GE ADEPT3100 Brochure

Intelligent Platforms
Aerial Systems
Leadership in UAV technologies
since the very beginning
The concept of the unmanned aerial system (UAS), which consists
of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as well as the ground control
ecosystem that supports it, is revolutionizing the way military
information is gathered and even how adversaries are engaged.
GE Intelligent Platforms has been there
every step of the way, with a wide range of
embedded computing products specifically
tailored to meet the size, weight, and power
(SWaP) constraints of UAV designs.
The use of UASs is expected to grow
dramatically as unmanned platforms weigh
heavily into the announced plans of the
U.S. Department of Defense and defense
departments in other nations as well as non-
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military entities such as police and border
patrol agencies. Military, security agency
and emergency response leaders recognize
that UASs provide a means of reducing risk
to personnel, conducting missions under
conditions that would preclude the use of
manned flight platforms. UASs also lower
capital and operating expenditures for
battlefield deployments as well as security,
emergency and police patrols.
response must be rapid, and not only with
the correct solution for today but also with
a clear technology roadmap for phased
platform upgrades and modernization. Of
course, all of this must be accomplished
at a winning cost level, with open systems
architecture and within the guidelines of the
acquisition reform directives.
GE products helped to launch early UAV
platforms, and we continue to develop
products that will help advance UAS
future operations. Our video capture and
image processing technologies and single
board computers (SBCs) are used on UAS
programs such as the U.S. Navy Fire Scout.
Subsequent deployments have included
our PPCM2 6U VME Dual PowerPC SBC in
the Watchkeeper ground station, PPC4A
6U VME SBC in the Predator ground station,
IMP2A 3U CompactPCI and SBC340 3U VPX
Intel® Core™ Duo SBCs in the Herti vehicle,
and SBC310 3U VPX SBC on the South
Korean MUAV vehicle and PPC9A 6U VME
SBC in its ground station. Most recently,
our target tracking technology was used
in a successful DARPA-funded project to
demonstrate the feasibility of autonomous
UAV-to-UAV in-flight refueling.
The avionics bus structure is a key element
in every UAV design. MIL-STD-1553 is a
proven technology that has now come
full-circle to include its use on the newest
commercial aircraft development at Airbus.
The 1553 standard provides EMI performance, determinism, distributed control
and a 40-year history as the standard
in military and aerospace flight controls,
weapons and communications systems.
UAS developers face unique challenges.
Due to their high capability and solid
economic benefit, UAVs are needed
urgently in the field, thus accelerating
their acquisition timeline. The developer’s
Of major importance are the video capture
and data streaming capabilities needed
both to control the UAV and obtain meaningful data about potential objects of
interest on the ground. Enormous volumes
of data must be captured, processed and
transmitted seamlessly and in real time
using SWaP-optimized components. In
addition, the operation of a battlefield
asset from potentially halfway around the
globe poses unique flight management,
control systems and perhaps even weapons
management systems challenges. For
these critical requirements, GE offers application-ready solutions able to accept the
developer’s unique software (or software
solutions developed by GE) that can meet
accelerated timelines and environmental
requirements. In addition, we provide
a clear, understandable upgrade path
throughout the lifecycle of the platform, all
at a winning price level.
With intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) a major mission of the UAS
paradigm, state-of-the-art, real-time video
tracking capability is certainly at the top
of any platform developer’s list of critical
mission requirements. GE’s advanced image
processing products such as the ADEPT5000
have been designed to achieve robust
multiple target tracking despite the presence of background clutter and obscuration.
The seamless integration of these various
technologies is essential. Our rigorous
subsystem integration and testing
programs are designed to free contractors and system integrators from the
time-consuming and capital-intensive
certification of subsystems, thus helping to
speed the time from design to deployment.
GE specializes in the design of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)
rugged components and custom subsystems. The use of
ruggedized commercial components and subsystems affords
state-of-the-art technologies at the lowest cost and fastest timeto-market. In addition, such products greatly mitigate program
risks for the prime contractor.
Our leadership in ruggedization techniques
ensures that our products will withstand the
harsh environments encountered by a UAV
throughout the full lifecycle of the platform.
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Autonomous Video Tracking
for Geo-Location and Refueling
Video tracking capability is imperative on
UAVs, which may find utility both for ISR
and weapons deployment. GE is at the
forefront of rugged video tracking systems
designs that minimize SWaP parameters.
Our ADEPT5000 Multi-Target Video Tracker
incorporates advanced pre-processors that
separate targets from background clutter,
while multiple-target tracking software
provides concurrent detection, cueing and
tracking for up to five targets.
As high-definition sensors become
commonplace on UAVs, their increased
bandwidth demands places significant
processing overhead on traditional video
tracking systems. The dedicated video
architecture of the ADEPT5000 ensures
that it can process the higher pixel densities, frame rates, and multiple targets with
minimal latency. This makes the ADEPT5000
especially suited for closed-loop control
applications. A wide range of high-bandwidth digital video interfaces are available,
including high-definition video.
The ADEPT5000 has a simplified structured
approach which significantly reduces
configuration time and complexity with
a consequential cost saving. A comprehensive range of physical form factors
are available with a common functional
core, allowing a single integration process
to be used for multiple-system designs.
Careful consideration has been given to
automating operation. The enhanced
user interface, automated functions
and advanced high-resolution, full-color
symbology combine to significantly reduce
operator workload.
In keeping with GE’s leadership in the
development of COTS-based technologies to reduce SWaP, our new ADEPT3000
Video Tracker and MIP3ES Electronic Video
Stabilizer are SWaP-optimized image
processing modules designed to be placed
on small platforms such as hand-launched
UAVs or small unmanned ground vehicles.
The ADEPT3000 affords most of the functionality of larger video tracker, yet is only
slightly larger than a microprocessor chip.
The MIP3ES eliminates unwanted visible
platform motion and vibration from sensor
images using low-latency post-processing.
GE has designed both solutions to be fully
ruggedized to survive harsh military environments such as extreme temperatures,
shock, vibration, and dust.
Automatic tracking was an important development benchmark for the ADEPT3000,
because many of the platforms in which
this device will be deployed are unmanned
and potentially only minimally controlled
by human operators. These smaller platforms will also have extremely tight power
restraints, so the ADEPT3000 was held to
very low power consumption specifications.
ADEPT3000 (actual size)
With a footprint of just 24mm by 34 mm,
the ADEPT3000 is slightly smaller than a
single frame of 35mm photographic film.
Despite the SWaP-defined architecture of the
ADEPT3000, GE engineers were able to retain
a strong set of functionalities. The single
target tracker allows targets to be tracked
automatically or under operator control. The
ADEPT3000 also affords composite video
input and output, and an onboard RS232
TTL serial port. With full knowledge that the
ADEPT3000 will be deployed on platforms
that may be likely to be operated and maintained under field conditions, the tracker was
designed for ease of set-up and use with PC
control software.
Improved Ground Station Operation
through Compression and Visualization
Signals from video sources may be seamlessly merged into a real-time, interactive
360-degree panoramic image on a single
monitor or multiple monitors with our
IPS5000 Image Processing System. The
UAV operator is able to interact with the
collected imagery through a range of interface options including touch screen, joystick
and game-style controller.
The ICS-8580 Video Compression Engine
was designed with SWaP-constrained UAVs
in mind. As part of a system with a single
board computer and PCI switch, this rugged,
standalone video capture, compression,
streaming and archiving module is capable
of delivering high-quality video from a
small XMC form factor. Requiring minimal
integration and software development, the
lightweight ICS-8580 consumes low levels
of power despite its ability to support
a variety of video formats with
either two channels of highdefinition video or four channels
of standard-definition video.
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The ICS-8580 uses the industry-standard
H.264 video compression codec, but can be
reconfigured to support alternatives such
as JPEG2000. Supported inputs include
(NTSC PAL), HDTV and CxBS/Y-C/YPrPb. The
ICS-8580 affords four channels of mono or
two channels of stereo input, along with
two channels of audio. Support is provided
for Microsoft® Windows®, VxWorks®, Linux
software API and device drivers. A video
client/server application and local file
archive are available. Video compression
SDK/API provides fast integration into
enterprise applications.
Greater Autonomy through
High-Performance Computing
The rugged MAGIC1 Display Computer
combines state-of-the-art CPUs with the
latest Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for
unprecedented performance in a small
form factor computer. The NVIDIA GT 240
GPU gives the MAGIC1 full General Purpose
computing on Graphics Processing Units
(GPGPU) capabilities for incredible 96-core
parallel processing capabilities for radar,
image processing and similar applications.
To provide full application coverage and
flexibility, the MAGIC1 offers state-of-the-art
Intel and Freescale™ processors. System
memory is made up of two banks of dual
data rate SDRAM, with capacity up to
4 GBytes. Users have the choice of a dual
channel GPU, with either the NVIDIA GT 240
GPU with 1 GByte of DDR3 memory, or an
NVIDIA G73 GPU with 256 MBytes of GDDR3
SDRAM. Graphics memory is arranged
in two banks and the GPU connects to
the CPU through a dedicated 16-lane PCI
Express™ link. Onboard storage is provided
by a solid state disk drive, which boasts a
capacity of up to 256 GBytes, sustained
read performance of 45 MB/second, and a
purge facility to allow data on the drive to
be securely deleted in an emergency.
The 3U VPX form factor of the GRA111
Graphics Board affords high-speed, 16-lane
PCI Express connections to single board
computers. The GRA111, which is built into
the MAGIC1 Display Computer, affords the
maximum communication bandwidth to
a CPU. With a rich set of I/O, the GRA111
is designed to serve many of the most
common video applications. Dual, independent channels mean that it is capable
of driving RGB analog component video,
digital DVI 1.0, and HDMI standards. In addition, the GRA111’s video input capability
allows integration of sensor data using
RS170, NTSC or PAL video formats.
Environments such as CUDA, OpenCL and
MATLAB are available for rapid application
development. The MAGIC1 is available in
three chassis configurations: Base-plate
cooled when a suitable coldplate is available; convection cooled with integral fins;
or forced air cooled through hollow sidewall
heat exchangers when no external cooling
mechanism is available.
In addition, the XMCGA6’s video input capability allows integration of sensor data using
RS170, NTSC or PAL video formats.
GE also provides high-performance
graphics engines in form factors appropriate for UAV platforms. The SE2 Graphics
Engine melds Intel Core 2 Duo processing
technology with NVIDIA graphics processing
capabilities in a single-slot, VXS-enabled
single board computer (SBC). Its GS45
memory controller features a scalable
front-side bus (800 – 1066 MHz) with dual
channel DDR2 memory interface and a
16-lane PCI express linked to the NVIDIA
GPU. The ICH9M controller hub is featured
on the SE2 providing one x4 PCIe port or
10 Gigabit Ethernet, integrated Gigabit
Ethernet controllers, six ports high speed
USB 2.0, one SATA port, and Intel HighDefinition Audio. SE2 offers an optional 10
Gigabit Ethernet controller linked to the I/O
hub via 4-lane PCIe.
Our XMCGA6 Graphics Engine brings revolutionary functionality in an XMC form factor.
The XMCGA6 supports the 8-lane PCI Express
implementation, providing the maximum
available communication bandwidth to
a CPU. With a rich set of I/O, the XMCGA6
is designed to serve many of the most
common video applications. Dual, independent channels mean that it is capable of
driving RGB analog component video, digital
DVI 1.0, and RS170, NTSC or PAL standards.
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GE’s IPN250 GPGPU Board provides unprecedented computing performance in a 6U
OpenVPX form factor. The IPN250 enables
CUDA, OpenCL, OpenGL, video and image
processing applications developed on
Intel- and NVIDIA-enabled PCs. By using
the IPN250, system integrators can deploy
a single COTS module where previously
multiple disparate modules would have been
required. The IPN250 combines NVIDIA’s
latest GT240 96-core GPU with an Intel Core2
Duo processor operating at 2.26 GHz and
8 GBytes of DDR3 SDRAM to deliver up to
390 GFLOPS of performance per card slot,
depending on the application.
Our NPN240 GPGPU Multiprocessor
utilizes two NVIDIA CUDA-capable GT240
96-core GPUs. As such, the NPN240 can
deliver up to 750 GFLOPS peak per card
slot, depending on the application. Linking
multiple NPN240s to single or multiple hosts
results in multi-node CUDA GPU clusters
capable of thousands of GFLOPs. Thus, the
rugged NPN240 is able to expand performance levels in UAV applications such as
radar and image processing.
As sensor technology evolves and also as
platforms carry greater numbers of sensors,
platform specifications will increasingly
require 10GbE communications. Our rugged
GBX460 Data Plane Switch provides 20x
10GbE and 16x GbE ports or optionally
24x 10GbE ports in a 6U OpenVPX form
factor. One application for this high-density
Ethernet switch would be the networking
of GPGPUs with high-performance GPUs in
CUDA clusters to process 300 MHz RADAR
phased arrays.
SWaP-Optimized Packaged Computers
The exciting new COTS Rugged System
(CRS) Control Computers enable UAS integrators to quickly achieve their platform
goals while minimizing development risk.
This line of SWaP-optimized packaged
and pre-validated rugged computers
affords a wide range of I/O options for UAV
control and payload applications. Each
CRS computer is deployable as soon as the
field application is ready. The computers
may also be used as starting points for
multiple application-specific configurations. In addition, the CRS concept greatly
reduces non-recurring engineering costs,
and provides a fast track to an advanced
technology readiness level.
MIL-STD-1553 Avionics Products
GE offers a wide range of 1553 products to
support any UAS development effort from
beginning to end. Our 1553 products are
used in all phases of design, test, simulation, maintenance and support, as well as
ground station control. Our rugged PC104
and PMC products are currently embedded
and flying on UAV platforms. GE is the
recognized leader in 1553 products, and we
are now driving newer MMSI and 10 Mbit
1553 technologies. Our latest XMC product,
the RXMC-1553, is ideal for embedded UAV
applications. For flight testing, the BTP is a
rugged, fully integrated 1553 test system
that is ready to go right out of the box. The
Q104-1553 is used for small form factor
products required by the very limited space
available on some UAV platforms.
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Situational Awareness
A range of detection algorithms are built into
the system to meet real-time situational
requirements. Video from multiple cameras is
merged into an interactive panorama view of
an operational scenario.
Integrated Subsystems
Our integrated subsystems are on manned and
unmanned aircraft, and ground and sea platforms.
GE's expertise ranges from individual boards to
fully integrated application subsystems for highly
reliable mission and flight control systems.
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Rugged Deployment
Our rugged systems and modules for ground
based platforms are designed to deliver high
performance and reliability for the extreme
conditions of field deployment from Arctic cold
to Saharan heat and dust.
Video Tracking/Mapping
Superior target detection and tracking products,
combined with image fusion and stabilization in
the smallest ruggedized packages, provide the
highest performance solutions.
Shipboard Target Detection
Our rugged image processing tools offer real-time
video target detection and tracking, situational
awareness, UAV data communication, mine detection
and sensor control.
The sky is the limit
The UAS concept has more than proved its effectiveness in ­military
and many other deployments around the world. There is no doubt
that the presence of UAV platforms will continue to grow as ­military,
security and emergency response forces continue to extoll the
merits of platforms that can accomplish more with less manpower
and risk while costing much less than manned aircraft.
Civilian government, scientific agencies and
commercial operations are now looking
toward UAV platforms for their own mission
accomplishment. As the UAS concept
of operations matures, we expect many
exciting changes in how UASs are used for
both military and civilian uses.
With a desire to minimize operator involvement as much as possible in routine flight
control, autonomous flight capabilities will
be a major priority of many UAS customers.
Coupled with this will be a greater level of
high-performance computing so enable the
UAV platforms to fly considerable distances
under their own navigation and control.
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Platform-centric systems and architectures
that rely on proprietary interfaces will give
way to a network-centric paradigm based
on open architectures. Advances in open
standards performance, such as OpenVPX
high-speed serial fabrics, along with the
ability to bridge legacy devices make it
possible to develop scalable and interoperable network-centric subsystems with
substantially lower development and logistical risks. System designs will incorporate
ruggedized commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)
components for the fastest time-to-market
using the latest technologies.
Traditionally, the inputs from platformspecific sensors are either hardwired
directly to the processor or transmitted
over MIL-STD-1553 or ARINC-429 buses.
GE’s new high-speed, determinist Ethernetbased technologies for AFDX/ARINC 664,
and our continued support of ARINC 429
and MIL-STD-1553B along with higher speed
MIL-STD-1553 protocols and MMSI ensure our
commitment to leading avionics products.
Our wide range of products support many
different interface technologies including
newer standards like PCIe, XMC, VPX, AMC
and Express Card, Mini PCIe, Low Profile
PCIe—all with driver support for real-time
operating systems.
This approach allows for an incremental
upgrade that matches today’s budget
constraints, because it is unlikely that all
older equipment can be replaced at the
same time. There will be a period of time
during which new electronic systems and
older ones based on the legacy interfaces
must coexist. Open interface standards
such as VPX (VITA 46), OpenVPX (VITA 65),
and VPX-REDI (VITA 48)–along with adoption
of standardized high-speed interconnects
like GbE and PCIe–overcome these challenges. Also critical to the equation is the
ability to integrate legacy systems.
Future mission requirements
Automated in-air refueling
Strike capability
See-and-avoid (collision avoidance)
Air drop
Operation in domestic airspaces
Aeromedical missions
Electronic warfare
New UAV markets and customers
Law enforcement
Traffic control
Scientific research
Environmental monitoring
Energy and electrical facility monitoring
Classified operations
Situational awareness
See and avoid
Wide-area surveillance
Flight management systems for persistent
surveillance, targeting, strike and airdrop
Technology building blocks
Autonomous control
High-performance computing
Image and data fusion
Mosiacing, stitching, image exploitation,
lossless compression, target classification,
context-based data compression, hyperspectral analysis
Full motion video
GE takes considerable pride in its Program Management (PM) and
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) services. Both programs
have been shown to reduce program risk from cradle to grave
while also reducing costs both in ­development and deployment.
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Our PM service rigorously strives to eliminate
the many avenues of risk in UAV program
development. From develop of the product
requirements and program schedule to the
product qualification and release for production, we work closely with the customer to
demonstrate our design and manufacturing
progress as measured against the program
baselines and forecasts.
We make every effort to pair proven
commercial products with UAS design projects because we realize that the introduction
of new or customized technology is an
avenue of risk. In the event that stock products cannot meet customer specifications,
our PM staff will develop a customer-centric
plan to shepherd the product development
from prototype to production.
For example, in a critical UAV subsystem,
a Tier I provider approached us for assistance because they were experiencing
unacceptable performance and schedule
risk. GE, with a state-of-the-art GPGPU
solution, was able to put them ahead of
schedule and reduce each aspect of the
SWaP profile while improving performance
more than seven-fold.
Price change risk is eliminated because our
initial quote remains the price until delivery.
In addition, our contract change management service reduces costly change orders
by ensuring that every change has been
formally approved by the customer and
that a separate purchase order has been
cut to reflect that change.
Our PM service also provides the documentation of risk management that contractors
can provide to higher-tier contractors who
want to know that systems will be delivered
on time and exactly to spec.
Effective PLM ensures that parts are available to service routine and emergency
maintenance. A PLM program can also
anticipate technology advances and thus
allow for upgrades to embedded technology
with a minimum of hardware or software
disruption. The result is the highest level
of repeatable performance at the lowest
possible cost of ownership across the UAS
program’s lifecycle.
GE’s long-established PLM team maintains
close contact with component suppliers
and industry groups such as the Component Obsolescence Group to constantly
monitor technology developments and
component obsolescence issues. At the
heart of the program is a dedication to
providing both progressive and defensive
Long Term Support.
Progressive support begins on the design
table, with embedded products being
designed for maximum compatibility or
upgradability even before they are qualified
for a system. The list of critical components
will include only those elements for which
vendors have committed to a long-term
production run.
occurs in the marketplace, GE’s Health
Check program will alert the customer
and provide possible solutions such as a
last-time buy of the components, an appropriate replacement component, a redesign
of the original product for form, fit, or function compatibility, technology insertion
earlier than planned or a lifetime purchase
of the components. When components
are purchased in bulk, GE also can provide
secure, climate-controlled storage for as
long as required by the customer.
Long-term product lifecycles demand
that critical engineering knowledge is available regardless
of personnel changes or
corporate restructures.
Similarly, testing,
diagnostic and repair
capabilities must be
maintained. GE Intelligent Platforms’ PLM
program ensures that
such knowledge, protocols and capabilities are
available throughout the
lifecycle of the UAS.
After a product is launched, defensive PLM
provides the technical support and service
to keep the product running, as well as
ensuring that sufficient stores of spare
parts are available to avoid the premature
shutdown of a system or even the entire
platform. When technology obsolescence
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