Abaco Announces Obox Evaluation Platform to Minimize Time, Cost and Risk of Developing Autonomous Military Platforms
• Pre-integrates underlying data acquisition, processing and visualisation functionality • Leverages best-in-breed technologies from Intel, NVIDIA, Xilinx to deliver 14 TFLOPS • Supports AI, machine learning for leading edge applications
HUNTSVILLE, Ala.— March 26 2019 Today at AUSA Global Force (Booth 128: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala: March 26 – 28) Abaco announced the Obox, an R&D evaluation platform designed to reduce the time, expense and risk of developing autonomous platforms for military applications on land, in the air and on the ocean.
A fully rugged (-40°C to + 71°C) enclosure houses customer-specified combinations of Abaco’s latest 3U VPX single board computers, FPGA/DSP subsystems and AI/GPGPU-enabled platforms to deliver up to 14 TeraFLOPS of computing power, together with high speed network switches. Scalable and flexible, the Obox has been specifically designed to capture the input from sensors – including Lidar, radar and cameras, integrated over Ethernet – and to drive actuators controlling velocity, trajectory and more. It enables the full range of autonomous operations, including detection, recognition, tracking, fusion, perception, planning, decision and effecting.
“We created the Obox to give customers the optimum head-start in developing autonomous platforms by providing a turnkey solution - pre-integrating the hardware and software on which to build – enabling them to focus faster on the specifics of the planned application rather than on the low level platform,” said Peter Thompson, Vice President, Product Management at Abaco. “By leveraging our expertise in hardware/software integration, customers will save time and money, minimize program risk and enable faster time-to-market and deployment.”
The Obox leverages best-in-breed COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) technologies, including Xeon® processors from Intel®; CUDA™-enabled GPUs from NVIDIA®; and FPGA technology from Xilinx®.
Software integration at the ground- and node layers offers the customers the benefit of pre-consolidating the image processing and neural network algorithms widely used in machine learning for autonomous vehicle applications.
Two ‘accelerator’ processors support the ability to run high performance neural network-based inference engines to perform tasks such as object detection and image segmentation of multiple video image streams and Lidar point clouds. Developers can utilize GPUs via NVIDIA’s Deep Learning SDK, or FPGAs via Xilinx’s ML suite.
The Obox is fully supported by Abaco’s powerful, flexible, easy-to-use AXIS software development environment. Of note is AXIS ImageFlex, which provides optimized visualization capabilities to combine video, Lidar, radar and other sensor information into one unified viewer application. It provides high performance algorithms for image transformation to correct for optical distortions in real-time and also to project the image for different viewpoints.
The OBox can optionally be leased, ensuring that it is regularly updated by Abaco with the latest revisions of hardware and software – again, minimizing customer time and effort.
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About Abaco Systems
With more than 30 years’ experience, Abaco Systems is a global leader in open architecture computing and electronic systems for aerospace, defense and industrial applications. We create innovative, modular solutions based on open standards that are characterized by outstanding price/performance, ultimate rugged reliability and minimal SWaP. Our goal is to be a significant contributor to our customers’ success, partnering with them to reduce cost, time-to-deployment and risk and supporting them over the long term. With an active presence in hundreds of national asset platforms on land, sea and in the air, Abaco Systems is trusted where it matters most. www.abaco.com
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