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Importance of SWaP-Optimized Networking

November 17, 2014 | BY: Mike Southworth

Rugged Networking System Solutions

Networking technology optimized for reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) can increase the performance and efficiency of aerospace and defense platforms, while lowering program costs. By packing more performance and functionality per port, watt, cubic inch and pound of SWaP-optimized networking systems, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions helps its customers increase the capabilities of each succeeding generation of technology.

SWaP optimization also plays a role in increasing the safety of soldiers. On Humvees, for instance, reduced weight of networking, computing, processing and other vehicle systems and materials compensates for extra armor to shield personnel from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Weight also is a critical factor for helicopters. Every pound subtracted from payload adds to the distance a rotary aircraft can fly on a tank of fuel.

SWaP-optimized networking technology is helping the U.S. Army meet the objectives of the Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (VICTORY) initiative. VICTORY aims to eliminate communication silos and redundant devices to increase ground vehicle efficiency.

Networking enables devices to share information, thus reducing the number and weight of devices onboard vehicles.

Today's Ethernet switches and routers decrease power use through such technology advances as automatic power shut-off that puts ports in sleep mode when they are not being used. Advanced switching and transceiver technologies cut power by half in mobile gigabit Ethernet switches.

Networking SWaP optimization also is being achieved through development of multifunctional devices that combine what may have been separate standalone functions historically, such as mission computers, routers and switches.

On the horizon, the latest Ethernet switch and mission computers developed by Curtiss-Wright will be a fraction of the size of the previously smallest gigabit Ethernet switch or processor box. These advances are in response to new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications and general demand for SWaP reduction.

In the continuing quest to optimize SWaP system performance, Curtiss-Wright takes the best of industrial commercial technologies to develop packaged solutions that provide as much functionality as possible per pound, cubic inch or square inch.

We tailor solutions to customers' applications in a wide range of form factors. Our UAV solutions range from small, 3U and PC104 form-factor networking systems for smaller UAVs launched from trailer-mounted pneumatic catapults, to scalable, high-performance 6U VPX systems for large, long-range UAVs such as the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. For SWaP-optimized solutions for your applications, contact Curtiss-Wright.

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Mike Southworth

Author’s Biography

Mike Southworth

Senior Product Manager

Mike Southworth serves as Senior Product Manager for Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions where he is responsible for the small form-factor rugged mission computers and Ethernet networking subsystem product line targeting Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP)-constrained military and aerospace applications. Southworth has more than 15 years of experience in technical product management and marketing communications leadership roles. Mike holds an MBA from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Brigham Young University.

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