Posted by Charlotte Adams, Contributor

Signal Processing Applications

Article

To solve tough problems like synthetic aperture radar, sensor fusion, and target recognition processing, the military wants and needs performance. That requirement means getting the fastest throughput in the smallest package with the lowest power penalty. The hunger for performance is even more true for autonomous platforms - from aircraft to ground vehicles - that require high-bandwidth processing to "think" for themselves and act on their own, as well as to perform basic sensor and mission processing, self-protection, and communications and navigation functions.[Continue reading →]

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High-definition (HD) digital electro-optic and infrared sensors are shoveling evermore data into the battle space. How can soldiers get that information quickly enough to act on it in a timely manner?[Continue reading →]

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Designers of high performance embedded computing (HPEC) systems for the military and aerospace market have some options when choosing the primary processor for signal- and image-processing applications. Designers can cast field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) or graphics processing units (GPUs) in the starring role.

In the past the military was wedded to FPGAs mostly because there was no middle ground between FPGAs and cost-prohibitive application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Program managers thought nothing of building a complete electronic warfare (EW) system with FPGAs. [Continue reading →]

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GTC – the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Technology Conference – used to be the preserve of the video gaming mavens, but as General Purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing has taken off in the wider world, attendees now hail from a far wider background. Lately these non-gamer aficionados have become even more excited. What’s going on?

The answer is NVIDIA’s new Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC). This “superchip” combines a quad-core Central Processing Unit (CPU) with 192 parallel processing GPU cores. Intended for mobile devices such as gaming units, cell phones, and tablet computers, the Tegra scored an amazing 60 frames per second in the GFXBench at 1920x1080 resolution. But the new SoC’s most compelling feature is that it can achieve this performance while consuming less than 10 watts of power.[Continue reading →]

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Situational awareness often requires data center processing speeds in the smallest possible package. The sensors that feed signal and image processing systems siphon up masses of data, which processors must then reduce to useful information within tact...[Continue reading →]

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Situational awareness is essential for survival on the battlefield. But while satellites and large surveillance resources packed with sensors and signal processing hardware serve the needs of higher echelons, it has traditionally been difficult to get data to small detachments and individual soldiers within tactical timelines.[Continue reading →]

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Because of their data reduction capabilities, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are seeing playing time in sensor applications, and in some implementations have begun to outperform traditional CPUs.[Continue reading →]

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Military systems are noted for their high processing demands, a situation that is particularly true for graphics processing. Like their commercial counterparts, military displays are becoming faster, higher-resolution, and more complex. Both defense surveillance and commercial video-game applications, for example, share a need for the maximum possible raw graphics computational horsepower.[Continue reading →]

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Sensor platforms are proliferating around the edges of the network in both the civilian and the military spheres. For examples, think of the remote devices on buses, trucks, and oil rigs that are monitored via the Internet of Things (IoT) or the unmanned surveillance nodes in the network-centered warfare infrastructure. To be effective, these "edge" devices need to be as self-sufficient as possible, not just in processing capability but also in energy use.[Continue reading →]

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Sensor platforms are proliferating around the edges of the network in both the civilian and the military spheres. For examples, think of the remote devices on buses, trucks, and oil rigs that are monitored via the Internet of Things or the unmanned surveillance nodes in the network-centered warfare infrastructure. To be effective, these "edge" devices need to be as self-sufficient as possible, not just in processing capability but also in energy use.

Size, weight, and power (SWaP) has long been the mantra for embedded electronics. Every military platform, from the humblest handheld device or miniature unmanned vehicle to the largest weapon system must face these constraints at some level. For battery-dependent devices, energy efficiency is a more urgent concern. The smaller the platform, the bigger the bite from power-hungry computers.[Continue reading →]

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Like the rest of the world, the oceans and the vast spaces beneath them are growing more dangerous. International adversaries are projecting power more aggressively with fighting ships and submarines. Smaller, quieter vessels are being employed, and reverberation-rich littoral waters are now key to protecting shorelines. Sonars and sonar processing need to keep up with the threat.[Continue reading →]

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Article

High-definition (HD) digital electro-optic and infrared sensors are shoveling evermore data into the battle space. How can soldiers get that information quickly enough to act on it in a timely manner?[Continue reading →]

In a New Tab/Window

Article

Designers of high performance embedded computing (HPEC) systems for the military and aerospace market have some options when choosing the primary processor for signal- and image-processing applications. Designers can cast field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) or graphics processing units (GPUs) in the starring role.

In the past the military was wedded to FPGAs mostly because there was no middle ground between FPGAs and cost-prohibitive application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Program managers thought nothing of building a complete electronic warfare (EW) system with FPGAs. [Continue reading →]

In a New Tab/Window

Article

GTC – the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Technology Conference – used to be the preserve of the video gaming mavens, but as General Purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing has taken off in the wider world, attendees now hail from a far wider background. Lately these non-gamer aficionados have become even more excited. What’s going on?

The answer is NVIDIA’s new Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC). This “superchip” combines a quad-core Central Processing Unit (CPU) with 192 parallel processing GPU cores. Intended for mobile devices such as gaming units, cell phones, and tablet computers, the Tegra scored an amazing 60 frames per second in the GFXBench at 1920x1080 resolution. But the new SoC’s most compelling feature is that it can achieve this performance while consuming less than 10 watts of power.[Continue reading →]

In a New Tab/Window

Article

Situational awareness is essential for survival on the battlefield. But while satellites and large surveillance resources packed with sensors and signal processing hardware serve the needs of higher echelons, it has traditionally been difficult to get data to small detachments and individual soldiers within tactical timelines.[Continue reading →]

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Video – in common with other sensor-derived data – plays an increasing role in today’s military. Its proliferation at all levels of command reflects a deep hunger on the part of decision makers for remotely collected imagery that helps them see threats and, if necessary, deploy soldiers and weapons. This data is all the more important in maximizing the effectiveness and minimizing the vulnerability of forces as troop levels decrease in theaters of war and, in the future, as the overall footprint changes. As such, the demand for image processing solutions is widely expected to increase.

This market development is all the more likely as potential uses for video multiply in number and expand in scope. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for example, already uses captured video to monitor wildfires and hurricanes. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses it for border surveillance. And local jurisdictions want to use vehicle-captured video in law enforcement and public safety roles. [Continue reading →]

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Signal Processing Types

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How does a designer choose a processor for a single-board computer? The answer depends on many factors besides a chip’s number-crunching prowess, including “macro” issues that arise from the outside environment, “micro” issues that are created by the chip itself, and intermediate issues relating to the board, box, and subsystem in which the device will function. Designers have to balance these factors and the interplay between them to select the best fit.

At the highest level the designer considers the likely physical and security challenges to the circuit. For example, can the chip be soldered to the host board to resist vibration and acceleration forces? Can it reject tampering and malware attacks? At the next level the designer considers factors such as the host board’s function, power budget, and size constraints. Will the board require graphics capability and can that capability be integrated into the processing chip? In some cases a chip’s versatility may trump its raw throughput. At the micro level the designer will consider factors such as throughput, power consumption, heat dissipation, and size. [Continue reading →]

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High-definition (HD) digital electro-optic and infrared sensors are shoveling evermore data into the battle space. How can soldiers get that information quickly enough to act on it in a timely manner?[Continue reading →]

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Signal Processing Techniques

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With military budgets under fire and program schedules increasingly pinched, design managers are focusing more than ever on cost. Gone are the days of gold-plated programs entailing high risk of cost overruns and schedule breaches. Suppliers are on the hot seat to deliver systems within tight cost and time constraints.

The situation is particularly challenging on the hardware side: The commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) revolution that kicked off in 1994 has increased performance and reduced costs despite the need to mitigate the obsolescence risks associated with dependence on the consumer electronics market. Yet the cost of developing software continues to rise. This reality means that, in order for customers to focus resources on adding value to their applications, the highly commoditized hardware side must bear the brunt of a new wave of retrenchment.[Continue reading →]

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Article

Video – in common with other sensor-derived data – plays an increasing role in today’s military. Its proliferation at all levels of command reflects a deep hunger on the part of decision makers for remotely collected imagery that helps them see threats and, if necessary, deploy soldiers and weapons. This data is all the more important in maximizing the effectiveness and minimizing the vulnerability of forces as troop levels decrease in theaters of war and, in the future, as the overall footprint changes. As such, the demand for image processing solutions is widely expected to increase.

This market development is all the more likely as potential uses for video multiply in number and expand in scope. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for example, already uses captured video to monitor wildfires and hurricanes. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses it for border surveillance. And local jurisdictions want to use vehicle-captured video in law enforcement and public safety roles. [Continue reading →]

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Signal Processing COTS Standards

Article

GTC – the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Technology Conference – used to be the preserve of the video gaming mavens, but as General Purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing has taken off in the wider world, attendees now hail from a far wider background. Lately these non-gamer aficionados have become even more excited. What’s going on?

The answer is NVIDIA’s new Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC). This “superchip” combines a quad-core Central Processing Unit (CPU) with 192 parallel processing GPU cores. Intended for mobile devices such as gaming units, cell phones, and tablet computers, the Tegra scored an amazing 60 frames per second in the GFXBench at 1920x1080 resolution. But the new SoC’s most compelling feature is that it can achieve this performance while consuming less than 10 watts of power.[Continue reading →]

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