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Embedded Computing: An Ally of Modern Militaries

advanced computing for the military A truly staggering number of embedded systems power the countless digital devices the average consumer relies upon on a day-to-day basis. These systems can be found in nearly every portable digital device, as well as avionics systems, traffic controls, medical imaging devices, just to name just a few. Any electronic device that needs a limited processor, memory and power supply to function is home to at least one embedded system. Complex aviation, automotive and telecommunications equipment could have dozens or even hundreds of independent embedded computing systems powering various features and operations. Their current and potential use in military applications is virtually endless. Embedded computing systems are integral to:
  • Nearly all modern intelligence gathering
  • UAVs
  • Satellites
  • Surveillance and reconnaissance equipment
  • Communications systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Autonomous vehicles and conventional vehicles
  • Weapons guidance systems
Embedded computing utilized for military applications requires significant customization and ruggedization to withstand shock, vibration and a wide range of temperature fluctuations. These systems must also offer industry-leading processing power, power management, firmware and memory capacity. The average consumer is used to getting more powerful smartphones and laptops in more compact form factors each year, and the same can be said for embedded computing in military applications. The ever-increasing complexity of today’s safety, security and surveillance systems is constantly pushing greater advancements in an array of embedded computing technologies. There are also a variety of security concerns that are paramount in the design of embedded computing systems for military applications. The source of components and firmware must be beyond repute, and systems should be hardened against reverse engineering or data interception (when necessary). Modern military satellites allow for previously unimagined intelligence gathering, eavesdropping and ultra-high-definition monitoring of bad actors. UAVs that are controlled from the United States can be used to perform reconnaissance, extend line of sight in battlefields, and even deliver supplies thousands of miles away. All these capabilities require reliable embedded computing systems combined with extremely fast and stable communications platforms.

VME Boards Built for Harsh Conditions

VME boards, still frequently used for command-and-control of sensor systems like radar and sonar, as well as a number of newer intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, are vital for modern militaries. As with all embedded computing technology developed for military use, they also need to be optimized to survive and continue functioning in often harsh conditions, including the ability to withstand significant shocks, vibration and dramatic temperature variations.

Maintaining Connectivity and Data Analysis in Every Situation

Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA or AdvancedTCA) is comprised of specifications laid out by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturing Group (PICMG). ATCA systems are essentially communications equipment with exceptional fault recovery thanks to built-in redundancies. ATCA equipment that meets those standards, frequently referred to as “carrier grade,” must maintain optimal stability and reliability in all locations and scenarios. Penguin Edge (EC) offers ruggedized ATCA chassis and blade platforms that are available in an array of variants designed for use in:
  • Security
  • Surveillance
  • Military applications
  • Communications
  • Aerospace
  • Signals intelligence

SOSA Consortium

Sensor Open Systems Architecture is an industry organization that has established a common framework for systems used in:
  • Command and control
  • Communications
  • Computers
  • Intelligence
  • Reconnaissance
The standards have been developed by a consensus of members, resulting in vendor-neutral standards for an array of sensors. Penguin Edge is proud to be a SOSA Consortium member.

Learn more about Penguin Edge’s Ruggedized COTS Servers, ATCA Platforms and VME products.

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