The Connected Battlefield Blog

Abaco Systems helps military and aerospace organizations minimize program risk and bring programs in on time and on budget. Our integrated, rugged systems solutions are based on a product range that includes single board computers, high performance embedded computing (HPEC), digital signal processing, GPGPU, image processing, sensor processing and avionics. We ally to those products our understanding of applications including ISR, EW, SIGINT, radar, sonar and 360 degree situational awareness. Our customers know that Abaco System brings industry-leading expertise and experience, together with broad and deep customer support.


Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit

Of Duct Tape, Drapes and Business Cards…

Duct tape, a vacuum, zip ties, business cards and drapes — necessary tools of the trade. If you’ve ever exhibited at a trade event, you can certainly appreciate the value in some basic tools to get the exhibit space together and ready for the event. Duct tape, zip ties and drapes camouflaged our FORCE2 and Modular Advanced Graphics Interface Computer ( MAGIC1 ) octopus of a cable harness. Lack of table top space for business cards revealed how...


Math Libraries

Math Libraries Matter

When designing a complex signal or image processing system, the choice of math libraries is probably pretty low on the list of priorities—but the wrong choice can lead you down a rocky road, either today when you can’t get the performance you need, or tomorrow when you need to do a technology insertion because of obsolescence issues. Often, the primary reason for using a math library is the desire to get maximum performance out of a specific...


Mentor Graphics Best Overall Design Award

Abaco Receives Mentor Graphics Award

Last week, the design team for the SBC347D single board computer received their award from Mentor Graphics ( originally announced here ) as the winner of “Best Overall Design” in Mentor’s 26th annual PCB Technology Leadership Awards. The award was presented to the team—Jim Rose, Zeshan Hussain, Eric Mills and Peter Woodruff—who are based at Abaco’s Towcester, England facility, at a celebratory dinner by Simon Vines, PCB Applications Group...


Munich FORCE2 Display Computer

Munich Feels the FORCE

This week, we’ve been at the Aviation Electronics Europe show at the MOC Event Centre Munich, Germany. A two day event with conferences, seminars and workshops as well as a central large exhibition, it’s the largest of its kind in Europe. The show includes almost every conceivable technology the aviation industry could need—which meant it was a natural opportunity for us to showcase our recently-announced FORCE2 Rugged Display and Mission...


Marine helicopter

Certifiable COTS

The commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) defense and aerospace embedded computing business presents many challenges. Rapid advancements in silicon eclipse the slow aerospace acquisition cycle for new computing capabilities. Adapting commercial silicon to very demanding operational environments present some risk. And bridging the chasm between the most safety critical applications and COTS computing hardware requires bold steps and/or a lot of money...


Abaco Systems booth GTC 2016

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It’s the last day for us at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) at the San Jose Convention Center. The trade show is over, the booth is in bits, and there are far too many boxes keeping me company in my hotel room. I’m off to UPS and FedEx in a few minutes and then there’s a seven hour drive back to San Diego with the demo equipment and monitors. Actually, knowing LA traffic on a Friday, that’s more likely to be a 12-hour drive, but we’ll...


GTC16 Day 3

Hooked on a Feeling

Here we are, Stuart Heptonstall, our product manager for graphics, and I, still at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) at the San Jose Convention Center. Last evening’s session went really well, and the two hours once again went by in a flash. Abaco is one of the few primarily mil/aero companies exhibiting at the show and we made sure to put some sufficiently tough looking systems at the corner of the booth to catch folks’ eye. There’s a...


GPU Technology Conference

California Dreamin'

It’s day two at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) at the San Jose Convention Center. There were no seismic event warnings this morning, which is surprising as I met someone at the NVIDIA networking event who was convinced that they basically cause earthquakes. As I’m someone who’s convinced that they make it rain whenever they visit Las Vegas, I could empathize. The hot topic today was the keynote address from Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA’s...


GPU Tech Conference

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Here we are at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference—or GTC—at the San Jose Convention Center. We’re registered and badged, the necessary booth folks are there, and everything works so it’s been a good day so far. We’re off to an NVIDIA networking event in an hour so that our new GPU product manager (and likely blogger later in the week) Stuart Heptonstall can meet with some key NVIDIA folks for the first time. Abaco has been working with NVIDIA...


MQ-9 Reaper

Ethernet Switches: Why Time Matters

It’s no coincidence that our blog is called The Connected Battlefield. Communications networks are at the heart of modern military operations. But there’s more to the name than that. At Abaco, networking—and especially rugged networking—is fundamental to what we do. What that means is that we spend a great deal of time understanding our customers’ problems—and helping solve them. Here’s a recent example. Ethernet technology now dominates...


F-16 Falcons

Designing for MIL-STD-1553

When a technology is architected to be robust, and has proven to be so in countless deployments over tens of years, it can be very easy to take it for granted. A prime example is MIL-STD-1553B. It just works, right? Well: yes and no. In theory, you buy the right parts, drop them on to a PCB, write some software — and you’re good to go. After all: the 1553 standard is designed to deal with a host of signal integrity issues — so why would you need...


Vietnam Veteran Pin

AUSA Global Force Day 3: A Reminder

Well, it's all over. I just got the stand broken down and packed away. Our crew did a great job and it went quickly. Now, it's time to write up the notes from today. It was a short day (the show was open only four hours) but nearly every minute was taken up with meetings. Some of the folks that said they would come by waited until today, so we were busy. Anyway, it was great to see them. We have so many friends in the Army and the supporting...


AUSA Global Force

AUSA Global Force Day 2: Opening Doors

It’s been a long day. I’m just back now after a 14 hour shift, and boy, are my dogs barkin’. It was a great day: everybody showed up, and the meetings were terrific. Here we are, a “start-up”—and we (again) got the very highest quality meetings I can imagine. My thanks to the folks that gave us their time. I’m beginning to think they really get the enthusiasm we feel for the work we have taken on; serving the warfighter and (truly) trying to...


AUSA Global Force booth

AUSA Global Force Day 1: An All-Around Great Day

Day one of AUSA Global Force was a beautiful day in Huntsville. The rain had gone and the sun was shining: Daylight Savings Time at its best. I got to the stand early to set up and discovered that our neighbor had totally rearranged his space. I could have complained, but actually, it allowed me to move things around and get a much neater set-up. Hooray for small victories… Things got off to a rapid start with our good friends and partners on...


AUSA 2016

AUSA Global Force: See You There?

I rolled into the Von Braun Center—the Huntsville location for this year’s AUSA—this morning to set up our booth, just ahead of a torrential thunderstorm. Those of you who are regular readers of my reporting from our trade shows will understand the following. I was worried about two things; the rain in our booth (see here ) and those @#$%$ camels! (That was last year’s AUSA Global Force show: unfortunately, my blog post from that day of the show...