Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has announced that it will support the new VITA 48.8 Air Flow Through (AFT) cooling standard with a range of 3U and 6U modules designed to bring the advanced cooling technology to rugged deployed embedded systems. During a presentation today at VITA’s Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) 2016 symposium, Curtiss-Wright demonstrated the industry’s first functioning AFT chassis based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) 3U VPX modules. The groundbreaking demo featured a 3D printed plastic chassis integrated with Curtiss-Wright’s VPX3-1258 single board computer (SBC) and VPX3-716 graphics modules, both outfitted with AFT frames. A functional 3U AFT chassis demonstrator, able to run applications while cooling two VPX modules, is scheduled for availability early in Q1 2016.
Curtiss-Wright has already delivered the industry’s first COTS 3U AFT cards to its lead customer and plans to develop a complete range of 3U and 6U AFT products. The first modules slated for use in VITA 48.8 AFT systems are Curtiss-Wright’s VPX3-652, VPX3-1259, and VPX3-1258 SBCs and the VPX3-716 graphics module. The combination of advanced cooling, small form factor AFT and reduced weight delivered by VITA 48.8 are of especial benefit for size, weight, power and cost (SWAP-C) constrained platforms such as rotorcraft and unmanned vehicles.
VITA 48.8 is the first open standard AFT technology to support small form 3U VPX COTS modules, which are preferred for use in SWAP-C sensitive rotorcraft and unmanned platforms. Based on technologies developed by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, New York, VITA 48.8 helps reduce weight and cost for high density, high power dissipation 3U and 6U module based systems by eliminating the use of wedgelocks and ejector/injector handles VITA 48.8 also supports alternative air-flow arrangements, allowing air inlet at both card edges. Because VITA 48.8 does not use module-to-chassis conduction cooling, it also promises to help drive innovative use of new lightweight plastic or composite material based chassis.