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Achieving Performance Advantages in Unmanned Systems

  • Magazine Article
  • 16AERP10_01
Published October 01, 2016 by SAE International in United States
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Language:
  • English

Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) are reaching new levels of functionality and performance, and it's not just for air vehicles either.

Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) are reaching new levels of functionality and performance, and it's not just for air vehicles either. Ground and underwater UVS programs are all taking advantage of the higher-performance computing platforms that are using highly integrated, multicore processors; faster and larger DDR and flash memory; as well as integrated I/O. Additionally, remote I/O subsystems are being implemented to distribute the processing power closer to the sensors and use packetized message passing - with multiple levels of security (MLS) - back to a smaller central vehicle and mission management computer.

Traditional vehicle platforms had split the vehicle management computing functions (flight surfaces, engine and fuel controls, etc.) and mission management computers due to the overall expense of the computing hardware platforms and the costs to develop the software. Today, however, these hardware functions are being combined and then redistributed around the vehicle, significantly reducing size, weight, power, and cost (SWAPC), due to the density and performance improvements in the underlying processing technology (Figure 1).