Case Studies

Rugged Switch Ensures Reliability for UGV On-board Network

March 23, 2016

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All modern, unmanned systems depend on an IP-based network as the backbone for communications between sensors, computers, payloads, radios, and sometimes even the drive-by-wire system. This network must be extremely robust, reliable, and support ever-growing amounts of data traffic as sensors become more and more advanced. Due to the re-configurability of unmanned vehicle platforms, this network must also be easily expandable, and allow for advanced network capabilities including segregated subnets, VLANs, packet prioritization, and multicast traffic handling. While these are fairly common “features” of any modern network switch, it is difficult to find a switch that does all these things well, in an environmentally rugged package, that can stand up to the rigors and harsh environments that unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) encounter.

TORC Robotics’s advanced UGVs incorporate the latest in autonomous and tele-operated vehicle technology, providing future warfighters with a strategic advantage that takes them out of the most life-threatening and dangerous situations. Larger than the well-known IED defeat robots in theater today, TORC’s systems operate on improved/un-improved roads and off-road at high speeds. To accomplish this, vehicles must perceive the environment with suites of highbandwidth sensors that produce huge amounts of data.

This data is processed by on-board computing systems that make split-second decisions and control the vehicle, all in real-time. Simultaneously, whether the UGV operator is remotely driving the vehicle or simply overseeing it as it drives itself, data from many different C4ISR, optics and situational awareness sensors must be piped to the operator with as little latency and data corruption as possible. With such a tightly-integrated, well-engineered system, TORC’s UGVs can act as a natural extension of the warfighter, or as just another member of the squad.

Results

Leveraging Gigabit throughput (1000 Mbps) and high Ethernet port density (20x) in a rugged IP67 (dust and waterproof) chassis pre-validated for the most extreme vehicle applications, TORC intends to re-use the DuraNET 20-10 switch for multiple vehicle platforms and do so without having to re-qualify the electronics each time. The unit’s network packet processing performance and intuitive Web-based management interface simplifies setup and operation for TORC, while the reliability and performance of the switch ensures that as TORC develops advanced algorithms and software, they won’t get slowed down debugging an under performing network.

For more information on the solution, download the case study.

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