CANSEC 2015: In Maple Leaf Country

This week, we were in Ottawa at CANSEC, which is, without doubt, Canada’s premier defense trade show. For 2015, the organizers—the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI)—were expecting to beat last year’s 11,000+ visitors, 120,000+ square feet of exhibition space and 300+ exhibitors. It’s a show that’s really grown over the years.

Ongoing programs to build new ships for the Royal Canadian Navy and Coast Guard meant that shipbuilders and companies manufacturing naval equipment had a large presence—and we were there with our colleagues from GE Marine. There was plenty else to see, of course.

At the GE booth, we were demonstrating our Mission DVR, a rugged, off-the-shelf system comprising an SBC324 single board computer, a GBX410 Ethernet switch and multiple ICS-8580 video compression boards. What got a lot of attention was our AXIS software development environment featuring a range of image processing algorithms. Today, the pressure is on our customers to get their solutions developed and out the door as fast as possible—and our visitors could clearly see how AXIS would help them to do that.

My colleague Michael Wurts was also getting a lot of interest in his demonstrations of our recently announced mCOM10-K1 rugged COM Express module with its NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor. It was getting attention because of its phenomenal performance / watt and SWaP characteristics: it delivers 326 GFLOPS of processing capability yet consumes only 10 watts or less of power—and all from a module that measures less than four inches by three inches. It seemed like anyone who was looking to develop sensor fusion, image stabilization, target tracking or moving map graphics generation applications was compelled by what Michael was saying and showing.

It wasn’t just at our booth that you could see what GE is capable of, though. It’s always great to see our customers at these shows, demonstrating how they’re taking advantage of what we can do. A notable example at CANSEC was General Dynamics Canada, showcasing their UYS-505 VENOM, which leverages the latest advances in signal processing technologies to maximize the detection of modern submerged threats. The fixed-wing variant processes up to 32 sonobuoys, while the rotary-wing version can process up to 16 sonobuoys in addition to its embedded control of dipping sonar. At its heart is GE’s CRS-D8i COTS Rugged System, a complete, off-the-shelf, application-ready 3U VPX platform featuring an Intel Corei7-based single board computer.