We’re in England!

8 September 2016
DVD 2016

This isn’t the first time we’ve been at DVD—but this time, for the first time, we were exhibitors. DVD takes place at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, England and is the key event for all those involved in UK Land Forces equipment and support—but this year, it’s definitely bigger and better than any previous year. In my mind, that’s a reflection of how strong the UK land sector is at present.

In fact, if anyone should know about that strength, we should—since, last year, we won a significant order from General Dynamics to provide Ethernet switches, gateway processors, data servers and video servers for the British Army’s SCOUT Specialist Vehicle platforms (now known as AJAX).

Yesterday was a great day, and we had some excellent feedback on our new booth design. It’s our first time out here in the UK exhibiting at a big trade show and we have been excited to finally unpack the Abaco trade stand. It’s all new—new booth, new company brochures, new giveaways and, most importantly, new products.

We were able to show our new compact fully managed Ethernet switch, the RES3120, to customers who were able to hold the first working boxes today at the show. We also took along our new avionics computer the FORCE2 designed for safety-critical applications—again, one of the first prototype units to come out of our manufacturing facility in the UK.

Popular boxed solutions

Our boxed solutions were very popular with customers who are looking for qualified units that are mission ready. We were able to run a live demonstration of the DAQMAG2A mission computer on the booth. This compact boxed computer has an Intel CPU, is capable of taking analog (PAL/NTSC/RGB) signals and digital (SDI) signals as input and output and is ideal for use in ground vehicles where legacy video I/O needs to be processed. 

One such use case is converting video into GVA (Generic Vehicle Architecture) standard video over Ethernet as defined in DEF STAN 00-82. Our demonstration showed how multiple streams can be transmitted over Ethernet from various different video inputs and displayed in real time with very low latency and no loss in quality. It can also do H.264 video compression without placing any additional demand on the CPU.

We also took along examples of our extensive range of VME and Open VPX offerings featuring Intel, NXP and NVIDIA current-generation processors and GPUs—but the message coming from a lot of customers was clear. The overwhelming requirement from prime contractors is for packaged solutions with little or no NRE.  Being able to provide a qualified solution, and the OEM’s ability to modify box designs to accommodate varying I/O requirements, is the challenge we’re rising to with our expanding range of packaged products.

It was busy day on the Abaco booth yesterday, and as well as receiving some great feedback from existing customers, we met with some old friends and made some great new contacts. I'm just hoping that I can get some time off the booth to grab a ride on some of the vehicles providing off-road rides at the show.

DVD 2016

Ross Newman

With a degree in software engineering, Ross is a field applications engineer, based in our Towcester office and supporting Abaco customers throughout EMEA. He has worked extensively in the defense industry with companies including BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin. Ross enjoys travel and robotics, and for the last three years has taught coding to young children at a local school as part of a national network of Code Clubs (codeclub.org.uk).