Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/32993-pentek-herrick-technology-laboratories-kontron-to-deliver-c4isr-demonstrator-system
Pentek

Pentek, Herrick Technology Laboratories, Kontron to Deliver C4ISR Demonstrator System

October 15, 2019

Pentek Inc., Herrick Technology Laboratories Inc. and Kontron have developed products aligned with the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Technical Standard that are used in a new 3U VPX demonstrator system designed to illustrate the capabilities of open systems architectures. This 3U VPX system is ideal for electronic warfare (EW), SIGINT, radar and communications applications. The flight-qualified chassis utilizes open architecture modules, from multiple suppliers, for a complete functional demonstration system.

"Herrick Technology Laboratories, Inc. of Germantown, Md., and another major U.S. system integrator have received shipments of the Kontron VX305C-40G SOSA aligned SBC for U.S. defense community applications," said Mark Littlefield, Kontron's vertical product manager for Defense and SOSA standard contributor. He added, "Herrick has integrated this SBC with a Model 71813 XMC board from Pentek which provides customizable I/O signal status and control for their new SOSA C4ISR demonstrator system for the U.S. Army." 

The SOSA Consortium is chartered with creating a common framework for transitioning sensor systems to an open systems architecture, based on key interfaces and open standards established by industry-government consensus. The benefits of this architecture include improved interoperability, as well as reduced development time, deployment and costs.

The SOSA approach establishes guidelines for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. The objective is to allow flexibility in the selection and acquisition of sensors and subsystems that provide sensor data collection, processing, exploitation, communication and related functions over the full life cycle of the C4ISR system.

The C4ISR demonstrator system, in an HTLv-C-19 chassis, with 16 payload slots and 3 power supply slots, includes:

  • Two slots with Kontron VX305C-40G SBC utilizing 12-core Intel® Xeon® D processors and Pentek Model 71813 digital I/O XMC modules with Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGAs.
  • Eight RF/payload slots with multiple HTLv-1 and HTLv-2 dual and quad channel HF/VHF/UHF transceiver modules.
  • One slot with an HTL PNTRv Precision Navigation and Timing Reference module providing a radial clock with position, navigation and timing.
  • Two slots with 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet switches.
  • Two slots with PCIe Gen 4 and 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet switches.
  • Three power supply slots providing 100+W of power per slot.

The system level interfaces are also aligned with the SOSA Technical Standard to maximize the chassis level interoperability. The backplane is designed to support 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) Data Plane, PCIe-Gen 4 Expansion Plane and 10 GigE Control Plane. The HTLv-C-19 chassis uses the SOSA aligned front panel I/O connector definitions. It is also designed to the VITA 48.2 VPX REDI conduction cooling standard for rugged environments.

"The Pentek Jade Model 71813 directly addresses I/O needs called out in the emerging SOSA standards," said Paul Mesibov, Pentek's CTO and active member of the SOSA standard Hardware Working Group. "Pentek is working with other SOSA members and is committed to lending our experience in meeting open system architecture challenges."

"Herrick's SOSA demonstrator project is an important, fast-paced effort to demonstrate the value of Open Systems Architectures for defense sensor platforms," said Acie Vickers, CEO and president of Herrick Technology Laboratories Inc. "By providing key components for this design, Kontron and Pentek are helping to deliver on the OSA promise of faster and simplified technology updates for defense sensor platforms."

Open Architecture Modules

All of the following modules are designed to support the open systems architecture of the SOSA approach.

The Herrick Technology Laboratories HTLv-1 and HTLv-2 are 3U OpenVPX quad and dual channel HF/VHF/UHF software defined radio transceiver modules designed to support various missions. The PNTRv is also a 3U VPX module that provides position, navigation and timing information to the chassis via GPS and Chip-Scale Atomic Clock.

The Kontron VX305C-40G 3U VPX SBC utilizing a 12-core Intel® Xeon® D processor, with 40 Gigabit Ethernet Data Plane (40GBASE-KR4), a 4-lane PCI Express 3.0 expansion plane, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet Control Plane (10GBASE-KR), and a rich assortment of user I/O including SAT III, USB (2 and 3), serial links, video (HDMI, with DisplayPort available in 2019), GPIO, and an XMC site with backplane user mapping.

The Pentek Model 71813 is based on the Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA and features 28 pairs of LVDS digital I/O to meet the requirements of emerging standards from The Open Group SOSA Consortium of which Pentek is a member.