SERVICES & SYSTEMS INTEGRATION

Man Portable Processing

Summary

Challenge: 

  • Ultra low-weight requirements
  • Balance compute and graphics requirements

Result: 

  • Worked together to meet customer expectations under tight budget and schedule constraints

What we did: 

  • Worked closely with our customer and the government to define a solution 
  • Complete market survey for best-in-class processing 
  • Selected off-the-shelf compute module 
  • Developed chassis and IO break out 
  • Completed limited environmental qual 

Full Story

Although a full-size laptop drawing 70 watts of power while operating in a rucksack packed with 40lbs of lithium batteries and running sophisticated algorithms may suffice for a rapid field trial – it’s not very easily deployed. To meet the final specification for deployment, the Mercury team had to design a solution with dramatically less weight and reduced power consumption. All the while, the Prime Contractor’s customer kept the challenges coming with a moving target for final requirements.

However, the Mercury team is very adept at managing the challenges of changing specifications, even in multiple dimensions. Because we understand that many programs we work on are still in development, our concurrent engineering model allows specification changes to be managed and often incorporated in the final requirements long after our work begins.

For this particular program, in order to address the ever-changing requirements and to allow for rapid technology refreshes as the program moves through the development process (from EDM to LRIP to production), Mercury utilized an open-standard, modular approach such that the processing elements can be sourced from multiple vendors and can be upgraded independently from the IO; thus allowing for not only capabilities upgrades, but also new or evolving missions.

In the end, the Mercury team delivered a TRL 6 solution with an amazing reduction in both size and power consumption. The final specs read 1” x 3” x 5” and only 1.25 pounds, at only <10 watts of power. The customer was thrilled with the performance, size reduction and deployability of the final product.

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