Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2019

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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52  June/July 2019 unmanned systems inside Photos courtesy of CP Technologies. that can take dust, dirt, moisture, whatever you throw at it. But on top of that you have direct-sunlight-readable screens as well. So if you're out there using it as the ground control station it's going to provide very good visibil- ity and also a lot of processing power and a lot of human interface to be able to see the information that's coming off the aircraft." It is the toughness and the processing power that led Dow Chemical operators to choose Ruggedized Portables, McCormack said. They were doing aerial surveying of their equipment and their infrastructure— controlling the UAS using a laptop, he said. The environment was hard on equipment and they had to take the data back to the office to process it. With the Ruggedized Portable they're able to do all that work on site instead. The Portable's internal components are modified off-the-shelf systems that are chosen based on the customer's needs, and the operating system is completely user-definable. It comes loaded on the sys- tem, ready for the users to add their own software. "So the fi rst thing we need to understand from the customer, that we always talk to them about, is 'Hey, how long do you need this program to be fi xed for?' " Michael McCormack, president and CEO, CP Technologies "What we're not doing is redesign- ing all the technology in the world," said McCormack. "We're taking existing tech- nology and packaging it in a survivable platform." FUTURE-PROOFING What the company does add to the hard- ware is the ability to dramatically limit the number of times it has to be updated. By plugging into the plans of the component manufacturers, CP Technologies is able provide "revision control"—that is, an- ticipate and address the revisions planned for certain components and work around those changes. "The end user's the one who's defining the software. They don't want that software to have to be updated all the time because your memory changes or your processor changes—and that's what people typically have to do when they're using commercial- grade systems," McCormack said. "We're an Intel platinum partner so we can see the road maps that Intel is going to have out there for the next five to eight ABOVE: CP Technologies' Ruggedized Portable. RIGHT: Mission Computer. years," said McCormack. "So we know if a processor that they're going to be building, it's going to be available in eight years." For parts that aren't designed to last that long, CP Technologies will find an exact re- placement when the part fails, make sure that the customer signs off on it and then revision the part number up to the next revision. "So we can give you a processor that'll be good for 8 to 10 years," said McCormack. "We can give you a motherboard—you know we do Navy programs—we're provid- ing motherboards out there that are good for 15 years. So the first thing we need to un- derstand from the customer, that we always talk to them about, is, 'Hey, how long do you need this program to be fixed for?'" Ground Systems DEFENSE COMMERCIAL NEXUS

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