Media CoverageOctober 16, 2018

Systel Unveils Latest Ruggedized Computers for the Military Market

October 16, 2018

IHS Janes 360 Article

Systel has developed a fully rugged fully sealed high-performance embedded tactical computing system for combat vehicles.

Raven Strike is optimised for size, weight, and power (SWaP), providing the capability traditionally found in several rack servers, Aneesh Kothari, vice-president of marketing for Systel, told Jane’s .

Although Raven Strike is custom built to meet the needs of the military, Kothari noted the company designed the system with a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) mentality. “It is a bit of a custom COTS approach.”

The 15.88 kg system features an Intel Xeon processor CPU and NVIDIA General Purpose (GP) GPU for high-performance parallel processing, high-definition full motion video capture and encode, and complete sensor integration and data fusion.

Additionally, Systel’s advanced thermal management engineering ensures Raven Strike’s survival in extreme operating conditions, Kothari said.

“Thermal management is a big part of our engineering work,” he said.

Internally, Raven Strike is all conduction cooled. Systel has also incorporated a VPX-style cooling using exhaust fans. However, inside the box there is another layer, completely sealed, so it is not blowing air on any electronics, Kothari added. “It is just for the external part of the box.”

Raven Strike also features Dual 10Gb Ethernet Fiber High Bandwidth Networking, an M.2 High Speed SSD, Ultra-Dense I/O Capability, and meets military standards for shock and vibration (MIL-STD-810G), EMI (MIL-STD 461), and vehicle power (MIL-STD 1275).

Although testing of Raven Strike is forthcoming, Systel has already lined up one US customer, Kothari said.

And with no International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions, Raven Strike is available for export, he added.

Systel is also introducing HR 3000, a 3U mobile rack-mounted server, which is designed for expeditionary force. It is half the width of a common server and shorter in depth measuring 24.13 cm in width, 35.56 cm in depth, and 13.33 cm in height.

“We are taking high-performance capability and putting it into a small form factor rugged system,” Kothari said.

Although the HR 3000 has not yet been deployed Kothari noted Systel has sold it and those units are being tested and will hopefully be integrated into a mobile ground vehicles-type application; for example the US Marine Corps Polaris RZR.

The 3U rack-mounted server has the latest Intel Xeon scalable processor, the latest NVIDIA GPGPU, and three removable high-density SSDs.

Companies that build ruggedized servers and computers for the army are integrating more commercial components today to enable quicker upgrading, keep those upgrades affordable, and pace the sophisticated threats being developed by peer and near-peer adversaries. Additionally, taking commercial components and incorporating them into military systems makes sense because the US Department of Defense incorporates artificial intelligence, autonomy, and machine learning into weapon systems and platforms.