How Mission System Architecture Choices Affect SWaP
It’s a challenge to fit all the mission electronics on-board a SWaP-constrained platform, while meeting reliability and schedule constraints. The modularity of small form factor (SFF) mission systems enables system architects to choose distributed or consolidated LRU system architectures to best meet the platforms needs.
Every aerospace and defense vehicle has its own set of mission requirements and degree of flexibility for how its system architecture is implemented. Smaller platforms have smaller payloads and a limited range, whereas larger vehicles can have significantly larger payloads to support multiple roles over a longer mission. Where the electronics are physically integrated impacts the system architecture. As technology evolves and embedded systems continue to shrink, system integrators have more architectural options.
Traditionally, a complete mission system is distributed across multiple small subsystems, each performing a single sub-task, often with duplicate systems performing redundant tasks. Consolidating functions into a single, small form factor, rugged enclosure can save system weight and space both in cabling and enclosure design.
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