Ruggedization of Networking Systems

December 08, 2014 | BY: Andrew McCoubrey, Mike Southworth

Rugged Networking Solutions from Curtiss-Wright

At Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, ruggedization of networking systems consists of two primary elements.

First, Curtiss-Wright leverages commercial networking technologies including technologies made by Cisco Systems for industrial applications and enhances them to military standards. These enhancements enable the technology to reliably perform under the demanding environmental and electromagnetic interference (EMI) conditions common to defense and aerospace applications. Second, Curtiss-Wright makes significant investments in environmental test chambers and laboratory tests to validate and certify that its ruggedized products perform as designed.

Our testing, validation and certification - backed by documentation and conducted at no additional cost to customers - reduces risk and saves customers the time and expense of testing the products themselves. As a result, this reduces time-to-market and program risk for platform deployment. Most networking device are tested to MIL-STD-810 and DO-160 to ensure our products will perform under extended temperatures (-40°C to 71°C), shock, vibration, humidity, dust, altitude and EMI.

To bring commercial products up to military and aerospace standards, we replace standard commercial enclosures with military-grade enclosures that are corrosion-resistant and designed to keep out moisture and dust. We also replace traditional Ethernet RJ45 connectors with strong, locking connectors that can handle shock and vibration and prevent dust and water ingress. Signals are then routed to trusted MIL circular connectors (i.e. DTL-38999).

Further enhancements are made to Ethernet networking systems. As an alternative to an air-cooled system, we install passive thermal management technology to conductively cool the electronics. This eliminates fans and other moving parts - and the risk of mechanical failure.

Curtiss-Wright also builds solutions customized to individual platforms, whether they are ground vehicles, helicopters or jet fighters. That's because, in the field, technology must withstand the varying frequencies of vibration and levels of shock inherent to each platform. For example, typical levels are 20G of shock for a jet and 40G for a tracked vehicle, such as a tank.

In contrast to ruggedized solutions adapted from commercial technologies, Curtiss-Wright also creates rugged devices that are designed from the ground up - circuit boards, enclosures, cooling methods, interconnects and connectors - to be deployed in an extreme military or aerospace environment. Additionally, we often validate to hybrid test profiles that include a superset of requirements for ground and air platforms to cover the environmental conditions encountered by a broad range of applications.

Contact a Curtiss-Wright representative today to begin selecting or customizing a ruggedized networking solution for your applications.


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Author’s Biography

Andrew McCoubrey

Senior Product Manager, Switching and Routing Solutions

Andrew McCoubrey is the Senior Product Manager for switching and routing products in the C4 Solutions group. He joined Curtiss-Wright from Cisco Systems where he was a product manager for Catalyst switching. His networking industry experience ranges from core routers to enterprise switching and embedded Ethernet. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Mike Southworth

Author’s Biography

Mike Southworth

Senior Product Manager

Mike Southworth serves as Senior Product Manager for Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions where he is responsible for the Parvus 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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