Making allies of the data center and ruggedization to succeed in mobile command and control

As if it were not enough of a challenge to marry data center computing capabilities and extreme ruggedization in a single infrastructure, ground mobile applications also cannot neglect the need for low power consumption.

John discusses the changing face of modern warfare and how pre-integrated AdvancedTCA solutions are meeting new technological challenges.

The face of modern military operations is changing. As the industry transitions to network-centric warfare, defense operations depend on the rapid and accurate transfer of information (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Found on the military network: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The next generation of mobile command and control works with components throughout the network.


To meet these growing performance and communication requirements, developers are turning to embedded systems. These open standard, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions offer the performance required to support today’s mobile command and control applications.

Challenges for today’s ground mobile applications

System integrators are facing greater challenges than ever before. Ground mobile applications must combine data center computing capabilities and extreme ruggedization in a single infrastructure. At the same time, these products need to have low power consumption and a long product life cycle.

Another difficulty is serviceability. Systems have to be truly mobile, ruggedized, easily integrated, and serviceable by someone with minimum training. And most important, they need to have faster development cycles and shorter time-to-market.

AdvancedTCA in defense

Embedded systems designed for ground mobile applications require the highest level of performance. AdvancedTCA (ATCA) is proving particularly adept at meeting these demands. ATCA’s blade architecture enables next-generation switching, processor, I/O, and storage media options as well as cooling and power usage efficiencies and improved monitoring capabilities. In addition, with its large board size, ATCA delivers the highest silicon performance available.

ATCA offers financial advantages as well. The open standard allows for reduced development time, and its easy upgradeability and manageability reduce operational expenditures and total cost of ownership.

The defense industry’s transition from proprietary components to open standard COTS solutions is making it possible for developers to focus on developing applications and value-added services – rather than devoting resources to address mounting technological requirements and component complexity.

Pre-integrated platforms further development savings

As the military looks to its suppliers for COTS solutions, application-ready ATCA platforms offer a number of benefits. They combine computing, switching, and storage into one easy-to-manage platform. This provides a consistent architecture, third-party validation, ease of maintainability, and a single point of responsibility. The process significantly improves development cost and time-to-market without increasing project risk. As a result, these integrated solutions are becoming the new basic industry building blocks.

Recognizing the need for field-ready mobile computing and communications infrastructure, RadiSys recently released the Promentum C2 Server. The C2 Server is the industry’s first pre-integrated, portable ATCA platform designed specifically for mobile command and control. This NEBS-compliant solution combines best-of-breed technology from Astute Networks, LCR Electronics, and RadiSys to deliver the performance and features that rugged, ground mobile applications demand.

Looking ahead

Providing cutting-edge technology for the defense industry is more difficult than ever. Manufacturers need solutions that can support enterprise service applications in the field. In addition, these solutions need to withstand an I/O-dense environment, process information, and deliver meaningful results back to the decision makers.

Open standard COTS solutions meet these growing requirements cost effectively. Pre-integrated, standards-based ATCA platforms can further reduce costs by eliminating interoperability issues and allowing developers to focus their resources on value-added services. Moreover, with their easy manageability and upgradeability, these solutions offer the support required to take today’s network-centric operations to the next level.