24 Haziran 2014 Salı

Unmanned vehicles and the PC/104 architecture

Dr. Paul Haris PC/104 Embedded Consortium
Unmanned vehicles, throughout their long history, have typically been focused around the military and national security industries. The initial use of these vehicles was simple: To remove humans from high-risk situations and go to places where humans could not. In the beginning, unmanned vehicle technology was large, heavy, and not very powerful. However, miniaturization and technological advancements in processor power versus power consumption – as well as advancements in surveillance, communications, robotics, and software – mean that unmanned vehicles became and continue to be the go-to solution for a wide variety of military and nonmilitary operations.

The tipping point for widespread use of unmanned vehicles came during the 1991 Gulf War. Since then we have seen an explosion in investment in research and development, not only in the aerial arena but also for land and sea vehicles. Today we see unmanned fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft, boats, submersibles, spacecraft, vehicles, and throwable robots, with sizes ranging from hand-launched to very large. Current applications include combat, surveillance, research, search and rescue, sports, law enforcement, geophysical surveys, disaster relief, and remote sensing. Additionally, as more emphasis is placed on the use of unmanned vehicles among civilian populations, we can only expect the unmanned-vehicle industry to expand.

UAVs can have numerous subsystems, depending on the application, but central to any of them are guidance and control, communications, power, sensory input, and data-gathering equipment, most often video surveillance. Other subsystems can also include such aspects as robotics if physical tasks need to be performed. Subsystems often need to be able to survive in the harshest of conditions. We can expect these systems to change rapidly as requirements are refined, technology advances, and lessons are learned.

So where does the PC/104 architecture fit into this picture? The short answer: everywhere. What benefits does it provide over other architectures and how is it being used today and into the future? Clearly this is a very large topic, but let me touch on a few aspects.

I have often written about the inherent ruggedness of the PC/104 architecture. In my last article, I talked about how the PC/104 architecture not only carries its own unique stackable features allowing for compact sizes, off-the-shelf and custom configurations, maintainability, and simple upgradability, but it also overlaps with some of the strength of the mezzanine COM and card-cage architectures. This setup provides a truly versatile system-based design, which reduces time-to-market and total lifetime program costs.

These benefits mean that we find the PC/104 architecture being used in many unmanned vehicle applications today and being designed into many future systems. Since the architecture is based on an ecosystem principle of interoperable peripheral modules, OEMs have many off-the-shelf products in the areas of processors, DSP, FPGA, analog and digital I/O, RF communications, serial communication links, Ethernet, switches, routers, motion controllers, video and video capture, GPS, motion sensors, standard/isolated/MIL-SPEC power supplies, battery packs, and storage – just to name a few. In addition, numerous application-specific cards have been created to meet whatever requirement is needed. As these requirements change, as new functionality is needed, and as processing power needs increase while power-consumption requirements decrease, the PC/104 stack inside the unmanned vehicle can be easily updated with readily available products.

Resource :
PC104 and small form factors The Journal of Modular Embedded Design

23 Haziran 2014 Pazartesi

Consolidated Networking for Military Combat Vehicles

The Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (VICTORY) initiative began in an effort to resolve US Army vehicle troubles created by "bolt on" field equipment. Through use of VICTORY, tactical wheeled vehicles and ground combat systems may recover lost vehicle space, weight and power. The implementation enables platform systems to share information.  VICTORY architecture implementations provide an integrated picture to the warfighters. Through use of open architecture, platforms can accept future technologies without significantly re-designing platform systems.

The initiative is developing a framework for integration electronic mission equipment including C4ISR and Electronic Warfare system on ground platforms. The framework includes: an architecture, a standard specification, and reference designs. The architecture includes definitions of common terminology, systems, components, and interfaces. The specification provides technical specifications for the systems, components, and interfaces identified in the architecture.

The VICTORY technical approach includes: a "data bus-centric" design; sharable hardware components; open standard physical and logical interfaces; a shared set of data bus services; and shared hardware and software information assurance (IA) components. The shared hardware components enable the deployment of software additions without adding additional hardware. The standard physical and logical interfaces enable system and C4ISR/EW components to communicate with each other. The shared hardware and software IA components allow systems integrators to build security designs to protect and control access to information

Resource : Military & Aerospace Electronics

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30 Mayıs 2014 Cuma

Connecting the Internet of Things - One Size Does Not Fit All

The Internet of Things (IoT) trend promises to connect the smallest of sensors, the broadest range of consumer electronics, to the largest of information delivery systems. As Internet connectivity has pushed its way down the complexity chain the price, performance, and bandwidth requirements for “internet connecting” these devices becomes a critical issue, as has the ever growing attack surface presented by the enormous number of unprotected and/or insecure devices. A common approach to advancing the proliferation of the Internet of Things is required. But the entire spectrum of devices must be considered, including security. Join us as we bring together a spectrum of Internet communications and security specialists as they describe requirements, approaches, and solutions for Internet-enabling a wide variety of embedded devices and systems.

Resource :  OpenSystems Media

Date : June 17, 2014
Time :2:00 PM EDT

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29 Mayıs 2014 Perşembe

Choosing Linux for Medical Devices

  • Advantages and challenges that open source presents for medical device development
  • Regulatory compliance and support requirements for software in medical devices
  • How the increased roll of security of medical devices will impact design 
Resource : OpenSystems Media
Date : On-Demand
Time : On-Demand
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28 Mayıs 2014 Çarşamba

Confident Memory Management on Embedded Devices

As embedded software applications face many challenges that are not present on desktop computers, do you seek new alternatives to improve memory management on your embedded devices?

In this new article, discover the aspects of memory management that will be most important in the development of your next product.

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

The VPX open-systems standard is considered a key component in future generations of high-speed embedded computing (HPEC). What's key to VPX, however, is reliable interconnects that not only keep data flowing in environmental extremes in shock, vibration, temperature extremes, and contaminants. The demands on VPX high-reliability interconnects, however, don't stop there. Systems designers are demanding steadily increasing data speeds for leading-edge embedded computing, which means that data paths must be maintained at high levels of integrity.
TE Connectivity (TE), a leader in VPX interconnect systems, will outline the design issues and driving applications in engineering the entire VPX data path for physical integrity to signal integrity in this Webcast, including power budgeting for high-performance embedded computing while limiting component size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP).
TE experts will cover technologies and architecture trends in VPX interconnects, ranging from connector specifications to packaging practices

Resource :  Military & Aerospace Electronics 

Date : On-Demand
Time : On-Demand

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