A Standard that Provides Cooling Solutions for Rugged Deployed Embedded Computing Systems

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The high-density electronic components that provide high-speed data transfer in military/aerospace rugged deployed embedded systems generate significant heat in enclosed spaces – so the VITA Standards Organization (which included Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions) developed the standard for VPX-REDI (Ruggedized Enhanced Design Implementation).

VPX-REDI defines design parameters for enhanced cooling features and maintenance strategies to effectively support the increased power draw of high-density electronic systems. The standards guide the design and manufacture of modules that are rugged and easily maintained in deployed defense environments.VPX3-683

The VITA 48 standard defines the mechanical design requirements for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms to enhance cooling methods, such as forced air, conduction and liquid cooling in defense and aerospace platforms. Specifically, VPX-REDI defines standards for the mechanical interface between the chassis and plug-in modules of embedded computing systems. VPX employs switch fabric technologies for high-speed data operations in 3U and 6U Eurocard format computer boards.

VPX-REDI also sets the standards for use of ESD (electrostatic discharge) covers on both sides of boards. Forced air cooling under VITA 48 uses baffles and plenums, while the conduction cooling method takes advantage of larger, efficient thermal interfaces.

The design standards developed for VPX-REDI design standards correspond with the OpenVPX architecture standards. They answer the Department of Defense’s increasing demand for ruggedized, cost-effective embedded computing solutions that can be rapidly deployed in new defense technologies – and provide reliable service under combat situations.

The VPX-REDI specifications ratified by the American National Standards Institute/VITA define mechanical specifications for:

  • Plug-in units that use increased slot pitch to deliver improved durability and enhanced thermal performance
  • Mechanical interchangeability of air-cooled plug-in units In both the 3U and 6U form factors and for ensuring Level 2 maintenance compatibility, which facilitates field replacement of components
  • Air flow-through cooling for 6U plug-in units, employing a compact core heat exchanger in the unit’s central heat sink

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