Over the past decade, military platforms of all types and sizes have seen a dramatic increase in the use of sophisticated on-board electronic systems. This growing reliance on small embedded, rugged computers and complex high-speed I/O requirements for “mission computing” provides a wide range of real-time applications to support both reconnaissance and war-fighting activities on land, in the air and at sea. These high performance mobile systems offer significant advantages to protect troops on the battlefield and enhance their combat capabilities, as well as improving inter-unit communication and coordination at both tactical and strategic levels.
Part 1 of this Whitepaper series provides an overview of the factors that are driving unmanned vehicle applications and the key design requirements for successful deployments. While most of the discussion will focus on unmanned aerial platforms, many of the same concepts are being incorporated into advanced ground vehicles that support warfighting and defensive functions for all the armed services.
Part 2 in this series will provide a discussion of the specific issues that must be addressed to optimize ruggedized system platforms to handle these requirements.
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