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Rugged box systems vendors continue to enhance their product offerings with high-integrated solutions for both development and end-application needs.

JEFF CHILD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

 

The demand for higher levels of system integration is only ramping up among military system developers. That demand has placed rugged box systems squarely in the limelight. No longer are these products a niche or specialty segment of the embedded computing industry, but instead they have become a category of technology just as central as the single board computer.

One force driving demand for these systems is a hunger for complete systems that are at a high TRL (Technology Readiness Level). Motivated by the desire to avoid staking military programs on immature technologies, the DoD is pushing for demonstrations earlier in the program development phase. That means that technologies used also have to show higher TRLs than previously required. All of that has helped fuel demand for prepackaged and prequalified subsystems as primes find themselves without the time or the DoD funding to develop a prototype subsystem themselves. As TRL becomes a more significant part of military requirements, suppliers are crafting solutions with that specifically in mind.

As shown in the product roundup in this section, the latest wave of rugged box systems includes many that are function-specific, whereas others are more generic computing/networking platforms. The emergence of the function-specific type of system doesn’t mean that the more general-purpose approach is going away. Most vendors that offer function-specific offerings also continue to develop a robust set of general-purpose pre-integrated systems. Driving the function-specific system demand is the trend among prime contractors toward an ever greater reliance on embedded computing suppliers. They’re asking for integration expertise and a level of software development as part of those integration efforts, and more I/O configuration tailored to the application need or a category of applications.

An example of the function-specific type of box-systems are the Curtiss Wright systems used aboard the Global Hawk UAV and its variants. One such variant NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) UAV(Figure 1) achieved a successful first flight late last year by Northrop Grumman operating out of a manufacturing facility in Palmdale, CA. Curtiss-Wright supplies two box-levels systems to aircraft: the Integrated Mission Management Computer (IMMC) that controls the aircraft’s flight, and the Advanced Mission Management System (AMMS) that communicates with onboard sensors and relays information to the ground station.

Figure 1 A derivative of the Global Hawk, the NATO AGS unmanned aircraft has the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time.

A derivative of the Global Hawk, the NATO AGS unmanned aircraft has the ability to fly for up to 30 hours at a time. The high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) system will perform all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time. The NATO-owned and operated system will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to support a range of NATO missions such as protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control, maritime safety and humanitarian assistance.

The Rugged Box Systems Roundup and Links to the full data sheets for each product are posted on the roundup part of this section. Click here for the roundup.

  Figure 1

Figure 1 4DSP

Modular Development System Provides Six 3U VPX Slots

The VPX370 from 4DSP is a second generation VPX development platform in a compact 3U VPX form factor. The VPX370 is a 6-slot system developed specifically for aerospace and defense applications. The modular architecture enables users to add high performance FPGA and I/O to the base configuration addressing many application requirements such as digital RF memory (DRFM), synchronous multi-channel MIMO systems, software defined radio (SDR) and more.

  • 4th Gen Core i7 SBC system controller.
  • High-speed inter-slot communication via independent links up to 4 Gbytes/s.
  • Compatible with 0.8-, 0.85- or 1.0-inch pitch modules.
  • Rear Transition Module (RTM) support for additional storage or I/Os.
  • Supports VP780 Virtex-7 FPGA boards.
  • Supports multi-channel A/D and D/A using FMCs.
  • 5-payload slots, 1 switch/ management slot.

VPX370 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

4DSP
Austin, TX.
(800) 816-1751
www.4dsp.com   Figure 2

Figure 2 Abaco Systems

System Serves FACE-Compliant DO-254/DO-178 Certifiable Needs

Abaco Systems’ FORCE2 Open Reference Computing Environment is designed to support the planned development of safety-critical, DO-254/DO-178 certifiable applications compliant with the FACE initiative. This rugged, pre-integrated small form factor system for mission computing and avionics display comprises a high TRL SBC314 3U VPX single board computer and graphics card housed in a robust enclosure.

  • Freescale QorIQ T1042 or T2081 processor; AMD Radeon E8860 or core AVI E8860 GPUs available.
  • 1553/ARINC429 I/O options.
  • Solid state disk option up to 1 Terabyte.
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs (4kg).
  • MIL-STD-704F 28VDC power.
  • Qualified to MIL-STD-461G, DO-160G, MIL-STD-704F, MIL-STD-810G.
  • -40 to +71 degrees C operating temperature; Cold-plate cooled.
  • FACE-aligned operating systems and I/O services.

FORCE2 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Abaco Systems
Huntsville, AL
(866) 652-2226
www.abaco.com

  Figure 3

Figure 3 Acromag

Small Form Factor Computer Offers Removable SSD Storage for Data Security

Acromag’s ARCX box is a rugged, mission computer that is customizable-off-the-shelf and SWaP-optimized. Available in single or double PMC/XMC expansion site versions, this small deployable embedded computer has thick circuit boards and advanced thermal management to allow the computer to operate reliably under hostile conditions. Compatible with industry standards and manufactured to IP67 standards and shock and vibration tested to MIL-STD-801G makes the ARCX a deployable solution for a wide range of industrial, military and aerospace applications.

  • 4th Generation Intel Core i7 processor.
  • IP67 NEMA rating; MIL-STD-810F environmental specification.
  • Provides access to standard computer peripherals via Type 6 COM Express CPU.
  • Ports available include two HDMI/DVI ports, one VGA port, three USB 2.0 ports, one SATA port and two Gbit Ethernet ports.
  • Two mPCIe/mSATA slots, PMC/XMC expansion, dual SSD drive bay (optional) and two SATA SSD drive bays.

ARCX Data Sheet:  Click Here

Acromag
Wixom, MI
(248) 295-0310
www.acromag.com

  Figure 4

Figure 4 ADLINK Technology

Fanless Embedded Computer Supports Three HD Displays

The Matrix MXC-6400 series from ADLINK Technology is a line of high-performance fanless embedded computers, integrating 6th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors and the QM170 chipset. The MXC-6400 series offers independent digital display support from DisplayPort and DVI-I with HD 4K resolution.

  • 6th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors and QM170 chipset.
  • 2x DDR4 SO-DIMM sockets support up to 32 Gbytes of memory.
  • 1x PCI and 2x PCIe Gen3 x8 (or 1x PCIe Gen3 x16) slots.
  • 2x Mini PCIe and 1x USIM slots.
  • Support for 3 independent displays with 2x DisplayPort and 1x DVI-I ports.
  • 3x Intel GbE LAN ports with teaming function, Intel iAMT 11.0.
  • 2x 2.5 inch hot-swappable SATA III trays on the front panel and 2x internal SATA III ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support.

Matrix MXC-6400 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

ADLINK Technology
San Jose, CA
(408) 360-0200
www.adlinktech.com

  Figure 5

Figure 5 CES

Rugged 3U OpenVPX System Supports Safety Critical Standards

ROCK-2 from CES is a series of rugged, modular, pre-qualified, COTS subsystems optimized for C4ISR applications. With the ability to interact with sensors, acquire and process data and share it on a network or other standard avionic buses, ROCK-2 features all the core functions to fulfill the requirements of C4ISR applications. The system has been engineered with Design Assurance Level (DAL) safety certifications,

  • Up to 4 Freescale QorIQ P3041 processor with 2 Gbytes DDR3L each. Option for Intel Core i7.
  • Avionic I/O rich; Advanced video and graphics processing.
  • 3U OpenVPX architecture.
  • Fully integrated and prequalified. Tested to DO-160, MIL-STD-810.
  • Option for DAL-C (DO-178C/DO-254).
  • 40 to +70 degrees C operating temperature.
  • Rugged sealed air-force-cooled subsystems with internal conduction-cooled modules.

ROCK-2 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Creative Electronic Systems
Geneva, Switzerland.
+41 (0)22 884 51 00.
www.ces-swap.com

  Figure 6

Figure 6 Curtiss Wright

Broadwell-based SFF Mission Computer Suits Deployed Platforms

The Parvus DuraCOR 80-42 from Curtiss-Wright is a rugged tactical mission computer subsystem based on a quad-core (8-thread), 5th gen Intel Core i7 (Broadwell) processor with PCI Express (PCIe) Mini Card slots and a PCIe/104 bus architecture to support platform-specific add-on I/O modules. The DuraCOR 80-42 is optimally designed for SWaP-sensitive mobile, airborne, ground, manned/unmanned vehicle and sensor applications.

  • Intel 5th Gen Core i7 (Broadwell) processor; 32 Gbytes of DDR3L RAM.
  • 2 x Gbit Ethernet interfaces; 2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 5 x COM, 8 x DIO, 2 x PCIe MiniCard slots.
  • 3 x independent displays (VGA, 2 x HDMI/DVI/DP).
  • Up to two mSATA SSDs in base unit, eSATA interface on DTL-38999 connector.
  • Qual-tests pending for MIL-STD-810G and DO-160G shock, vibration, thermal, altitude, humidity, ingress protection.
  • -40 to +71 degrees C fanless extended temp operation.

DuraCOR 80-42 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions
Ashburn, VA.
(703) 779-7800.
www.cwcdefense.com.

  Figure 7

Figure 7 DFI Tech

Fanless Embedded Computer Features Quad Core Atom E3800

The EC700-BT Fanless Embedded System from DFI Tech features an Intel Atom E3845 quad core 1.91 GHz processor and 4 Gbytes of DDR3L ECC on-board memory. The lightweight fanless system is rugged, conforming to MIL-STD-810F (514-5C-2) for vibration and can handle 15G half sine wave of shock for 11 ms in 3 axes. The EC700 can be wall-mounted or VESA-mounted and supports expansion for 3 Mini PCIe, 1 mSATA storage, 1 SIM card, and 1 microSD. There is also I/O of 8-bit DIO, 4 serial ports, 5 USB, 2 WiFi antenna holes, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, and 2 LAN.

  • Intel Atom E3800 Series processor.
  • 4 Gbytes of DDR3L ECC DRAM onboard.
  • Video support: 1 HDMI + 1 VGA or 1 DVI.
  • Storage: 1 Notebook HDD, Optional eMMC onboard.
  • I/O includes 4 COM, 2 LAN, 5 USB.
  • Size: 180mm x 33mm x 121.2mm.

EC700-BT Data Sheet:  Click Here

DFI Tech
Sacramento, CA
(916) 568-1234
www.dfitech.com

  Figure 8

Figure 8 Extreme Engineering

COM Express-based System Runs Cisco IOS Software

Extreme Engineering Solutions’ XPand6052 integrates the Intel Core i7 processor-based XPedite7450 COM Express mezzanine module and the XPedite5205 XMC/PMC Embedded Services Router (ESR) to provide processing with networking capability in one Small Form Factor rugged embedded module. The new combined unit, XPand6052, complies with multiple military specifications including MIL-STD-810, DO-160 and MIL-STD-461G. It is flight-qualified and meets the MIL-STD-704A-F 28 VDC power input requirement.

  • Includes XPedite7450 Intel Core i7 ruggedized COM Express module.
  • XPedite5205 Cisco IOS Gbit Ethernet Embedded Services Router.
  • Four 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports on XPedite5205; Two 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports on XPedite7450.
  • 8.2- x 4.88- x 1.85 inch; Weighs 4.0 lbs.; Environmentally sealed.
  • Integrated MIL-STD-704F 28 VDC input voltage power supply; Integrated MIL-STD-461 EMI filtering.

XPand6052 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Extreme Engineering Solutions
Middleton, WI.
(608) 833-1155
www.xes-inc.com

  Figure 9

Figure 9 General Micro Systems

Rugged Server-Level Box Blends Switch/Routing and Security

The SB2002-SW “Blackhawk” from General Micro Systems is an ultra-rugged, small, lightweight server system with up to 16 CPU cores and up to four removable drives. It is designed to provide a 20-port intelligent hardware switch/router system supporting Layer 2/3 routing functions with customizable rules while providing the highest level of workstation performance possible in a fully ruggedized, conduction-cooled, sealed system.

  • Intel Xeon processor D up to 16 cores (D-15xx).
  • Up to 64 Gbytes of DDR4 ECC memory.
  • Up to four removable 2.5-inch SATA or one NVMe SSD.
  • Two 10 Gbit and 17 Gbit Ethernet (4x PoE) ports; Supports Layer 2/3 software routing functions.
  • Security features for authentication, authorization, multicast IPv4, IPv6 with IGMPv2/3 snooping.
  • Extended temperature from -40 to +85 degrees C.

SB2002-SW Data Sheet:  Click Here 

General Micro Systems
Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
(909) 980-4863
www.gms4sbc.com

  Figure A

Figure A Innovative Integration

Rugged Embedded Computer Sports XMC IO Site and 1 Gbit Ethernet

Innovative Integration’s SBC-Nano is a user-customizable, turnkey embedded instrument that includes a full Windows/Linux PC and supports a wide assortment of ultimate-performance XMC modules. With its modular IO, scalable performance, and easy to use PC architecture, the SBC-Nano reduces time-to-market while providing the performance you need. It provides an XMC site for IO, user-programmable FPGA for IO interfaces, triggering and timing control, and USB ports.

  • Combines an industry standard COM Express CPU module with XMC IO module.
  • Intel-based CPU core via COM Express.
  • Small form factor: 150 x 75 mm.
  • Rugged, stand-alone operation; Able to operate headless.
  • Configurable IO uses standard XMC IO modules.
  • PCI Express IO site (VITA 42.3) delivers greater than 1600 Mbytes/s to CPU memory.
  • USB 3.0/2.0 x1, USB 2.0 x2, SATA x2, mini DisplayPort; Optional 1 Gbit Ethernet link.

SBC-Nano Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Innovative Integration
Simi Valley, CA
(805) 578-4260
www.innovative-dsp.com

  Figure B

Figure B Mercury Systems

6-slot 6U OpenVPX System Features Advanced Cooling Options

Mercury Systems has developed a 6 slot rugged 6U OpenVPX subsystem for SWaP-optimized high performance computing. Featuring Intel Xeon server-class compute blades, 40 Gbit/s switch fabric and VITA 46.11 system management, the subsystem is cooled with Mercury’s Air Flow-By technology. It is also available in OpenRFM 6U VPX configurations as well as with either conduction-cooled or high-altitude Liquid Flow-By redundant air/fuel cooling.

  • 6-slot rugged 6U OpenVPX subsystem.
  • Intel Xeon server-class compute blades.
  • 40 Gbit/s switch fabric interconnect.
  • VITA 46.11 system management.
  • Air Flow-By cooling technology.
  • Available in OpenRFM 6U VPX configurations.
  • Available with either conduction-cooled or high-altitude Liquid Flow-By redundant air/fuel cooling.

6U OpenVPX System Data Sheet:  Click Here

Mercury Systems
Chelmsford, MA.
(978) 967-1401.
www.mrcy.com

  Figure C

Figure C North Atlantic Industries

Suite of Rugged, Application-Ready Systems Require no NRE

NAI offers multiple application-ready rugged systems that use NAI’s, scalable Custom on Standard Architecture (COSA), approach. An example shown here is the VMS-35CP0A is a 3U 5-slot Vehicle Management System. This preconfigured system with an Intel Core i7 processor is suited to applications that require high-density, multi-channel, programmable LVDT Measurement; Discrete I/O; D/A Conversion; AC Reference; CANBus; Differential Transceiver; RTD Measurement; TTL/CMOS I/O; ARINC 429/575 and Dual-Port Gig-E Ethernet.

  • Meets or exceeds MIL-STD-461F and MIL-STD-810G requirements.
  • Linux (CentOS, Red Hat) and Windows Embedded Standard 7 OS.
  • Continuous Background Built-in-Test (BIT).
  • Less than 15 lbs. typical.
  • COTS/NDI, no NRE required.
  • COSA architecture.
  • SWaP-optimized.

VMS-35CP0A Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

North Atlantic Industries
Bohemia, NY
(631) 567-1100
www.naii.com

  Figure D

Figure D Octagon System

Rugged Box-Level System Boasts Quad-core GPU and Rick I/O

Octagon Systems’ TRAX-10 is a mini-server/router optimized for the rugged mobile market. It is powered by the latest Intel Quad-core CPU with high performance graphics capabilities. TRAX-10 features a substantial amount of I/O including 5 Ethernet ports, CAN bus and multiple wireless modes. The versatility and processing power make it ideally suited for deployment on vehicles and equipment that run multiple on-board applications in stressful environments.

  • Open Architecture – Windows and Linux ready.
  • Intel Dual Core CPU, 1.91 GHz.
  • Future Proof – Plug in I/O.
  • Gbit Ethernet, CAN, Serial, USB & Digital.
  • GPS, WiFi, Cellular.
  • -40 to 85 degrees C temperature range.
  • Server, router and I/O in one.

TRAX-10 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

Octagon Systems
Westminster, CO
(303) 430-1500
www.octagonsystems.com

  Figure E

Figure E RTD Embedded

Stackable Expandable Ethernet System Leverages PCIe/104

StackNET from RTD Embedded Technologies is a stacking, expandable 1 Gbps Ethernet switch. The initial Host module offers eight switched ports and an Ethernet connection through the PCIe/104 bus to an optional host CPU. The switch expands in groups of eight simply by stacking an expansion boards on the Host. New boards automatically connect to the switch. Integrators can choose from easy to wire 10-pin headers or standard RJ-45 jacks. StackNET is compatible with RTD’s stacking expandable IDAN enclosure system, which includes the Cisco 5915 Embedded Services Router.

  • Stacking expandable 1 Gbps Ethernet switch with 10-pin headers or RJ-45 jacks.
  • Eight ports per board, and expandable in groups of eight.
  • CPU is connected through the PCIe/104 stack and does not use any of the eight ports.
  • Compatible with the Cisco 5915 Embedded Services Router.
  • Cylindrical MIL-STD connectors available in rugged, watertight HiDANplus configurations.

StackNET Data Sheet:  Click Here

RTD Embedded Technologies
State College, PA
(814) 234-8087
www.rtd.com

  Figure F

Figure F Systel

Small Form Factor Core i7 System Supports 3G-SDI Video

Systel’s EB7001 is a rugged small form factor 3 in 1 platform. It offers the power of an Intel i7 quad core processor for critical computing, simultaneous quad HD-SDI or dual 3G-SDI video capture and encoding using the H.264 standard, dual HD video output and8 gigabit Ethernet ports for real-time playback, and dual SSDs for secure storage of mission data. EB7001 is a TRL 9 fully sealed system with an operating temperature range of -40 to 55 degrees C. It meets MIL-STD810G for shock and vibration, MIL-STD-461E for EMI, and IP66 for water

  • Rugged Embedded High Performance Video Capture Solution.
  • (2) x 3G-SDI or (4) x HD-SDI Simultaneous Video Inputs.
  • (8) x GbE Ports, (2) x HD Video Output.
  • (2) x USB and (2) x SSD.
  • Latest Quad Core Intel i7 Processor.
  • KLV and CoT Metadata Synced with Video Stream.

EB7001 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Systel
Sugar Land, TX
(281) 313-3600
www.systelusa.com