Autonomous vehicles serve in frontline combat formations fighting alongside manned vehicles, resupply missions, urban reconnaissance etc.
Autonomous vehicles combine decision-making with real-time control. These two aspects become more critical in the modern battlefield. Mission-decision and Real-Time control are being achieved by sensor technology – gathering situational data through radar, LIDAR and electro-optics – as well as complex software algorithms for processing the huge amounts of data collected and determining what action needs to be taken.
The main task of the sensing suite in autonomous vehicles is to provide the most reliable and dense information on the vehicular surroundings. The challenge is controlling and managing the system integration in real-time battlefield from both communication and power aspects. The networking solutions should feature Layer 2 and Layer 3 capabilities in addition to management capabilities. Power distribution units are needed to manage the power and power supplies with high power output and the ability to work simultaneously with other power converters.
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Due to upgrades of various sensors, in different locations of the helicopter, there was a need to relay fast communication between the pilot and the co-pilot/gunner.
The customer was looking for a very small 1G LAN rugged switch with management capabilities.
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The USS Gerald Ford (CVN 78) was put to the test during Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) in June 2021. With the new class of ship’s qualification requirements, these trials provide a telling picture for environmental standard requirements in military applications. Military-grade power and networking solutions play a significant role in these military platforms. Environmental conditions and test methodologies to which military platforms must operate are defined in military standards such as MIL-STD-810 and MIL-DTL-901E among others. Engineers developing systems and sub-systems in support of the defense and aerospace industry use design methodologies to meet or exceed the requirements and tests specified in these standards.... read more
In our previous Blog on Power and Networking Solutions for Sensor Fusion Systems we’ve talked about the importance and value of sensor fusion in today’s battlespace. Bringing together diverse, disparate, and geographically displaced sensor data provides battlefield commanders with an unprecedented view of the battlefield. This ensures rapid and informed decision making to maintain an advantage and protect the warfighter.
Our military and military suppliers must continue to advance capabilities to outpace enemies’ threats. The Drive released a fantastic interview earlier this month highlighting a key naval sensor directly supporting sensor fusion and pressing the art of the possible in support of the broader picture in the seaborn battlespace. Two systems directly supported by Milpower Source are highlighted in this interview. The AN/SLQ-32(V)7 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block III is a perfect example of how the US Navy and its industry partners have improved the defensive and offensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities aboard US naval assets for decades to come.... read more
The VITA standards group has existed for many years now, developing the VME, VXS, XMC, VPX, and VNX standards as common physical and electrical formats to enable the development of modular systems. In military systems, the need for using open-architecture systems approaches became a priority, so the HOST, FACE, CMOSS, MORA, RedHawk and other initiatives were formed by various branches of the US army.... read more
Sensors have become ubiquitous on the battlefield to detect and track everything from aircraft to dismounted soldiers, and from enemy radar systems to covert communications. Electronic Warfare (EW) represents the ability to either disrupt or use electronic signals attacks. Aircraft and unmanned systems perform reconnaissance missions and pass data back to field-deployed personnel and naval platforms being protected just outside contested environments. Mapping and surveillance aircraft share data back to centralized command posts around the globe for intelligence on enemy stockpiles, troop movements and missile defense systems that share target data with central command and anti-aircraft systems to help lock down the exact location of any missile fired for acts of aggression.
This collective battlefield picture and information sharing, along with accurate and real-time location mapping starts with sensors.... read more
Due to a UAV's compact and sensitive platform, there is no room for a bulky synchronous generator that allows a fixed voltage output. Likewise, the opportunity for a fixed speed engine to feed the UAV's permanent magnet generator to create a constant voltage output does not exist. A GCU (Generator Control Unit) functions as a mediator between the variable voltage and frequency alternator/generator and the stabilized DC bus requirement set by the payload. Its non-isolated topology provides high efficiency, light weight and a small form factor which makes the GCU power supply very attractive for systems that are powered by Permanent Magnet Generators (PMG) such as light weight UAVs, avionics, electronic warfare and other military applications.... read more
Managed ethernet switches are the solution for scenarios that involve multiple devices, or require redundancy, monitoring, and control over the application network. Managed switches are remotely programmable via Web or programmatic interfaces to allow pre- and dynamic configuration. These switches provide key features to support today’s UAV applications. primary among these are quality of service, VLANs, spanning tree, and redundancy.... read more
The armed forces see Software Defined Radios (SDR) as an optimal solution to combat the ever-changing communications technologies surrounding traditional manpack radios that are used in today’s ground vehicles. SDRs enables the radio chassis to run multiple wavelengths or can accept an upgrade capability by simply changing out payload cards. By using a single chassis as the base platform, there have been significant size, weight, and power (SWaP) improvements for the vehicle and platform integrations. This enables the combination of shared resources and, by reducing the amount of man-pack radios, decreases the tax on the vehicle’s electrical system.... read more
Every electrical system created for the battlefield poses its own unique set of challenges that require difficult design decisions. We know that design engineers all too well understand about the trade-offs between requirements of the system and those of its components. The same is true for industry standards that apply at the system level versus those that apply to its components. When faced with what to do when overlapping standards don't agree, sometimes the answer is -- do more.... read more
When you modify your system's architecture from mechanical to an electrical circuit breaker- based power distribution unit (PDU) and power architecture, you achieve much better flexibility and customization at the system level. You can tailor and scale to the specific needs of your platform more efficiently and optimize the system design to protect expensive and sensitive loads . This blog offers some reasons why electronic circuit breakers are more advantageous within a military platform.... read more
Customization. That word triggers fear in the hearts of design engineers, with thoughts of schedule slips and delays, increased technical risk, and the oh-so-frightening ka-ching of increased costs. But in reality, collaborating with a power supply manufacturer who can work with you to tailor key features can actually reduce cost and schedule risk for the most complex power supply requirement. Technical risk is mitigated even further when designing from a field-proven, existing product or circuit topology. Starting from the 60% or 80% solution, a power supply manufacturer's engineering team can collaborate with you to tailor to your specific and unique design needs and make it unequivocally right; the 100% solution!... read more
Most engineers are all too familiar with the term "electrification" in military vehicle and aircraft designs, defined as the conversion of a machine or system to the use of electrical power. It's necessary to integrate power distribution units (PDUs) when designing this electrification and protecting higher voltages, harnesses, and loads on a system. PDUs can also be referred to as solid state power control (SSPC) or remote power control (RPC) and they replace old mechanical circuit breakers with electronic circuit breaker technology.... read more