Military Embedded Systems

Blogs

Radar/EW

Designing OpenVPX systems to support Gen3 >10 Gbaud signaling - Blog

September 30, 2013
Signal Integrity (SI) is becoming an increasingly critical consideration for designers of OpenVPX systems. While system integrators first confronted some SI issues as the embedded industry made the performance advance from Gen1 at 3.125 Gbaud to Gen2 at 6.25 Gbaud signaling, the current transition to Gen3 >10 Gbaud signaling rates, nearly doubling the bandwidth of Gen2 OpenVPX, requires a significant increase in the level of tools, capability, expertise, and know-how to ensure successful design and implementation of a robust latest generation, OpenVPX system.
Avionics

Ada Watch: Choosing the right Ada subset for strong static guarantees - Blog

August 13, 2013
While Ada offers many features that act as safety guards at run time, by raising exceptions when a violation is detected, some of these features may be too complex to guarantee a safe execution before the program is run. This is the case for example of pointers, which may be used to create arbitrarily complex shared data structures in memory. SPARK is a subset of Ada that forbids these features, most notably pointers, in order to be able to provide strong guarantees at compile time. A preview of the next revision of SPARK called SPARK 2014 is already available, as well as the associated verification tools.
Avionics

Code Quality: Dynamic & static analysis combined makes engineers & auditors happy - Blog

March 28, 2013
In the good old days, before writing software became “software engineering,” code development was a black art practiced by weird nerdy kids straight out of college. For them, coding was by no means a structured discipline. If you managed to get them to communicate, they might tell you that they were hacking code together and using ad hoc test data to see whether it did what it was supposed to do when they executed it.
Avionics

Ada Watch: Getting the right programming language for the job - Blog

March 05, 2013
Ada is a strongly typed language that is a natural choice for developing high-reliability programs. Some languages such as C are good at low-level-programming but not for solving other challenges – as covered in my previous blog. You need to choose the right tool for the job. Instead of using one language or one tool for every problem, you should provide engineers with multiple options for developing high-reliability software – which is where Ada shines.
Radar/EW

HPEC Vanguard: New tools for complex algorithms - Blog

August 28, 2012
Arthur C. Clarke famously made the observation that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In the radar and signal intelligence world, corps of Ph.Ds are regularly developing mathematically complex algorithms that require significantly more processing power than can be deployed in a contemporary embedded COTS system. These algorithms must sit gathering dust in a drawer until Moore’s Law has driven performance densities sufficiently to enable the needed compute power for that class of algorithm. When any given class of applications is made possible, more demanding algorithms follow in their wake. This way of understanding our market highlights the fact that there are two types of applications that embedded military and aerospace system designers typically confront.
Radar/EW

HPEC Vanguard: blogging on advances in HPEC technology in the embedded COTS defense & aerospace market - Blog

August 06, 2012
Welcome to the HPEC Vanguard blog. In this blog we will we endeavor to keep you informed about developments in technology, markets, industry standards and trends related to the adoption and use of commercial High Performance Computing (HPC) technology in the rugged embedded military market.
From The Editor

COTS is a bad word in rad-hard community - Blog

July 18, 2012
MIAMI. Often a rad-hard supplier this week at the Nuclear Space Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) in Miami would tell me his product is available off-the-shelf, but cringed at the notion that it would ever be considered COTS or commercial-off-the-shelf.
Avionics

The New FACE of Avionics - Blog

June 27, 2012
Earlier this year, Wind River announced its support of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) technical standard, which hopes to resolve two fundamental problems with military procurements.
Radar/EW

Rhetoric heats up over Small Form Factors (SFF) - Blog

April 10, 2012
The debate over Small Form Factor (SFF) design standards is escalating but also becoming entertaining with different views coming from both sides of the Atlantic on how to create SFF designs. Demand for these designs in military C4ISR systems is increasing, but system integrators don?t want to get locked into proprietary solutions. So, embedded computing companies are looking at how they can satisfy this demand as well as the need for lower Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP).
Radar/EW

An open standard is not an ecosystem - Blog

March 29, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. For nearly three decades, we have witnessed the evolution of the open systems COTS market as it has grown and changed. I look at that time in three phases of maturity: convergence, specialization, and more recently divergence. We need to credit the VMEbus and all those who labored over it with providing a model that demonstrated that there could be a common architecture that allowed interoperability across multiple vendors.