision for most video streaming applications. This new white paper reviews the tradeoffs, together with other key considerations in delivering a rugged, flexible, high performance video streaming platform, and focuses especially on the two most common video codecs – JPEG2000 and H.264 – and their strengths and weaknesses.