Thinking Outside of the Box: Optimizing System Design with Embedded Expertise
May 12, 2014 | BY: Jacob SealanderDownload PDF
Today, defense and aerospace system integrators are under increasing schedule and budget pressure. While funding for new programs is harder to come by, the technical requirements for deployed systems continues to increase as platforms become more digitally connected and sensor rich. One frequently overlooked strategy that can significantly aid a system integrator's efforts to develop an optimal system solution, especially when confronted with space, weight and power (SWaP) constraints, is to engage COTS hardware vendors early in their design process. As experts in the myriad available options for processing performance, form factors, thermal management techniques and packaging, COTS vendors can share their broad knowledge and deep familiarity with alternative approaches that can transform an acceptable design approach into an optimal solution.
COTS hardware suppliers solve embedded integration problems every day. By tapping into that expertise, system integrators are freed to better focus on the application space, which is typically their domain of expertise. During the design process it's natural for system integrators to view their system development challenges at the Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) level, while COTS hardware suppliers can provide a potentially greater and beneficial understanding of the Line Replaceable Module (LRM), power supply, and cooling aspects of the components that will be used to comprise the LRU. Often, there is a perceived design constraint, such as form factor, weight or size, that will motivate the early direction of an LRU design. COTS vendors can bring a fresh set of eyes to the problem, applying their own systems engineering experience to address the prime constraints with an innovative alternative approach.
When a COTS hardware supplier is engaged in a dialogue with the customer and provided the opportunity to fully understand the platform and architecture requirements of a new subsystem design, they are able to apply their system engineering perspective and often help the customer identify a better solution than what was originally presented, enabling the solution to be re-architected while reducing cost and schedule time.
This white paper discusses three separate design challenges posed by customers in the embedded subsystem design process. Learn more how Curtiss-Wright helped resolved the challenges.