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Curtiss-Wright Debuts Integrated 360° Situational Awareness Solution

Delivers ‘Near-Zero’ Latency for Real-Time Glass to Glass Video

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division revealed a breakthrough in rugged deployed video situational awareness for manned and unmanned ground vehicles on 28 September – the 30ms latency performance of its new 360SA Video Management System (VMS).

The 360SA integrates state-of-the-art projected capacitive (PCAP) rugged touch screen displays with a scalable, highly rugged video gateway and a video format converter, to support the requirements of a wide variety of vehicle types. When combined with cameras, the 360SA provides a complete situational awareness hardware solution.

Video delays from sensor to display greater than 60ms can make it difficult for operators to be entirely confident that what they are seeing aligns with reality. Compared to alternative video situational awareness and driver vision enhancer (DVE) solutions, that typically deliver >60ms latency, Curtiss-Wright’s 360SA system achieves the ‘sweet spot’ of <30ms glass-to-glass latency. This desired level of performance supports ideal driver aid and situational awareness video at full HD resolutions. The 360SA achieves its combination of affordability and high performance with a unique design approach, including innovative FPGA video pipelines, to fulfill the promise of real-time through-armoir and DVE performance. Working closely with industry-leading rugged camera suppliers and DVE/360SA systems experts, Curtiss-Wright can deliver complete turnkey systems. The 360SA VMS is the industry’s first cost-effective solution to combine a low-latency VMS with a full-HD video ground mobile C2 system.

Reliable, cost-effective solutions for true low-latency video systems in military ground vehicles, which are critical for improving situational awareness and the safety of today’s warfighters, have long been desired, but until now, have been out of reach,” commented Chris Wiltsey, SVP/GM Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. ”Delivering video and image from sensor to screen in real time is the best way to get vital visual information to warfighters in a fast and effective manner, whether for local situational awareness or DVE applications. Our 360SA Video Management System seamlessly integrates all the components of an end-to-end video solution to significantly reduce the latency that has compromised previous situational awareness alternatives.”

Ideal for use in closed hatch operation of tactical vehicles, the 360SA Video Management System is a modular open systems approach (MOSA)-based solution. Its open architecture COTS video system design is camera agnostic, with support for 20xSD/HD/3G-SDI, 4xComposite/YC, and 1xHDMI.

The 360SA VMS’ GVDU display features unique low-latency display buffering, providing 2.7ms buffering of 1920x1080p 60fps video. On its own, this fully-tested, field-proven display offers a maximum latency of just 14.86ms. When used in combination with digital video switches, glass-to-glass latency rated at 26.8ms has been measured on deployed ground vehicle systems, with a maximum of 31.53ms.

The RVG-MS1 video gateway provides 25 inputs and 20 outputs in a unit that weighs only 3.25kg  and requires only 80W of power maximum. It offers a low-latency video path of 16ms. In addition, this SWaP-optimised video gateway supports H264 encoding of any input. It also supports single, dual, triple, and quad views in various layouts. Curtiss-Wright’s range of RVG products provides system designers with a scalable, building-block approach to video system design on platforms of all sizes.


The 360SA VMS in situ. (Image: Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions)

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