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.

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The Heat Is On

Some readers may remember my post from AUSA , where I reported that the biggest buzz on the GE stand was created by the thermal technology being showcased by our colleagues from the GE Research Center. As it turns out (not to make it sound like it just happened; it was planned this way), that was just one piece of a bigger puzzle that we have been addressing for some time and are now starting to roll out in real product innovation. Skipping over...

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Notes from MILCOM: Changing the Battlefield

This is the second post in a two-part series exploring the key trends and challenges highlighted at this year’s MILCOM Conference. If you missed the first post, catch up by reading How Disruption is Creating a New Warfighter. Things are getting foggy While everyone has heard about cloud computing, I often find myself trying to explain to military commanders exactly what "cloud computing" means—or perhaps more importantly, how it might benefit...

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Notes from MILCOM: How Disruption is Creating a New Warfighter

I recently attended this year's MILCOM Conference in San Diego. The theme, "Balancing Commercial and Defense Technologies," was timely—given today's fiscal and technological landscape. There were some excellent presentations from industry and military leaders, highlighting key trends and challenges. In the next two posts, I’ll share my own insights and observations. "Gentlemen, we have run out of money; now we have to think." — attributed to...

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The Business of FACE: Will the Future Resemble Apple or Android?

The FACE Consortium has been driving an avionics common operating environment standard for some three years now with steady progress. There are numerous industry participants from across the avionics industry committing their time to this endeavor, and they should be commended for their hard work and dedication to the new standard. It is interesting to observe, though, the various industry participants collectively working to essentially re-...

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To Tackle Tough Challenges, You Must Fully Understand Your Customer And Your Customers' Customer

In my opinion, too many manufacturers and resellers in our industry underestimate the importance of domain expertise and the value that exists in a deep understanding of customer applications, particularly when it comes to military networks. Those companies throw together catalogs full of routers and switches with off the shelf silicon and third-party software, with only a marginal understanding of how they might interoperate, what are the...

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5 Things to Consider When Deploying Linux in an HPEC System

1. What do you really need from your operating system? Specifically, what are your timing needs? Are you just interested in throughput, or do you need your system to take action based on events with a 100% guarantee of performance within a critical window? The need for real-time behavior is often characterized into two types: “hard” and “soft.” If we ever miss a deadline in hard real-time systems, the application is considered to have failed...

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The Future of Battlefield Communication

It seems that everyone I meet has some affinity to, or knows something about, GE. Some have GE appliances in their houses, while others use GE lightbulbs. Many tell me that their father or grandfather used to work for GE. And then, in a particular region of the world, there are those who always tell me we make great cars! Regardless of their connections to GE, I'm still able to surprise people with some little-known facts. For example, I bet you...

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Bringing Feng Shui to HPEC System Architecture

One school of thought in designing processing elements for HPEC systems is that bigger is always better—more cores, more memory, more bandwidth, etc. While this is broadly true, it is important to take a balanced view of things. This is especially true when some architectural elements are maximized at the expense of others. It is rare to be able to maximize all design parameters simultaneously, which can lead to imbalance and architectures that...

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Preferred Supplier Relationships: A Win-Win in Trying Times

The precarious state of the U.S. defense industrial base has gotten some more attention lately. What some observers once derided as the whining of defense contractors has now become a widely acknowledged crisis-in-the-making. As Barry Watts puts it in a recent report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments , “The possibility is growing that a day will come when the country’s industrial base will no longer possess all the critical...

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How Are Military Tactical Networks Getting More Complex?

I’ve spent most of my career working with customers tackling complex networking problems. From the start-up Internet service providers in the early days of the Internet, to the telecom service providers building today’s latest high-speed wireless LTE infrastructure, GE has been helping customers build some pretty advanced network architectures. The truth is, the most challenging networks I’ve encountered are in the military and aerospace...

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Keep Cool and Carry On

In our last post , we touted GE’s recent presence at AUVSI. It was a great event, but, if we’re being honest, GE Intelligent Platforms was not the star attraction at the GE booth. That distinction would go to our big-brained colleagues from the GE Global Research Center (GRC) in Schenectady, N.Y., who had visitors ooh-ing and aah-ing over their whiz-bang thermal management technology (more later on this one). Our customers rarely get to interact...

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Unmanned Vehicle Systems: Wild West or Law & Order?

Mid-August saw the unmanned vehicle systems community converge in Washington D.C. for the largest convention of its kind in the world. Around 9,000 attendees came to educate, listen, report and sell, and companies from a host of countries — including the U.K., Turkey and China — came to show their wares. Although the event was understandably dominated by military applications , many commercial devices and applications were also showcased...

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Extend the Lifetime of Your Military Electronics

U.S. military officials often express frustration that it takes too much time to select, purchase, test and deploy military electronics. They want the very latest in communications technology from the commercial sector, but the technology is often already out of date by the time it finds its way to the warfighter. Compounding the issue, most of the electronic systems are built using commercial silicon that follows a typical life cycle found in...

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InfiniBand: 10 Little-known Facts

InfiniBand is a scalable, switched, serial fabric used as a system interconnect in High Performance Computing (HPC) and in GE Intelligent Platforms’ case, High Performance Embedded Computing (HPEC) . It can be carried over copper cables, fiber optics or, as is most prevalent in mil/aero systems, copper backplanes. 1. InfiniBand is not Ethernet , although the two have many things in common. Both can be used to carry TCP/IP, the lingua franca of...

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Cloud Computing in a Denied Environment

I've been spending a lot of time with the Navy down in Washington, D.C., lately, discussing their information dominance strategy. You know, with all the cool and exciting technology those guys get to play with (they have Star Wars-like lasers on ships now, and I saw a robotic lobster in the Office of Naval Research), I am always surprised that most of the discussion trends towards cloud computing, networking and the processing of big data...

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