Curtiss-Wright debuts Raspberry Pi powered computer for aerospace and defence applications

2 min read

Curtiss-Wright's Defense Solutions division, a supplier of modular open systems approach (MOSA) solutions, has introduced the Parvus DuraCOR Pi, the embedded industry’s first Raspberry Pi (RPi) powered mission computer for defence and aerospace applications.

The ultra-small form factor (USFF) DuraCOR Pi has been fully ruggedised so as to operate in harsh environments, and is the first mission computer to deliver 100% compatibility with the vast Pi Developer Ecosystem in a fully MIL-STD rugged sealed housing.

Based on the industrial Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4), the DuraCOR Pi is able to provide defence and aerospace system designers with a stackable unit that offers 100% compatibility with all software developed by the RPi environment’s 7 million-plus user-base. Small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, the DuraCOR Pi mission computer weighs only 0.50 lbs. and measures 1.20 x 2.49 x 3.34” (30.5 x 63.2 x 84.8 mm).

Parvus products can be stacked to extend functionality and performance via their Expandable Ring system design which means that they can be configured to the exact mix of DuraCOR Pi mission computers and HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) modules required for a specific application. The USFF DuraCOR Pi can also be combined in a stack with the similarly miniaturised Parvus DuraNET 20-11 network switch, which provides carrier-grade Ethernet software Level-2+ management features including support for IEEE-1588v2 Precision Timing Protocol (PTP).

The DuraCOR Pi is also able to support I/O expansion via a standard RPi 40-pin HAT connector. The unit can be extended with one or more HAT modules via a flexible expansion “ring” system that allows additional module rings to be stacked on top of the unit housing. To support common I/O options and HAT application development, GPIO and serial I/O and signals from the 40-pin HAT connector are also accessible via a MIL-STD-38999 connector on the unit’s front-panel.

“Curtiss-Wright has redefined ultra-small MOSA computing with the introduction of the industry’s first fully Mil-rugged Raspberry Pi based mission computer,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. “Our DuraCOR Pi delivers 100% compatibility with RPi software and the HAT expansion ecosystem, in a fully rugged and sealed design our customers expect from the Parvus product line.  By providing system designers with immediate access to the vast open-source RPi ecosystem, this pocket-sized mission computer will drive entirely new application and system design possibilities.”

With the DuraCOR Pi, Curtiss-Wright has introduced a new class of affordable, ultra-small open standards-based processing for use on the most SWaP-C constrained aerospace and defence platforms, from UUVs to UGVs to UAVs. The DuraCOR Pi is able to bring compute and connectivity capabilities to the edge of the battlefield for deployment where larger, heavier alternatives are unacceptable.

With its built-in wired Ethernet interface and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as MIL-STD-38999 connectors, a MIL-grade power supply, and a sealed IP67 chassis, the DuraCOR Pi delivers high reliability in a military grade design.

The unit meets stringent MIL-STD / DO-160 environmental standards (MIL-STD-704F, MIL-STD-1275D, MIL-STD-461F, and RTCA/DO-160 for civil and military use) and has no moving parts. It supports extended temperature operation (-40 to +85C), and is resistant to high shock/vibration, humidity, altitude, and dust/water ingress.

Because it is 100% compatible with the Pi Development Ecosystem, DuraCOR Pi is able to run all software developed for the RPi operating environment, such as Pi operating systems (NSA STIGd Raspian Linux, VxWorks, Windows IoT Core, etc.), Pi toolsets, and programming frameworks (i.e., Python, Java, C, and C++).