Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a leading developer and supplier of advanced Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) communications solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), has debuted an innovative MIL-rugged 3U OpenVPX™ 5-slot chassis enclosure that shares a common mounting solution with its popular PacStar 400-Series 4-Slot Smart Chassis for PacStar 400-Series Modules, widely used today in numerous U.S. Army deployments.
With ~50,000 PacStar 400-Series Modules and Chassis currently fielded by the DoD, the new PacStar VPX Smart Chassis enables system designers to rapidly and cost-effectively integrate CMOSS/SOSA-aligned OpenVPX plug-in-cards via the same transportation and mounting solutions used by PacStar 400-Series tactical battlefield communications products. The PacStar VPX Smart Chassis is designed to fit into half the space claim of a Standard A-Kit Vehicle Envelope (SAVE) enclosure, the Army’s standard approach for fielding communications systems at the tactical edge. This innovative “glide path” solution for easing the deployment of SOSA-aligned and CMOSS-based solutions provides the system designer with the flexibility to transition to CMOSS/SOSA hardware as needed. For example, a SAVE enclosure can today be populated with two individual 4-slot PacStar 400-Series Smart Chassis hosting 400-Series network and communications modules, or the enclosure can be populated with a combination of one 4-slot PacStar 400-Series Smart Chassis and one 5-slot PacStar VPX Smart Chassis. Later, as CMOSS/SOSA VPX equivalents become more readily available, both halves of the SAVE enclosure can be populated with PacStar VPX Smart Chassis. Whether on current ground vehicles, airframes, or platforms of the future, this approach also enables each chassis in the SAVE enclosure to support separate networked security enclaves.
What’s more, Curtiss-Wright MOSA solutions, including CMOSS/SOSA aligned OpenVPX hardware, can be supported with PacStar IQ-Core Software, a comprehensive management software application designed for secure, tactical, and distributed network management. This single-pane-of-glass software is ideal for managing wide area networks (WAN), edge devices, and CMOSS systems, especially in disconnected, intermittent, and limited (DIL) environments – providing a comprehensive tactical infrastructure view that enables the U.S. Army’s Data-Centric vision.
“U.S. Army leadership is seeking a physical architecture for rapidly and cost-effectively deploying MOSA solutions and is increasingly turning to rugged MOSA-based hardware standards, such as CMOSS and SOSA, to speed communications and processing capabilities at the tactical edge while meeting performance and environmental requirements,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President, and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division. “Our new PacStar VPX Smart Chassis represents a breakthrough solution that complements tactical communications and CMFF missions. It enables our customers to leverage the advanced CMOSS/SOSA aligned technologies – for which Curtiss-Wright is a recognized industry-leading supplier – and deploy them alongside our latest PacStar tactical communications technologies at the tactical edge. This approach delivers significant cost savings to the system integrator as they migrate to CMOSS, while also reducing program risk for the DoD.”