White Papers

Small Form Factor (SFF) Mission System Modularity Enables Choice of Distributed or Consolidated Architectures

June 27, 2018 | BY: Mike Southworth

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System architects for defense and aerospace platforms are tasked to not only fit all required mission electronics payloads on-board their Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) - constrained platforms, but also meet reliability, scalability, performance, cost, and schedule constraints. Thanks to advances in modularity of rugged, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), small form factor (SFF) system design, integrators have more options than ever before to tailor embedded platform architectures around open standards based technologies that afford flexibility for how mission systems are integrated on a platform.

A discrete-function, line replaceable unit (LRU), such as a mission processor, data storage device, Ethernet switch or network router can now be deployed standalone in a traditional distributed subsystem architecture, or combined in multifunction appliances that consolidate LRU functionality. As one size literally does not fit all applications, this white paper will explore some of the use-case considerations and technological advances driving integrators to pursue a distributed over a consolidated system architecture approach, and visa-versa (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: Comparing distributed vs consolidated LRU architectures

Download the 'Small Form Factor (SFF) Mission System Modularity Enables Choice of Distributed or Consolidated Architectures' white paper to learn more about:

  • Small Form Factor
  • Rugged COTS
  • SWaP Optimization
  • Mission Processing
  • Ethernet Switching
  • Secure IP Routing
  • Modular Subsystems
  • Rugged Embedded Systems


Mike Southworth

Author’s Biography

Mike Southworth

Product Line Manager

Mike Southworth serves as Product Line Manager for Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions where he is responsible for the small form-factor rugged mission computers and Ethernet networking subsystem product line targeting Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP)-constrained military and aerospace applications. Southworth has more than 15 years of experience in technical product management and marketing communications leadership roles. Mike holds an MBA from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Brigham Young University.

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