Technology spending in Government and Defense over the next ten years and beyond will place heavy emphasis on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and much of the supporting infrastructure like ground control stations, shipboard control stations and Command and Control systems. As UAVs move beyond traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) using imaging and DSP payload sensors to more active roles generally reserved for jet fighters or special operations forces, the demand for more processing power and I/O flexibility will only increase. Supporting UAV and battlefield infrastructure like Command and Control and Secure Communications and Networking systems also have to continue to improve and scale with the ever-increasing demand for secure, distributed communication bandwidth.
Trends toward reduced Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) in the context of not only UAVs but also portable systems in every battlefield arena, puts a heavy emphasis on SBCs like the ADLQM87PC which rely on the latest Intel Core i7 Gen4 (Haswell) processors to handle a multitude of I/O data requirements as well as heavy floating point and DSP computation demands thereby reducing SWaP by lowering the number of peripheral boards required. Additionally, ADL Embedded Solution’s family of low-power Intel Atom SBCs (ADLS15PC Silverthorne Atom, ADLD25PC Pineview Atom, ADLE3800PC Bay Trail Atom ) are perfectly suited to help address solutions where low-power and battery life are the primary consideration.
SWaP-constrained UAV applications can take advantage of the ADLQM87PC Gen4 Intel Core i7 processors with new AVX 2.0 instructions and 256bit-wide floating point data path which more than double the peak floating point performance over previous Intel Core Duo and Core i7 processors. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 core helps reduce board count by integrating floating point and vector processing operations that previously required separate peripheral boards to accomplish. For UAV ground control stations (GSCs), ADLGS45PC, ADLQM67PC and ADLQM87PC SBCs with PCIe point-to-point fabric (2.5 / 5.0GT/s up to 8.0GT/s) provide optimal I/O flexibility for incoming ISR from UAVs and outgoing ISR to troops and other analysis groups.
Command and control
The key for many Command and Control applications is flexible I/O features coupled with sufficient processing power for computation and traffic management. The ADLQM87PC shines in this regard with Gen3 PCIe, 4xSATA rev. 3.0 at 6Gb/s, 2x USB 3.0, 8xUSB 2.0 and 2xGLAN ports. Legacy applications requiring PCI connectivity are well suited for either the ADLGS45PC PCI/104-Express SBC or the ADLPCIe-PCI bridge card – that upgrades existing PCIe/104 platforms to PCI/104-Express based SBCs featuring up to 4 legacy 32bit PCI devices with using latest CPU technology.
Communications and Networking
The ADLQM87PC with 2xGLAN onboard and optional 4xGLAN expansion card the PCIe/104 connector & a optional PCIe Minicard socket ( can be used with 2G/3G/4G LTE or WiFi) has found wide use in several defense mini-router applications. For one-way secure data transfer schemes requiring multiple SBCs, the ADL Embedded Solution’s low-power Intel Atom SBCs (ADLS15PC Silverthorne Atom, ADLD25PC Pineview Atom, ADLE3800PC Bay Trail Atom ) has been used with good success. Mil-Std 1553 applications have been implemented with PCI/104-Express SBC up to high performance PCIe/104 generation SBCs.
Imaging and DSP
Imaging and DSP applications have long made use of general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU) or custom DSP peripheral cards. These applications require high-bandwidth backplanes for data transfer to and from the SBC and work well with the PCIe x16 (PEG) capabilities (2.5GT/s each lane) of the ADLGS45PC. Similar applications requiring even greater bandwidth can move up to the ADLQM87PC (8.0GT/s each lane in PCIe Gen3.0 / 5.0GT/s each lane in PCIe Gen2.0 ), even make use of the ADLQM87PC integrated graphics core Intel HD Graphics 4600 to eliminate the need for off-board vector processing or DSP hardware.
Traditional military avionics are now making way for more modern interconnected, integrated systems that allow for more situational battlefield awareness for pilots. This data-rich environment now requires much the same level of SBC performance as Command and Control systems with ISR to and from ground stations and UAV assets. The ADLQM87PC, ADLQM67PC and ADLGS45PC are well poised for these applications with plenty of I/O port options, backplane bandwidth, and processing power capabilities.
ADL Embedded Solutions is well versed at not only defining SBC and peripheral expansion board solutions for most applications, but also designing, creating and integrating custom enclosures to meet both low and high IP requirements for extended temperature and rugged environments.