White Papers

Modular Approach to Rugged COTS Data Storage Selection

August 19, 2014 | BY: Matt Young, Paul Davis

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Data storage plays a key role in Defense and Aerospace deployed data gathering system applications. Data gathering and storage device components must frequently be deployed in harsh military environments onboard platforms such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and armored vehicles, all of which require a high level of system ruggedness. Data storage devices on these platforms are used to store critical and valuable data captured from sensors or subsystems during a mission or operational exercises. The valuable data captured in the field is often sensitive and must be protected from unauthorized access both during and after the mission. Once the mission is completed, the captured data typically needs to be transported from the platform to a different location, such as a ground station, for analysis or safekeeping. Transporting the data usually involves removable, rugged storage units. When the transported data requires some level of security, data encryption may also be required.

This white paper will provide guidelines for selecting the appropriate rugged Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) data storage solution for use in various types of data gathering applications. These solutions typically require the use of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, the choice of which is influenced by current and anticipated future needs of the particular application. This paper also provides guidance on utilizing a modular approach for building a data storage system that, while acknowledging possible tradeoffs, ensures the solution's scalability and provides flexibility for expansion.

Key Data Storage Parameters

The data storage component of a military system, whether for a new system design or one being upgraded, is usually a part of a larger system and is thus dependent on the functionality requirements of the overall system in which it resides. The following section provides an overview of the key parameters that form the basis of data storage solution selection.

A typical rugged data storage system consists of a data storage chassis, one or more data storage units, a set of I/O modules, and optional encryption modules for those cases where the data needs to be secured or classified. Defining the right mix of parameters can become a complex problem. This paper discusses some of the high-level factors that must be considered during selection of a data storage solution and reviews the inter-dependencies between these factors.

Author’s Biography

Matt Young

Product Manager, Data Recorders and Physical Layer Switches

Matt Young began his career for Curtiss-Wright in Dayton as an Account Manager in 2000. During his time at Curtiss-Wright, Matt has had a variety of roles within the Sales & Marketing group and currently holds the position of Product Manager. Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Nyack College.

Author’s Biography

Paul Davis

Director, Product Management - Data Solutions

Paul Davis began his career for Curtiss-Wright as a Research Manager for the Dayton, OH facility in 1997. Paul has held positions including: Director of Engineering managing a staff of 40+ engineers, managers, technicians, and co-op students; Product Manager for the switches, recorders, and various board level products; and now Director of Product Management. Prior to joining Curtiss-Wright, Paul worked in engineering and engineering management positions for 19 years.

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