Military Embedded Systems

Op-Eds

Comms

VITA 49: The future of software radio - Blog

January 30, 2018
The use of software radio technology has spread to almost every commercial, consumer, government, industrial, and military platform across the entire radio frequency spectrum during the technology's 25-year lifespan. Innovations in data converter technology, DSP devices, system interconnects, processors, software, design tools, and packaging techniques have improved performance levels and reduced the size, weight, and power consumption of software radio systems. However, the rapid surge in software radio applications spawned ad hoc, proprietary interfaces between the elements in these systems.
Radar/EW

Optical links have many advantages - Blog

January 11, 2018
Advances in optical interface technology boost performance levels to help meet increasing data rates and signal bandwidths. New specifications define how to deploy these optical links within open industry standards, affording improved interoperability and supporting future upgrades. Offering many advantages over traditional copper connections, optical links will boost data rates, improve signal integrity and security, and greatly extend distance between system components.
Radar/EW

Fire and finish: The middle of the kill chain - Blog

December 22, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: As stated in previous articles, we need to reduce the complete kill chain down to 10 minutes or less, according to General John Jumper. So, all new systems and weapons must fit inside the kill chain somewhere (find, fix, fire, finish, feedback). And, they must speed things up significantly. We also established that the latest radar, sonar, SIGINT, IMINT, and other sensor systems fit in the find and fix phases. Now, it?s time to take a look at some of the latest developments going into the fire and finish phases.
A.I.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial stupidity (AS) - Blog

October 31, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: Isaac Asimov first published the three laws for super-intelligent robots in 1942, and we are ignoring them. Although Department of Defense (DoD) directive 3000.09, dated November 2012, says that a human must always pull the trigger or press the button on our weapons, we violated that when we created the Phalanx CIWS and the Aegis missile defense system, although those weapons are defensive. Now, everybody with a lot of money, or a lot of education, is claiming that Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will take us to a ?singularity,? sometime between 2020 and 2040, where machines become exponentially smarter than humans. At that point, the machines and killer robots will eliminate humans and take over the world.
Comms

Solving the top three challenges in military streaming - Blog

September 28, 2017
Everyday mission critical ops are carried out using some of the most advanced military streaming technology, but there are several challenges to getting it right.
Comms

The future of Ethernet - Blog

September 28, 2017
ETHERNET EVERYWHERE BLOG: In my last blog, I took a look at the history of Ethernet. It was fun to look back at history, however it is more important to look at the future. With Ethernet becoming the ubiquitous connectivity standard for service providers, enterprises, and military applications, we are letting go of proprietary networking technologies and heading directly in to industry standard networking based on Ethernet.
Radar/EW

Find and fix: The front-end of the kill chain - Blog

August 31, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. I can speak to this topic with some level of experience. My old military intelligence unit, Army Security Agency (ASA) was the military arm of the National Security Agency (NSA). Our primary mission was to find, identify, fix, and track every significant military unit on the planet, including both our enemies and our allies. As Sun Tzu is credited with saying (or maybe it was Machiavelli, or Petrarch, or Michael Corleone): "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
Radar/EW

3D printing and rugged single-board computers - Blog

July 31, 2017
Additive manufacturing, and more specifically metal additive manufacturing (or metal 3D printing), is changing the manufacturing industry by lifting some of the design constraints inherent to traditional processes. Many industries are benefitting from this technology including the defense electronics world, where lattice structures have been applied to single-board computer (SBCs) assemblies to reduce weight while maintain performance and ruggedization requirements.
Cyber

Aloha! Ethernet: The history of Ethernet - Blog

July 31, 2017
ETHERNET EVERYWHERE BLOG: So, to get a little retro on everybody, I thought I?d take a step back in time and have a fun look at the history of Ethernet. A couple of months ago, Ethernet actually celebrated its 44th anniversary. That?s right. Ethernet was developed back in 1973 and today, 44 years later, it is becoming THE ubiquitous local area networking (LAN) technology in addition to wide area networking (WAN) and now even infiltrating storage area networking (SAN).
Cyber

Coding standards, are they necessary? - Blog

July 27, 2017
CODE QUALITY BLOG: As cyberwarfare becomes increasingly part of the norm, many, if not most, military embedded systems are safety- and/or security-critical in nature. To combat this increasing risk, it only makes sense that military systems should be constructed following some of the industry?s most rigorous software development standards to ensure their safe, secure, and functionally accurate operation. Following these standards offers a double benefit. Not only does it reduce safety and security risk, but it also reduces cost. Software development standards improve maintainability, upgradability, reusability, and testability, delivering long-term benefits especially given the typical life span of these systems.
Comms

A quick update on activity in North Korea - Blog

July 26, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: In our last episode, I promised that my next article would be on the ?find and fix? phases of the kill chain. The recent news coming out of North Korea compels me to interrupt that plan. However, these new developments seem to fit the proposed topic well, especially at the tactical level. So, let?s throw-in a quick update on Kim Jung Un?s (KJU) latest malfeasance and how our intelligence systems and people are involved.
Comms

Want to be a time traveler? - Blog

June 29, 2017
Time travel has often been the theme of science fiction stories. Even if you are not a fan of films such as "Back to the Future" and "Doctor Who," it is interesting to spare a moment to consider how much of yesterday's sci-fi is now reality in the form of today's communications, transportation, and defense systems. Much of it enabled by embedded computing technology such as VME and VPX.
Unmanned

Shrinking the kill chain - Blog

June 28, 2017
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG: When I first started researching this topic, I thought writing this article would be straight-forward and easy. As with many other subjects in this series, that was not the case. Targeting models are integrated into kill chains, or vice-versa, and that creates some confusion. The available stream of information about this subject is both narrow and shallow. However, we are seeing a sequence of evolving kill chain models, at the strategic and tactical levels.
Radar/EW

Commercial vs ruggedized Ethernet switches and routers. What's the difference? - Blog

June 28, 2017
ETHERNET EVERYWHERE BLOG: We?re often approached by companies who have designed a prototype system composed of networks sensors, cameras, GPS systems, and other elements with compute platforms over Ethernet. These prototypes often use commercial-grade Ethernet switches. Sometimes they use the enclosure, sometimes they pull the components out of the enclosure and try to jerry-rig the switch components in some sort of fashion. What they soon find out, however, is that these commercial-grade switches (and other commercial-grade componentry) do not stand up the rigorous environmental factors that mobile military and aerospace applications almost always run in to.