MIL-STD 461 Whitepaper

Modern computers operate in a “noisy” electronic environment.MIL STD 461 E They are surrounded by powerful electromagnetic interference (EMI) generated by radios, radar, microwave transmitters, other computers, and a wide assortment of electronic equipment.  Battlefield computers have to contend with an exceptional level of interference created by military-specific items, such as IED jammers. Of course, EMI protection has grown in importance with the adoption of net-centric warfare doctrine.

EMI requirements vary widely from one application to another (jeeps vs. airplanes, for instance) and even within an application (above deck and below deck on a Navy ship).  MIL-STD 461 incorporates a broad range of requirements for numerous environments. Read more

War and depth: Why your battlefield robot needs 3D

View to a war
One way that modern warfare mirrors contemporary life is theTALON with stereo cams  dependence on Video Display Terminals. All of us have heard stories of warfighters remotely operating unmanned systems while staring at flickering images on computer monitors. Even manned vehicles are sometimes driven by personnel who use computer screens, so as not to expose themselves to hostile fire. Click here to read the rest of the article.

AMREL’s New Solid-State Multimodal Biometric Module

AMREL announced a new solid-state, multimodal, biometric moduleAMREL Biometric Solution  utilizing the Vista ViCAM® III Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). This durable, light-weight biometric module makes use of a single-circuit ASIC to support:

  • Dual iris image capture by a single high-resolution glass lens and with one shot
  • 2 finger/rolled electroluminescent sensor that is SAP 45 – Appendix F compliant
  • Quality facial images even in low light environments
  • Voice capture/recognition Read more

Hummingbird UAV Video

Check out this amazing video of a hummingbird UAV from AeroVironment Inc.

This speedy, little UAV illustrates several significant trends in unmanned systems: Read more

COTS Obsolescence & Total Cost of Ownership

The initial purchase price of your rugged computer may only be aCOTS Obsolenense  small part of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Platform support, customization, integration, connectivity, and inadequate durability may make your “bargain” very expensive.  Will your rugged computer be good for your ROI five or ten years from now or just for today?

Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) products are attractive for the price and established supply chain. However, there is a fundamental problem buying mass-produced off-the-shelf items. New and upgraded products typically generate more profit than old ones. Corporations prioritize the overhead of product support for the greatest revenue earners, i.e. the new products. Support for older platforms is phased out. Read more

A future for manned unmanned vehicles?

If the unmanned vehicles and systems’ community could trade acronyms for  manned unmanned vehicles dollars, we’d pay off the national debt. One particular acronym, OPV (Optionally Piloted Vehicles), is popping up all over the place. Northrop Grumman unveiled Firebird, an aerial OPV for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that boasts a 65 foot wingspan. The Army’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Roadmap outlines plans for helicopters that are both manned and unmanned. The Army also developed Autonomous Vehicle Navigation Systems (ANS) specifically for optionally piloted ground vehicles. Read more

Batteries, overburdened soldiers, and form factors

National Defense Industrial Association has a highly informative  article,  Army, Marines Face Uphill Battle To Lighten Troops’ Battery Load, about batteries and the heavy load they impose on soldiers. Of the 130 pounds of gear a modern soldier lugs around, 35 may be due to batteries. This excessive weight limits his maneuverability and may even cause injuries.batteries

In addition, batteries are expensive (“An infantry battalion on a one-year deployment typically burns through $150,000 worth of batteries”).  The frequent need to replace them, as well as their complete lack of standardization, presents a logistical nightmare.   Read more