Battlefield Surveillance

The Customer Need

Battlefield SurveillanceA large military aircraft is used to track and control the movement of forces during military engagements, relying on various 4U and 5U rackmount computer systems used in the aircraft with instrumentation space availability at a premium. The airborne surveillance and control platforms are retrofitted by the armed forces to keep the systems up to the operational effectiveness levels demanded by the military.

The latest application needed a way to concentrate 16 unique processing cores along with four sets of option cards in a single 4U or 5U computing enclosure. The aircraft will be in active service for seven years until it’s next scheduled retrofit. The technology is defined as sensitive by the government therefore the computer vendor must design and build the systems and computer boards that make up the bulk of the system in the U.S.

The Trenton Solution

Four Trenton TQ9 system host boards; each one with an embedded quad-core processor, or four Trenton MCXT system host boards having two embedded quad-core processors, form the basis of this system. A custom four-segment PICMG 1.3 backplane was designed and manufactured for the end user to essentially consolidate four high-end computer servers into a compact 4U or 5U, 19” rackmount computer chassis. The four TQ9 boards with the quad-core processors provide the 16 processing cores for the majority of aircraft’s workstations while the systems with four MCXT boards are used for systems needing 32 processing cores. These embedded cluster computing systems result in a rack space savings of nearly 70% as compared to an equivalent 1U motherboard approach to this application.

Trenton engineered special cable routing features and sub-component hold down mechanisms into the system chassis in order to withstand shock and vibration environments found in these types of airborne computing applications. To learn more details about this Trenton cluster computing solution see the industry article entitled:

Cutting Rack-Mounted Systems Down to Size.

Trenton Value Delivered

Trenton’s engineering and manufacturing locations in the U.S. met all of the domestic content rules defined by the government in this application. The embedded quad-core processor support on the TQ9 and MCXT system host boards give the military end user the data processing capability and data transmission speeds necessary to exceed the performance parameters of the application. The embedded components used by Trenton in the system host board and backplane designs will enable support for the system over the length of the military deployment cycle.