Rugged Server and Display System
General Micro Systems Inc. (GMS) recently announced that the U.S. Army will exclusively deploy powerful rugged server and display systems from GMS to run the multifunction video display (MVD) software within Type II medium mine protection vehicles (MMPV). The GMS system comprises four components — two chassis and two displays. It also includes an enterprise-class, ultrarugged, secure server with an intelligent 12-port 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet switch, a router, mass-media storage, CITV/DVR, video-over-IP, and two ultra-thin, rugged smart-panel PCs. When coupled with a video encoder, the system is a complete full motion video and control system with storage.
A program of record for the U.S. Army’s Product Manager Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle Systems (PdM MRAP VS) and co-developed directly with the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD), the GMS rugged server and display system gives the MRAP mineclearing vehicles a distributed platform with smart displays that run the Army’s portable MVD software. The system’s hardware and software enable the seamless distribution of full motion video and control in real time with low latency from all sensor systems mounted on the MMPV Type II trucks to each crew station.
Compared to the traditional system used on the mine-clearing MRAP, the U.S. Army needed a combined hardware/software system that could provide full situational awareness at all times while also improving crew efficiencies. According to the contract synopsis from the Army Contracting Command - Warren (ACC-Warren), the MVD system “integrates fullmotion video from all sources at all vehicle crew stations. The MVD system efficiently distributes images and sensor control to all crew stations within a vehicle, resulting in a single touchscreen display for each crew station capable of viewing and controlling all vehicle enablers, and creating a seamless common interface across all enablers.”
With the MVD system, each networked crew station operates independently such that one crew member can control one sensor system while another crew member simultaneously controls or views another. The ultra-low latency system enables warfighters to drive “head down” in the vehicle, using only cameras and sensors without inducing motion sickness. The MVD system is integrated with the truck’s radio so that it too can be controlled from any crew station or set up during premission checks. Because the system is designed to enable soldiers to navigate without direct sight, it can be used in other programs as well.
The key to the system’s anticipated success is a combination of lowlatency networked video and data processing coupled with NVSED created modular software. The software presents a standardized view of sensor feedback that is common across all workstation consoles. This gives operators immediate familiarity with different sensors and enables cross-training and cross-operation should the need arise. Moreover, new sensors and counter-IED payload processing can be added while the user interface remains consistent.
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