Speed and Security for Military Data Storage

January 06, 2021

Speed and Security for Military Data Storage

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by John Keller

Demands on rugged data storage for aerospace and defense applications never have been higher, driven by the proliferation of sensors, tactical cloud computing, high-speed networking, and the need for real-time actionable intelligence.

In response, the embedded-computing and data-storage industries are responding with a wide variety of open-systems architectures, trusted computing and cyber security for data at rest and for data in motion, every-increasing capacities and speeds of data storage, power, and thermal management, packaging for low size, weight, power consumption, and cost (SWaP), and cutting-edge data storage interfaces to optimize today’s military embedded computing systems.

Storage capacity and speed

“Among the trends, we are seeing is the increased number of sensors going inside of unmanned vehicles and manned planes driving faster data throughput and higher capacities,” says Steve Petric, senior product manager of data solutions at the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions division in Dayton, Ohio. “This is driven by the need for more sensors, collecting more data, and increasing data-storage capacities in the same amount space — or even smaller.”

One technological innovation that helps increase read and write speeds to data storage media is Non-Volatile Memory Express, better-known as NVMe. This approach enables data storage media such as solid-state drives to access processors via the PCI Express databus. It also enables host hardware and software to capitalize on levels of parallelism possible in modern solid-state drives.

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Data-At-Rest (DAR) Encryption

Today’s defense and aerospace platforms are required to protect critical data-at-rest (DAR) from unauthorized access. Curtiss-Wright offers cost-effective, proven, and certified commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) storage solutions that match various data security requirements, including National Security Agency (NSA) Type 1, NSA Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC), Common Criteria (CC), and FIPS 140-2.

Data-in-Motion Encryption

Data can be exposed to risks both while in motion and at rest and requires protection in both states. To this end, encryption is key to maintaining the data’s integrity throughout its intended course. Multiple standards-compliant systems that ensure the security of sensitive and classified data are available in layered encryption of hardware, software, or a mix of both for system integrators to choose from.

  • Protecting Wired Data-in-Motion
  • Protecting Wireless Data-in-Motion