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David Compston Towcester  Published on: 7/29/2008


"Cooling is, of course, a continuing challenge as increasing amounts of computing horsepower are being shoe-horned into smaller spaces," says David Compston, director of military and aerospace product marketing at GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms in Towcester, England.


Potential solutions to this thermal challenge include developing electronics that throw off less heat, and implementing advanced thermal-management technologies and techniques. GE Fanuc officials have adopted both methods. On the one hand, the company has unveiled its VG6 single-board computer featuring the 8640 and 8640D processors, which dissipate 25 percent less heat than the 8641 and 8641D, yet deliver comparable processing performance. "For even more rigorous cooling requirements, more advanced cooling techniques are required -- such as that provided by companies like SprayCool, with whom GE Fanuc signed an agreement," Compston describes.


A significant example of the changing nature of vetronics, and the rapidly growing requirement for more processing capability, can be found in the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program, says Compston.


MEADS is commonly described as "a transatlantic cooperative effort between the United States, Germany, and Italy to develop an air and missile defense system that is tactically mobile and transportable." MEADS is intended not only to replace Patriot systems in the U.S. and Germany, and the Nike Hercules system in Italy, but also to protect ground forces and fixed installations against current and next-generation airborne threats, including aircraft, missiles, and unmanned air vehicles.


Officials in Lockheed Martin's Radar Systems business in Syracuse, N.Y., responsible for the truck-mounted surveillance radar for the MEADS program, have selected SprayCool and GE Fanuc technologies for integration in the system.


"Lockheed Martin Radar Systems selected GE Fanuc's DSP220 VXS Quad 8641-based multicomputer and CRX800 Serial RapidIO switch for the heart of this system," Compston describes.


Compston notes that MEADS "is an excellent example of the growing importance of the capture and processing of sensor data as more information of higher quality is sensor-acquired and subsequently processed into a form that can be acted on."


"Size and weight will always be significant constraints," Compston recognizes, "and as military end users look to incorporate more and more advanced capabilities within a vehicle, each individual subsystem needs to be either smaller and lighter than its predecessor, or needs to be combined with other subsystems to create multifunctional subsystems."


The most exciting technology in this area is 3U VPX, says Compston.


An example of this approach is embedded training, which enables warfighters to make productive use of what would otherwise be down time," says Compston. "An embedded training system leverages many of the capabilities that are already onboard the vehicle, such as screens and graphics processors, but allows them to be used for alternative applications," he explains.


Compston notes an increasing demand for 3D image generation that leverages graphics technology originally designed for gaming. "The requirement in both applications is similar, in that images and situations require to be presented with the maximum possible realism, delivering an immersive experience which is as close as possible to 'being there,'" he says. "This kind of graphics capability is especially in embedded training situations." In response, GE Fanuc engineers have introduced the company's MAGIC1 Rugged Display Computer, which features graphics silicon from Nvidia Corp., a market leader in PC gaming graphics technology located in Santa Clara, Calif.


Another interesting development is the Distributed Aperture System (DAS), Compston explains. "We are seeing a trend in which imminent obsolescence of a vetronics capability is being taken as an opportunity to substantially upgrade that capability not only with additional computing horsepower, but also with additional functionality," reveals Compston. Published on: 4/1/2007    

Speakers: David Compston (GE Fanuc Embedded Systems), Joe Wlad (LynuxWorks), Peter Hoffmann (Telelogic), and Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded ComputingModerator: Chris A. Ciufo - Published on: 11/18/2007    

By David Compston, Radstone Embedded Computing Published on: 2/12/2007   David Compston - Director of Marketing


COTS Journal - Published on: 3/1/2008    David Compston, Director, Military Product Marketing, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms


Embedded Computing Design - Linux Report - Published on: 3/24/2004  

This is a significant announcement for us, for a number of reasons,, said David Compston, director of marketing at Radstone Technology. First, it allows us to provide a complete and highly flexible solution to our customers that will help make the vision of network-centric operations a reality.


GBX8 Press Release - Published on: 1/1/2003  

Dave Compston, NetComm Business Manager, Tel: (UK) 44 1327 359444, Fax: (UK) 44 1327 359662,e-mail: [email protected]