Consolidate LRUs While Considering Strict SWaP Constraints
Many of today’s military and aerospace customers seek elegant solutions that carefully consider how best to mechanically and electrically integrate multiple functions into a single line replaceable unit (LRU) appliance while optimizing size, weight, and power (SWaP) and performance.
Imagine taking the scalability of a modular mission processor and adding flexibility for integrating specialized network functions, all in a single SWaP-optimized LRU. High-performance Intel processing could be combined with secure Cisco network routing and switching in a small form factor solution that eliminates multiple separate LRUs. This “all-in-one” goal presents certain technical advantages and challenges for systems integrators.
Rugged system architectures should be scalable and flexible to adapt to the military’s varying demands. US law (10 USC 2446) prescribes a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for major defense acquisition programs to promote upgradeability, interoperability, and competitiveness. System engineers are designing more and more modular subsystems that can support open architecture I/O expansion and extend the life and usability of a system—a must for budget-conscious Department of Defense (DOD) programs.
Military programs have begun to request more and more systems that can combine network processing, Ethernet LAN switches, and IP traffic routing in a single box. Depending on the project, various factors can motivate this, including SWaP constraints or objectives to simplify systems integration. Some programs may want to facilitate power distribution or cable management on-board a vehicle, while others seek a solution with flexible mechanical installation options.