Designing CompactPCI Systems with Serial Interfaces

With more than a year under its belt since it was officially ratified by PICMG in March of 2011, CompactPCI Serial (PICMG CPCI-S.0) has proven to be a good example of how an industry standard can be upgraded to meet the needs of evolving computing parameters while protecting the historical investments tied to the original architecture. The fact that it has found a new home in a wider variety of application environments is just one more benefit that this new computing standard offers.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Performance upgrades

New Standards Allow More CPU Options in Embedded Computing

Embedded system designers often find themselves trapped by CPU design choices they made years earlier, since switching costs can be astronomical. Hardware development often involves processor-specific interface chips and board design. Software switching costs can be even more onerous, since CPU architectures drive the purchase of development tools and the requirement for customized software. However, a couple of industry trends have opened up the CPU platform, and system designers are gaining the ability to mix and match CPU suppliers or even change CPU instruction sets to optimize products across a wider range of applications.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Standardization

Embedded Graphics Processor

3D Graphics System Provides Pilots with Detailed Situational Awareness

Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, IA), a designer of communications and avionics systems for the aerospace and defense industries, has selected the AMD Radeon™ E2400 embedded graphics processor for inclusion in its integrated flight deck product, Pro Line Fusion™. Chosen for its 3D graphics rendering capabilities, the E2400 generates realistic graphical models of the external aircraft environment to improve awareness of terrain, obstacles, and runways in low-visibility conditions. Pilots use the critical information to make informed decisions through the various phases of flight.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Avionics, Embedded software, Flight deck controls, Displays, Suppliers

SWORD Simulation Software

MASA Group, a developer of Artificial Intelligence (AI)- based Modeling & Simulation (M&S) software for the defense, public safety, emergency management, and serious games markets, has launched SWORD 5.0, the latest version of MASA’s automated, aggregated constructive simulation software for training and analysis.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Computer simulation, Computer software / hardware, Defense industry, Emergency management

Telescoping Poles

U.S. Army and Marine troops have cultivated a creative, lifesaving technology out of heavy-duty telescoping poles. The CMD fiberglass telescoping push/pull rods, normally used for cable and wire management applications, are being modified by some U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan to create a special tool that effectively locates, digs up, and disables deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense, Glass fibers, Hazards and emergency management, Protective equipment, Military vehicles and equipment

Rugged Processors and Ethernet Switches

GE To Supply Subsystems For Scout SV Ground-Based ISTAR Platform

GE (Towcester, UK) will be supplying General Dynamics UK with subsystems required for the Demonstration Phase of the Scout Specialist Vehicle family of platforms being designed for the British Army. The Scout SV family of platforms will deliver a step change in ground-based ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) capability. It is a purpose-designed groundbased intelligence platform with an array of high-performance sensors, coupled with the latest (20 Gbits/second) Gigabit Ethernet intelligent open architecture. This will enable it to capture, analyze, manipulate and store over 6 TeraBytes of intelligence data, including a vast array of still and moving images, and to share this intelligence in real-, or very-near-real-time, depending on requirements. Thanks to this capability, Scout SV’s crew will be able to provide commanders with better decision-making support material than that currently available only from airborne ISTAR platforms or UAVs. Data will be readily passed to other secure C4I systems, including those of US and other NATO allies.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Computer software / hardware, Data acquisition and handling, Surveillance, Military vehicles and equipment

Creating a Phased Array Radar for Avalanche Imaging

Avalanches pose a significant threat to human life and settlements, so studying them is key to formulating risk zones. Previously, validating models in order to predict avalanche behavior was limited by a lack of high-quality field data. Radar sensors can be used to gather field data, but in their current form, they only provide single-dimension range measurements. The transmitter power also limits them to a range resolution in the order of 50 m, which is too coarse to provide a true representation of the avalanche dynamics.

Posted in: Application Briefs, RFM Catchall, Imaging, Radar, Terrain