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  • Wednesday, March 13, 2019 3:35 PM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)

    How VITA Standards Are Making Avionics COTS Adoption Speedier

    By John Koon, February 2019, Avionics International

    Avionics design engineers no longer have to rely on proprietary specifications, which typically lag behind commercial market technology development at both the system and component level. New developments under creation by the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) are accelerating the use of open embedded architectures for avionics systems.

    In recent years, VSO engineers have developed many computing board and system standards including VMEbus, PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC), VXS, VPX and FMC. With many working groups to continually develop and refine specifications and standards, the avionics community is starting to see the practicality and benefits of adopting the commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) approach.

    More . . .

  • Friday, March 08, 2019 7:52 PM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)

    Something exciting is happening in the service representative community. Representatives from three different programs, one from each of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) services, have come together with a common objective to solve their respective acquisition problems with an agreed-upon, open architecture standard. Here is Part 1 of a 3-part article covering the SOSA [Sensor Open System Architecture] Consortium’s efforts.

    More . . .


    • Mike Hackert, NAVAIR
    • Ben Peddicord, CERDEC
    • Dr. Ilya Lipkin, AFLCMC
  • Thursday, February 14, 2019 7:13 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)

    The DoD’s Hardware/Software Convergence Initiative, an effort to develop a common modular hardware architecture across defense systems using OpenVPX as its basis, is now under the aegis of the Sensor Open Systems Architecture. However, myths persist about OpenVPX.

    Read More . . . 

    Michael Munroe | Jan 29, 2019

    Published in Electronic Design

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019 2:26 PM | VITA Marketing (Administrator)

    Inspired by enormous commercial market potential for practical digital solutions for radio signals, innovative vendors of data converter and DSP technology began rolling out successive generations of faster, smaller and less expensive devices. Software radio technology now dominates commercial, government and military systems worldwide, growing at almost 10% annually and is expected to reach $30 billion by 2022 according to the 2018 MarketsandMarkets, Inc. report titled: “Software Defined Radio Market – Global Forecast to 2022.  

    The start of a standard
    ack in 2006, the VITA 49 working group recognized these emerging needs and began developing the VITA Radio Transport (VRT) protocol to define a standardized format for delivering digitized intermediate frequency (IF) radio signals. An initial goal was to define packet structures for received signals that contained not only the digitized signal samples, but also metadata information that describes the signal. The first release of the standard was VITA 49.0, which defined IF Data Packets and Context Packets. This insightful forecasting has proven invaluable to today’s software defined radio market. 

    Resonating well with the needs of vendors and customers, VITA 49 served as a proven springboard for extending its reach to standardize additional requirements of software radios. The latest version of the standard was ratified by ANSI and VITA in August 2017 as VITA 49.2.  The original VITA 49.0 IF Data Packets were renamed as Signal Data Packets for added versatility (Figure 1). And, they were enlisted in the new role of delivering outgoing signals into radio transmitter equipment. Here, the time stamp can specify precisely when trigger transmit signals are generated, which is ideal for radar pulses. 

    Figure 1: VITA 49.2 supports transmitter Signal Data Packets, plus command and control functions. 

    Updates incorporate industry changes
    VITA 49.2 greatly expands the scope of Context Packets to add many more standardized conventions for new receiver metadata parameters as well as to report operational status and parameter values for transmitters.
      Perhaps the most significant new aspect of VITA 49.2 is the ability to control and monitor the status of software radio equipment. Previously, this was done using highly proprietary reads and writes to dedicated hardware registers unique to each product.

    Command Control Packets standardize parameter formats for tuning, bandwidth, sampling rates, antenna angle, transmit power, receiver gain and numerous other useful functions. Command Acknowledge packets sent back to the VITA 49.2 Processing and Control System confirm successful execution of the Command Control Packets to help ensure system integrity. 

    Growing mandates for standardized products
    Because of customer flow-down requirements for VITA 49, defense and government embedded systems integrators are increasingly seeking products that support the standard. Following these market incentives, the open architecture COTS vendor community now offers a range of software radio products with factory
    -installed VITA 49 engines. 

    Below, two 3U OpenVPX software radio modules based on the Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA are shown, both of which include factory-installed IP modules for generating VITA 49.2 Signal Data Packets containing A/D or digital downconverter (DDC) output samples with precision time stamping. (Figure 2)  

    Figure 2: 3U VPX software radio modules include FPGA-based VITA 49 protocol engines. 

    The Model 52851 provides two 500 MHz 12-bitA/D converters with DDCs and two 800 MHz 16-bitD/A converters. The Model 52141 features a 6.4 GHz 12-bit A/D or two 3.2 GHz 12-bit A/Ds, both with DDCs, and two 6.4 GHz 16-bit D/As with digital upconverters. An API library in Pentek’s Navigator Board Support Package supports all features.  

    Continued industry development
    Like any successful standard, VITA 49 continues to evolve as new technology emerges and as the many active standards consortiums identify new requirements for deployed systems. Evidence of continued progress is ensured by the heightened participation in these efforts by three important groups: 

    • Government and military organizations, which use and specify software radio systems for defense sectors and intelligence agencies.

    • Universities and research laboratoriesoften funded through government grantsthat push the technology envelope of software radio by developing new waveforms, detection algorithms, signal exploitation techniques, spectral management strategies, electronic countermeasures, and new methods of encryption and security. 

    • Equipment vendors and system integrators, who bring to the table engineering skills, packaging experience, project management and familiarity with open architecture standards for embedded software radio systems.  

    Together, this vital community of contributors represents a diverse powerhouse for sustained innovation and collaboration to meet future challenges.

  • Saturday, September 01, 2018 9:00 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)

    Michael Harris, Military & Aerospace Electronics      

    An ever-increasing demand for intelligent, actionable data, combined with a boom in connected devices, is shaping how developers design the next generation of embedded computing systems.

    Read more . . . 

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018 9:00 AM | Jerry Gipper (Administrator)

    By John Koon, contributing editor

    Today’s military and other users of embedded systems have an endless appetite for greater integration, more autonomous operation, faster connectivity, and increased computing muscle. Especially on the military side, we are seeing new money and new technologies driving new strategies, platforms, and capabilities. That bodes well for our industry, because the electronic content in military platforms is rising dramatically.

    Read more . . .

  • Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:00 AM | VITA MarCom (Administrator)

    David Pursley, Kontron

    There are many COTS technologies available for implementing radar and sonar applications, including CompactPCI and VME, and newer switched-serial standards such as VPX and MicroTCA. By using real radar and sonar examples, the author illustrates how the communications topology can point designers toward choosing an optimal COTS architecture, in this case VPX (VITA 46) and CompactPCI

    Read more . . . 

  • Wednesday, October 12, 2011 9:00 AM | VITA MarCom (Administrator)

    Bob Sullivan, Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems
    Ivan Straznicky, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded

    VPX and OpenVPX structures have the ability to add new protocols if need be, which is great news for investors approaching the fabrics of the future.

    Read more . . .

  • Wednesday, October 12, 2011 9:00 AM | VITA MarCom (Administrator)

    Gregory Powers, TE Connectivity

    A trio of VITA standards has emerged to leverage the range of COTS technologies previously hindered by deficiencies in VPX interconnects. Introducing VITA 62, 66, and 67.

    Read more . . . 

  • Tuesday, April 26, 2011 9:00 AM | VITA MarCom (Administrator)

    Patrick Shaw, General Dynamics

    Though VITA 46 (VPX) and VITA 65 (OpenVPX) systems are rapidly becoming a defense industry mainstay, a system-level interoperability standard for these systems’ power requirements has been a missing ingredient. However, the VITA 62 (Power Supply Modules) working group now aims to fill the void.

    Read more . . . 

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