The Inside Track | April 2017


Navy Contracts Textron Systems for Two Common Unmanned Surface Vehicles

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems has announced today that it has received a $14.8 million contract to provide two additional fourth-generation CUSV vehicles for the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS) program. The U.S. Navy intends to use these two CUSV systems as part of their comprehensive Mine Counter Measure Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MCM USV) mission, which includes mine-hunting and potentially mine-neutralization, as well as mine-sweeping. These two additional CUSVs will join the U.S. Navy’s first CUSV, which is designed for the influence sweeping mission.

Figure 1. The CUSV is a multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle, capable of carrying multiple payloads, including side-scan sonar, mine neutralization, nonlethal weapons, and ISR sensors.

The CUSV is a multi-mission unmanned surface vehicle, capable of carrying multiple payloads, including side-scan sonar, mine neutralization, nonlethal weapons, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors (Figure 1). Since its first demonstration in 2009, the CUSV has successfully completed several prominent exercises with the U.S. Navy. Today, the variations of the CUSV have amassed more than 2,000 on-water operational hours. Delivery of the two CUSV systems is expected in 2018.

Textron Systems
Hunt Valley, MD
(410) 666-1400


PICMG Ratifies COM Express Revision 3.0 for Server Grade Performance

PICMG has announced the release of a high-performance revision that adds server-grade functionality to COM Express embedded computing systems. Revision 3.0 of COM Express provides for a new Type 7 connector and the addition of up to four 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) interfaces on the board (Figure 2). Previous revisions of the specification were limited to a single Gbit Ethernet interface. The higher speed ports open up new markets such as data centers where the high compute density of COM Express can result in increased rack utilization. The 10GbE ports are also ideal for high bandwidth video applications such as surveillance.

Figure 2. Shown here is an example COM Express Rev. 3 configuration of 4x 10GBASE-KR though Fiber PHY/ Copper PHY to SFP+/RJ45.

Another change to the specification includes increasing the number of PCI Express lanes to 32 across the Type 7 connector. This provides a wealth of connectivity and interface options including the ability to facilitate the use of GPGPUs. According to Jeff Munch, Chief Technology Officer for ADLINK and the Chair of the COM0 R.3 Committee, the Revision 3.0 positions COM Express for the future while maintaining backwards compatibility. PICMG continues to advance new technologies and upgrades to existing specifications.

Wakefield, MA
(781) 623-0420


ViaSat Taps McObject’s Database Tech for Satellite Ground Network

McObject has announced that ViaSat has chosen eXtremeDB in order to implement a new physical layer satellite debugging application known as the Data Metric Aggregation System (DMAS) project. DMAS ingests metrics feeds from satellite ground-system elements at a very high rate and conducts analysis of the data to identify trends and abnormalities to help enhance network speed, quality and reliability. Today approximately 1 million metric entries per second are captured from the ViaSat ground system using eXtremeDB.

Using eXtremeDB, it’s expected that DMAS, will significantly improve the flow rate, performance and quality of the metrics data. Analytics performed on the DMAS data can then be leveraged across market segments and geographic regions of the ViaSat network. ViaSat expects to see a significant increase in metric volumes and flow rates once the ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellites are launched., According to McObject, ViaSat selected eXtremeDB after a stringent review process because of its scalability; performance and its confidence in McObject’s ability to offer a solid support team.

Federal Way, WA
(425) 888-8505


U.S. Army Awards BAE Systems $112 Million Contract for M88 Support

BAE Systems has received a contract worth up to $112 million from the U.S. Army to perform technical support and sustainment of M88 recovery vehicles. The contract, awarded by the Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, is for ongoing service and improvements to BAE Systems-built M88A1 and M88A2 recovery vehicles over the next four years. The M88 vehicle provides recovery support to troops in the field, and is the only vehicle able to recover the M1 Abrams tank and all of the vehicles required to maneuver with the Armored Brigade Combat Team during battle (Figure 3).

Figure 3. The M88 vehicle provides recovery support to troops and is the only vehicle able to recover the M1 Abrams tank and other Armored Brigade Combat Team vehicles during battle.

Under the contract, called Systems Technical Support and Sustainment Systems Technical Support, services and products will be delivered to the Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, and Foreign Military Sales customers in support of their 70-plus ton combat vehicle recovery requirements. Work on the program will be performed by the current workforce at the company’s facilities in San Jose, CA; York, PA; and Sterling Heights, MI; as well as by field service representatives stationed at military facilities across the globe.

BAE Systems
McLean, VA
(703) 847-5820


Technology Spotlight

Inventus Power Granted Patent for Primary Conformable Soldier Wearable Battery

Inventus Power recently announced the issuance of Patent Number 9,564,761 B2 by the United States Patent Office. The patent covers a Primary Conformable Wearable Battery (P-CWB) with removable command module. The P-CWB is a non-rechargeable version of the 148Wh Conformal Wearable Battery (CWB150). It was developed in partnership with the U.S. Army and aims to consolidate soldier equipment and increase energy independence. The battery pack enables soldiers to carry a consolidated power unit with reduced weight, improved user ergonomics and fail-safe characteristics.

According to the company, the modern soldier carries several mobile electronic devices that require a significant number and variety of batteries in the field. Although innovative technology like wearable computing can increase soldiers’ capabilities, the increase in weight can conversely hinder mobility and add to fatigue. Inventus Power’s CWB products provide soldiers with a safer, ergonomic, centralized power solution that reduces weight and the overall number of batteries needed for a mission. Soldiers can rely on power for up to 72 hours without having to recharge or replace battery packs.

The Primary Conformal Wearable Battery (P-CWB) was designed to complement the rechargeable 150Wh Conformal Wearable Battery (CWB150) by improving the safety, comfort, and maneuverability of the warfighter. The P-CWB integrates easily with standard uniform and armor configurations and eliminates the need to carry bulky, block shaped batteries. The P-CWB provides an ergonomically favorable alternative to the 5590 Primary Battery while still incorporating all of the features required for safety in MIL-PRF-32271. The command module houses the majority of electronics and is removable and reusable with other core packs within a battery matrix (Figure 4).

Figure 4. The Primary Conformal Wearable Battery (P-CWB) has a command module houses the majority of electronics and is removable and reusable with other core packs within a battery matrix.

Because the primary battery pack is disposable, overall user load may be reduced with each battery discharged and discarded, ultimately increasing user gear capacity and overall mobility. This patented technology is being applied in the Inventus Power P-CWB battery, which utilizes LiMnO2 cells, operates at 15 V, provides over 195 W-hour capacity, and exceeds the 5590 from a safety and performance perspective. The command module monitors and controls battery discharging, voltage output, and current output.

Inventus Power
Woodridge, IL
(630) 410-7900