Military embedded systems must be more reliable, secure, rugged, and efficient compared to general-purpose embedded systems.
Advanced military embedded systems are used in a variety of applications including intelligence, aerospace and avionics systems, and embedded vision systems.
Multispectral imaging in the surveillance applications used in drones and aircraft is the most significant embedded vision application.
In the military and defense fields, access to the latest technology is critical. Most of the latest technologies depend on embedded systems and computing to support the specific needs of the military. The embedded systems used in military applications are different from the general-purpose embedded systems used in civilian applications. Military embedded systems must be highly secure, reliable, and rugged. In this article, we will explore the embedded systems used in a variety of military applications.
Embedded Systems Used in Military Applications
Embedded systems are electronic devices or products integrated with a computer. In most applications, embedded systems form a subsystem that performs a dedicated task within a larger system. Embedded systems often involve hardware and software. An embedded system can be either a fixed system performing a specified task or programmable. Current military embedded systems and their server architecture are network-centric. The server architectures used in military embedded systems offer higher-end computing with increased input/output options.
The general-purpose computational and embedded systems used in civilian applications are not appropriate for military use. Military embedded systems must be more reliable, secure, rugged, and efficient compared to general-purpose embedded systems. Under circumstances like increased terrorism or hacking, military embedded systems must have the utmost security to prevent reverse engineering or data interception. Military embedded systems are often subjected to harsher environments and must be designed for such rough usage. The sourcing of components should be from trustworthy and reputable manufacturers to prevent unauthorized access or software installation in military devices using embedded systems. As a matter of national security, governments are investing a good share of their annual budget in military embedded systems.
Let’s take a look at some of the specific ways military embedded systems are used.
Where Are Military Embedded Systems Used?
The embedded systems used in military applications are used on many platforms, including land, water, air, and space systems. Among these platforms, the land system holds the major share of military embedded system applications. In military applications, embedded systems are used in electronic equipment and devices for applications including:
- Command and control systems
- Data storage and acquisition systems
- Satellite systems
- Missile systems
- Avionics and ammunition systems
Present-day military embedded systems are driven by multicore technologies, wireless technologies, and cloud computing. Let’s now take a closer look at three key applications of military embedded systems: intelligence, aerospace and avionics systems, and embedded vision systems.
Key Applications of Military Embedded Systems
Military embedded systems play a major role in collecting useful information and processing it to aid military officers to make the most informed decisions. In most countries, military intelligence bureaus have access to the radio, television, and other broadcasting systems of their potential enemies and are able to use embedded systems to eavesdrop. Military embedded systems are also used in surveillance satellites, radar systems, and military traffic systems. They also facilitate remote control operation, protect systems from unsanctioned access, and improve system reliability.
Military Embedded Vision Systems
The newest application of military embedded systems is embedded vision systems. Embedded vision systems create next-level visibility and autonomy for soldiers. Multispectral imaging in the surveillance applications used in drones and aircraft is the most significant embedded vision application. Embedded vision cameras and sensors develop synthetic vision that gives pilots useful information when natural visibility is limited. Autonomous and battle-ready military vehicles implement embedded vision systems to roll over complex terrains. The navigation data and enemy locations can be accessed in real-time by soldiers using head-up displays that utilize embedded vision systems.
The embedded systems used in military applications are not limited to intelligence, aerospace, or embedded vision systems. The reach of military embedded systems has been expanded and redefined with the integration of cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Nations are deploying artificial intelligence machines and new-age warfare enabled by embedded systems.
As embedded systems involve hardware systems, trustworthy PCB design software is necessary to build sophisticated, smart equipment for military applications. To design reliable, efficient, and highly secure embedded system hardware, consider using the PCB design and analysis software from Cadence.
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