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.



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...


Pros and Cons

Closing Deals: Do the Old Ways Still Get the Yes?

In my first of these occasional posts , I talked about how we were taught sales "tricks" back when I trained as a computer salesman in the 1970s—tricks like "accidentally" leaving your hat behind in the prospect’s office, so you had a reason to return. That was far from the only one. Here are some others. Yes Get your prospect into thinking positively by asking him (or her) questions that he/she can only answer “yes” to. The thinking behind that...



Thinking in a Different Way: Computing as a Utility

Lately, we’ve been out promoting our embedded computing hardware to a wide audience of senior Army leadership, and I must say that the response has been great. But, as you probably know, these people are not the ones who actually buy stuff from us (those are primes and integrators). They are, however the folks that command those who most depend on how well our stuff performs—our soldiers. You can see why we want to know what they think and what...


Blue Angels Air Show

Supporting Our Veterans...and the Culture of Excellence

I wrote a post earlier this year about GE’s support for military veterans. We view the veteran population as a highly skilled and disciplined talent pool of natural leaders, and our GE Veterans network works with this community seeking to employ new business leaders for our company. In addition to recruitment, GE is a proud sponsor of various causes that support the men and women of our armed forces. For example, during the week of May 18—...


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...


Lunar Lander

GE Rugged and COTS: It's a Win-Win

I recently participated in an Open Systems Media e-cast entitled "Where is COTS technology today?" hosted by John McHale. If you missed it, you can check out the recording here . It touched on the questions we often hear from customers: Has COTS really delivered... Lower costs? Reduced deployment times? Simplified testing? Easier integration? Increases in innovation? Reliability and quality? And, perhaps most importantly: ...lower costs? There...



Of Screwdrivers and Lug Wrenches

Some of you will recall that I recently attended the AUSA Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. Having had a great many meetings with Army and defense industry folks of all stripes gave me some new insight into the Army’s goals and challenges—and what I came away with caused me to ponder how we define and develop products. It’s really interesting to me that we all, to some extent, race down our own rabbit holes of thought when...