TOP-DOWN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

DESIGNING AT THE SYSTEM-TO-SYSTEM LEVEL: THE INDUSTRY’S NEW CHALLENGE

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LIKE IT OR NOT THINGS ARE CHANGING IN HOW MILITARY PROGRAMS ARE SELECTED, MANAGED AND ARCHITECTED. BUDGET SHIFTS AND AN INCREASING FOCUS ON PLATFORM ELECTRONICS IN DELIVERABLE SYSTEMS DEMANDS THE USE OF THE LATEST AND MOST COST EFFECTIVE ELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY. HAVING CRITICAL PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY IS NOT ONLY KEY FOR PLATFORM ARCHITECTS BUT ALSO FOR SYSTEM DEVELOPERS DESIGNING SYSTEMS FOR THESE PLATFORMS.

Winners in the next decade of military system development will be those who make the best use of technology over the extended deployment cycle of a military program—and how such solutions can ensure requirements are met over several generations of technology upgrades and refreshes.

Meanwhile, the global issues include everything from controlling costs to insuring reusability and interoperability between program platforms—even between those of different services.

To keep pace with these challenges high-level technical decision makers—from DoD execs, to program mangers (both uniformed and non-uniformed), to engineering managers—need to keep current with the program-level technology issues that will drive and effect technology decision making. Program-level issues span a host of areas including choice of backplane-based version vs single packaged systems, open architecture vs proprietary, program-level thermal and power management, EMI, Multiple Independent Layers of Security and so on.

With all that in mind, COTS Journal is presenting a series of articles in September and October issues focusing on exactly those program-level technology trends and the key global issues that are tightly linked to technology decision making. These articles look through a lens of program requirements and matching particular program needs to technology solutions.

In the Defense Market, the Fight Goes on against Counterfeit ICs

The impact of counterfeit components in the military supply chain is widely known and has led to several incidents in which the safety of military personnel has been compromised, requiring significantly expensive fixes. It is clear that both the government and electronics industry have seen enough of these examples of the danger of counterfeit components to cause great concern. As a result, both have increased their efforts to combat it, with some notable successes. Counterfeiters, and those who enable the entry of counterfeits into the military supply chain, are being held accountable by regulators, while the electronics industry is coming up with safer channels of distribution that guarantee manufacturer-direct parts (Figure 1). Together, these efforts are bolstering the integrity of the military supply chain while serving as a role model for other industries in which counterfeit electronics are a threat.

VPX at Light Speed – Optical Brings 100 Gigabits to Backplane Architectures

With the emergence of backplane data communication at PCI Express (PCIe) Gen3 and 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) speeds, it’s becoming more and more likely that backplane I/O will require support at similar bandwidths. Certainly chassis-to-chassis connections will need to be accomplished at the same bandwidth, and because copper cables of useful lengths are not practical above 3 Gbit/s, applications will be turning increasingly to optical cables for high-speed external data connections.

Displays and Panel PCs Help Connect the Networked Military

Despite the ever tightening military budgets affecting today’s ongoing programs, the move to more advanced display technologies continues to be strong. There are two main reasons for that. On the one hand there’s a fundamental shift in technology network-centric operations. Meanwhile, there’s an acknowledgement that a reduced military will need to increase its situational awareness capabilities, and that sharing and display of information feeds into that trend.

VICTORY Standard Eliminates Costly Vehicle Redundancies

The Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (VICTORY) initiative has as its main goal the reduction of SWAP-C on ground vehicles. VICTORY takes aim at the current issues such as redundant functionality, networking and interoperability by defining an approach for commonality through Gigabit Ethernet networking, standard connectors and well-defined electrical interfaces. The effort, jointly undertaken by a combination of participants from government, industry and academia, was begun in May 2010 with a first goal of defining a deployable 1.0 specification the following summer. Having met that goal, progress has continued apace.