SERVICES & SYSTEMS INTEGRATION

Situational Awareness

S1

Summary

Challenge: 

  • Map algorithms to compute
  • Design for scalability and flexibility

Result: 

  • Customer met performance objectives
  • Successful flight demo to government
  • Shrank system by a factor of five, while maintaining or improving capabilities

What we did: 

  • Application Mapping 
  • Provide increasing fidelity of surrogate systems 
  • Develop chassis, backplane, AIM, Application example 
  • Worked with a partner to release to market 6U VITA 62 power supplies 
  • Create sensor interface IP 
  • Algorithm Optimization Assistance 
  • Full environmental qualification 
  • Provided extensive onsite and flight test support 

Full Story

Having successfully established the capabilities of their sensor, algorithms and application through a technology demonstration, our customer needed to dramatically reduce the processing system’s size and weight for deployment while improving its real-time characteristics.

In order to deploy, they needed to reduce the size of the system by a factor of five. Adding to the challenge, the solution had to be TRL 6 or greater to be able to handle the stresses of flight trials, as well as validate for deployability. 

The customer gave the Mercury team 12 months to complete and deliver a much smaller solution that utilized many new software and hardware elements so as to improve the overall real-time behavior of the system. In order for the customer to be able to reproduce the same application performance on the new hardware, a Mercury team of algorithm experts worked directly with the customer’s algorithm team to optimize their code for deployment. Additionally, Mercury created all of the IP to interface to the customer’s sensor, which also allowed for incoming image data to be transferred to GPGPU processing resources without a copy at the host. We created a framework on top of our middleware and supplied a complete demonstration application to make it much easier to map their algorithms onto the new target HW. The project also required Mercury to build all of the sensor interfaces needed to work with their Ethernet-based streaming sensors.

During the process, Mercury provided the customer with several different types of surrogate systems – including systems that were completely built upon commercial equipment such as laptops.  This allowed many developers to complete their efforts concurrently and at as low a cost as possible. Due to the success of the concurrent engineering methodologies applied by the Mercury team, the resulting solution was built, tested and validated before delivery. Mercury also took the unit through lab qualification and supported flight qualification. Furthermore, with the use of carefully selected Virtual Multicomputers and lab development systems, the customer was able to continue development in parallel.  Thus, when the final ruggedized unit was delivered, the application was able to simply be “dropped” onto the final system.

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