ASHBURN, Va., 8 Feb. 2016. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division is supporting the new VITA 48.8 Air Flow Through (AFT) cooling standard with a range of 3U and 6U modules designed to bring the advanced cooling technology to rugged deployed embedded systems, for applications such as helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Curtiss-Wright officials are calling it the first functioning AFT chassis based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) 3U VPX modules. They demonstrated the 3D-printed plastic chassis integrated with Curtiss-Wright’s VPX3-1258 single-board computer (SBC) and VPX3-716 graphics modules, each outfitted with AFT frames.
A functional 3U AFT chassis demonstrator, able to run applications while cooling two VPX modules, is scheduled for availability early in Q1 2016. Curtiss-Wright officials, having delivered the first COTS 3U AFT cards to the company’s lead customer, plans to develop a complete range of 3U and 6U AFT products.
The first modules slated for use in VITA 48.8 AFT systems are Curtiss-Wright’s VPX3-652, VPX3-1259, and VPX3-1258 SBCs and the VPX3-716 graphics module. The combination of advanced cooling, small-form-factor (SFF) AFT, and reduced weight delivered by VITA 48.8 benefit size, weight, power, and cost (SWAP-C)-constrained platforms, such as rotorcraft and unmanned vehicles, officials say.
“We are very excited about the advanced cooling that AFT will bring to SWAP-C constrained COTS systems such as 3U VPX solutions deployed on helicopters,” explains Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. “The aerospace and defense industry is beginning to see power densities as high as 200 watts (W) per square centimeter with the latest processors, and new technologies are needed to cool the latest generation of components. VITA 48.8 promises to deliver the needed cooling while delivering a great combination of weight and cost savings ideal for use in rotorcraft and UAV platforms.”
VITA 48.8 is the first open standard AFT technology to support small form 3U VPX COTS modules, which are preferred for use in SWAP-C sensitive rotorcraft and unmanned platforms. Based on technologies developed by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, New York, VITA 48.8 helps reduce weight and cost for high-density, high power dissipation 3U and 6U module based systems by eliminating the use of wedgelocks and ejector/injector handles VITA 48.8 also supports alternative air-flow arrangements, allowing air inlet at both card edges. Because VITA 48.8 does not use module-to-chassis conduction cooling, it also promises to help drive innovative use of new lightweight plastic or composite material based chassis.
Curtiss-Wright chairs the VITA 48.8 working group defining this new open standard.
Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright Corp. delivers highly engineered, critical function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense, and energy markets.
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