The Latest Trends in Rugged Computing

January 28, 2021

The Latest Trends in Rugged Computing

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by Jamie Whitney

How do you make things smarter? That’s the question industry experts expect to answer as they develop small rugged mobile computers and network equipment for military vehicles and command posts.

Precision-guided munitions — or smart bombs — deployed during Operation Desert Storm 30 years ago made headlines, so-called intelligent munitions have roots even farther back, during the Vietnam War in 1967.

Today the U.S. armed forces only have increased the use of smart devices. The proliferation of connected systems has been enabled by the U.S. military embrace of the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) revolution.

By using consumer-grade hardware in hardened enclosures, warfighters can repair, upgrade, and replace components at forward operating bases instead of relying on experts with a deep understanding of proprietary and secret technologies.

In addition to COTS, the embedded computing industry has used technology to pump even more power into systems by focusing on the size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements of the components used. Now, warfighters have more power at their fingertips than ever before, and that trend is continuing.

That power is enabled by using the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI).

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Size, Weight, Power and Cost Optimization

With the continued proliferation of protecting the warfighter and increase in use of unmanned vehicles (UAV, UAS,  UGV, UAH, UUV, and USV) and small tactical vehicles, there is increasing pressure to find ways to be more and more competitive in the deployed military market. The number of platforms that require low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) solutions is exploding. In response to this growing need, Curtiss-Wright continues to innovate by miniaturizing computing, networking, flight test, data recording and storage and video components.

What is the SOSA Technical Standard?

The SOSA Technical Standard defines a common framework for transitioning sensor systems to an open systems architecture. The SOSA standard leverages OpenVPX to define card profiles with specifications for features such as pinouts, Ethernet capabilities, and serial ports.


See our SOSA- and CMOSS-aligned solutions

Read more about our SOSA-aligned PICs, chassis options, and integration services in our brochure.

Read the Brochure

Exploring SOSA, CMOSS, FACE, VICTORY, and more

This white paper examines the 2019 tri-services memo regarding MOSA, and what open standards such as SOSA, FACE, and VICTORY mean for today’s military programs.