Computing system design for defense and aerospace applications are always a big challenge, they need to cope with dramatic changes in operating environments such as wide temperature fluctuations and humidity. They also need to cope with high vibration and shock impacts during operation. So the system design needs to be compact and solid, but also needs to have ultra reliable connectors. This becomes a significant issue if the system needs a bunch of peripherals to be integrated, storage being one of the most important ones. Furthermore, the data contained in the storage is highly confidential so proper security protection is mandatory.
One of our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) customers had a project involving equipping a UAV with a suitable surveillance system. Considering the environmental vibrations resulting from aircraft operations and the differing climates at each flight stage, the surveillance system needed to be super rugged and support a wide range of temperature fluctuations. To further reduce the vibration impact on the storage, the UAV designer was requested to solder the SSD or Flash IC directly onto the main board. Additionally, considering the data carried in the storage included content related to national security, it needed functions for the prevention of unauthorized access and theft, and this necessitated enhanced security measures including lock and erase mechanisms to reduce the risk of information leakage.
The surveillance system included two high speed SATA ports that were requested with 1TB high capacity storage. The original idea was to lay out the whole SSD circuit onto the mainboard and solder all of the SSD components onto it. However, considering Flash IC quality control, complex integration, and the flexibility for future product upgrades, Advantech proposed a unique solution to transform the SSD into a stamp module form factor. So now, the UAV designer could leave most of the quality control effort for the storage part to the SSD provider. But the most important thing is, the main board design became very compact and robust, and retained the possibility of storage product upgrades in the future.
For enhanced security, Advantech’s SQFlash SSD controller IC supports AES-256 internal encryption with the inclusion of an AES chip that encrypts all data before it is written to the Flash IC. Thus, even if raw Flash IC data is maliciously obtained, the data will not be decodable. Also, this provides a quick erase possibility under critical situations, so all of the data in the SSD can be erased within 10ms.
With Advantech’s SQFlash Design-to-Order Service (DTOS), which provides a reliable total storage solution, the customer now has successfully implemented a ruggedized main board product with superior SSD performance, and extensive security and data protection functions into their latest UAV.
- Leverages comprehensive experience of storage product design from Advantech to deliver a highly integrated and reliable SSD solution.
- Comprehensive security functions supported by SQFlash enhance the overall system security and data protection.
- Reliable, ruggedized industrial-grade SSD has the durability to withstand extreme operating environments.