Build It Faster, Build It Better

14 December 2016

A few months back, I built a small shed on the side of my house to store garden tools, paint, household chemicals, and of course a new place for mice to call home. It needed to be built in a small and irregular trapezium shape so I couldn’t just buy a ready-made shed. It also partially rested on a cinder block retaining wall at the back side of the shed so I could push the volume as far back as I could go, maximizing the limited space I had available.

I built the shed with some relatively rudimentary tools including a plastic miter box and hand saw. It got the job done. It took quite a bit longer than I had expected. The tail cuts on the roof rafters looked amateur and my miter joints on the trim were not exactly squared up. I promised myself I would invest in better tools for the next job. The next job would need to go faster and look more professional.  

That job turned out to be the replacement of old leaky French doors with a large bay window. It’s one thing to be crude with your shed but not on the house. So, I invested in a nice miter saw large enough for 2x6s. What a difference proper tools make! The job went faster, there was no scrap, I had more cut options, and the investment paid off with a professional looking job.

Agile development

At the Army Aviation Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) Symposium that took place recently in Huntsville, there was much discussion and promulgation on the need for more agile ASE development and capabilities. MG Kirk Vollmecke, Program Executive Officer, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare, and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), promoted the need for faster acquisition, more agile capabilities, computing consolidation and density, and the democratization of technology.  

Abaco’s COTS computing solutions deliver what he’s looking for, with ever higher performance, better computing density and reduced overall cost per operation through multi-core and multiprocessing architectures like our IPN252. Developing applications across the defense computing landscape, ASE included, will necessarily have to take advantage of HPEC platforms to meet performance and SWaP requirements. And SWaP does not always mean small form factor, but also the ability to deliver as much performance as possible within size, weight and power constraints. Software and applications command the largest work share and increasing cost to deliver these capabilities. 

It’s no surprise, then, that Military and Aerospace Electronics recently awarded Abaco Systems’ Advanced Multiprocessor Integrated Software (AXIS) a 2016 Innovators Gold Award. AXIS provides powerful, and now award-winning, tools for high performance embedded computing (HPEC) multiprocessor systems application development.  

Just like I found out with my French doors: it makes sense to use the best possible tools if you’re looking to do the best possible job—in the shortest possible time. The same is true for software development: better tools make the job more efficient, flexible and faster. AXIS offers all these qualities.

David French

David is the Director of Business Development for aviation programs for Abaco Systems. He started out his career as a design and systems engineer for space platforms and launch vehicle avionics. Impatient with the sometimes slow pace of new development opportunity there, he directed his energy toward the broader embedded computing universe from telecommunications infrastructure to defense electronics. He still marvels at the challenge and discovery in applied science and technology.