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.


GE Rugged

AUSA 2015 Day 3: Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

So: what have we learned over the past couple of days (other than that the rainfall in our conference room wasn’t actually from the air conditioning, but from melting ice left over from a party in the room above us)? SWaP It’s always good to get confirmation that we’re on the right track with our product development, and AUSA has unquestionably done that for us when it comes to size, weight and power. Everybody—but everybody—we’ve spoken to has...


AUSA Day 2

AUSA 2015 Day 2: Don't Rain on Our Parade

You know, you can plan for months and months for a show—and that's exactly what we did for our participation at AUSA—but there are things you just can't plan for. Like the weather, for example. Don't get me wrong: outside, it's beautiful. It's inside where we have a problem. Yep: it rained in our conference room. You heard me right. I have no idea how big the exhibition space here is—it may run to hundreds of thousands of square feet—but the air...


AUSA Day 1

AUSA 2015 Day 1: A Warm Welcome

Well, I finally get to catch my breath and a chance to update you on how it’s going here at AUSA. Set-up yesterday went really well: it’s always a sign of success when you only need to make one trip to Radio Shack. Today, the GE team never got a moment’s rest from the moment the doors opened. The show may have officially closed an hour ago—but that doesn’t mean everyone leaves the booth. It was Columbus Day, of course, and you might have thought...


AUSA Annual Meeting

AUSA 2015: Ready, Steady, Go

Here we are again. Less than a week to go before our biggest event of the year: the Association of the U.S. Army Annual meeting and symposium . It’s a really big deal. Those of you who are regular readers may recall from last year’s posts on the AUSA show that it attracts thousands of attendees, from military personnel of all stripes (from 4-stars to “slicks” ). Military contractors abound and show off their latest technologies and products. The...


Going Forward

Going Forward

You’ve almost certainly heard by now that Veritas Capital is to acquire GE’s embedded computing business—and you’ve almost certainly wondered why we haven’t addressed that particular elephant in the room on the Connected Battlefield. There are two reasons for that. First: the fat lady hasn’t yet sung. While we have every expectation that the acquisition will complete, until such time as it does, we are still part of GE. And the second? The...



MIL-STD-1553: Don't Take It for Granted

MIL-STD-1553 is a very tried and true, well known, serial interface for the space and aviation industry that was originally developed for critical avionics interfaces that were required to solve the problem of connecting the many sensors and controls around an aircraft and relaying information between them and the crew. Key requirements are that information is transmitted reliably and in a timely manner. Specifically, the protocol needs to be...



Don't Reinvent the GUI Wheel

When I first saw a demo of our new Data Visualization & Control (DVC) Toolkit I thought: “Boy, do I wish I had this back when I was a coding hack.” More years ago than I care to think about, and certainly more than I’m willing to admit, I frequently came across the problem of validating my latest algorithm on real data. Like many others, my usual answer was to add software test harnesses to read in data from a disk file to simulate the input...


PV panels

The Art of the Possible

GE works with the US Army in the area of embedded computing. Now, you might think that this is pretty high-tech—but in many ways, the computers in our front-line fighting vehicles are not as powerful as the computer you are reading this article on right now. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? There are lots of reasons for this. First, there is the very long time it takes to get any device that goes on an Army vehicle qualified for use. (After all,...


Military Blueprint

TRL: Putting It in Perspective

In the DoD’s quest to further leverage commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and the maturity it offers toward faster and more affordable deployment, they often demand high TRL (technology readiness level) early in the program stage of development. TRL defines technology readiness levels from 1 to 9—1 being basic technology research, and 9 being defined as application of the technology in a deployed operational environment. New program...


Army Vehicles

Convergence and the Internet of Things

In my role as the business development guy for our Ground Systems activities, I work a lot with embedded computing architectures on military vehicles. Convergence is an initiative that dominates the U.S. Army’s current thinking. It was mandated sometime in the last couple years as a way to eliminate the plethora of individual (and often incompatible) sub-systems in vehicles for communication, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance),...



Hot from GVSETS

Those of you who saw my post from this symposium last year will recognize the acronym; GVSETS is the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium run by the NDIA (National Defense Industrial Association) in Michigan. Wow: what an event! This year blew last year’s attendance away; over 900 folks attended on the first day to listen to the most eminent leaders in the Army ground systems industry. The keynote was delivered by Dr. Paul...


HPEC Applications

What's Changed in HPEC? Part Two

In my previous post about what’s happened in the three years since we opened our HPEC Center of Excellence in Billerica, MA, I looked at where we are in terms of applications and architectures. This time, I’ll be looking briefly at the implications of Intel’s Broadwell announcement (“briefly," because I discussed it in more detail in a previous post ) and at what’s going on in the world of keeping all this stuff cool. So: Intel’s new Broadwell...


HPEC Center of Excellence

What's Changed in HPEC? Part One

Sometimes, it seems like our HPEC Center of Excellence opened yesterday—when in fact it opened its doors in May 2012. That’s over three years that we’ve been helping customers solve some of the toughest problems they face in developing sophisticated applications. Needless to say, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the HPEC landscape during that time. Of course we have many more cores to play with than we did back then. We’re seeing clusters of...


Information Age

The Future of Knowledge: Part One

When I was a young person (when my personal computer was a slide rule, and bikinis were obscene) I thought that data and information were basically the same thing, and that knowledge was simply information stored in a person’s head. Through the passing of time, I have learned this is not true. I also learned that PCs and bikinis are really awesome, but that’s not what this blog is about. It's about how data, information and knowledge are related...


Intel Broadwell

Broadwell: Clarity from Confusion

The other day a colleague said to me, “I’m confused by all these Intel Broadwell devices—can you explain?” I did…but, on reflection, I did a poor job. That’s perhaps not surprising when you look at the sheer number of SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) Intel has announced, and you can be sure there are more to come. To date, they have officially announced no fewer than 48 parts, all with different characteristics. Broadwell was the codename for the...