Bridging the SWaP-constrained Gap Between Old and New - An Aircraft Pods Case Study

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    Pods-Bridging-the-SWaP-contrained-Gap.gifA customer approached Curtiss-Wright with a requirement to upgrade their legacy pods modules. Located on the wing, side, or underbelly of a military aircraft, pods serve several purposes. For example, targeting pods contain infrared sensors used to project target images to the pilot in the cockpit, while navigation pods allow the pilot to see ‘through’ objects and targets in a variety of visibility and weather conditions. Because pods are entirely self-contained, they have strict legacy power and cooling specifications that cannot be modified, as well as legacy temperature, vibration, and shock requirements that are difficult to meet with modern COTS hardware.

     

    The pods’ location in very small, uniquely-shaped spaces on the outside of the aircraft necessitate not only a highly ruggedized solution that can withstand harsh environmental conditions, but also a size, weight and power (SWaP)-optimized footprint. In addition, pods must be constructed of lead solder materials, and are historically made with proprietary form factors, which makes the switch to newer COTS modules difficult. This customer needed an upgrade in processing power, without any modification to the interconnect of their current system. All these requirements made a pods upgrade – especially to flexible, modern COTS hardware - a significant challenge.

     

    Download the case study to learn about Curtiss-Wright's rugged Intel-based processor modules (XMC-120 Intel Atom-based XMC Processor and XMC-121 Intel Xeon XMC Processor) selected to upgrade the processing capabilities of the pods.