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Aitech Defense Systems has introduced the Nighthawk remote-control unit (RCU), a compact Intel Atom-based, self-contained control unit that weighs 4.5lb (2kg).

The Nighthawk will be showcased at CMSE 2010 in Los Angeles, California, on 8 February.

The low weight, combined with a slim profile and natural convection/radiation cooling that dissipates up to 22W at +55C in stagnant (non-flowing) air or at up to +71C with an optional low pressure fan or base plate, makes the control unit suitable for a variety of military, aerospace and commercial environments.

These include data concentrator and remote interface applications such as manned/unmanned and ground/airborne vehicles as well as low size, weight and power data concentrator unit (DCU) and remote interface unit (RIU) applications.

For military tracked and wheeled vehicle applications, the Nighthawk RCU can provide a condition-based maintenance (CBM) functionality to reduce the overhead costs of preventative vehicle maintenance.

Based on the low-power Intel Atom processor operating at 1.6GHz, the Nighthawk provides up to 2Gb DDR2 SDRAM as well as between 4Gb and 8Gb of SSD memory, with an optional expansion up to 250Gb for extended and remote data collection and storage applications.

The new Nighthawk RCU offers a high number of off-the-shelf and standard PC input/output (I/O) interfaces available in a low-power, environmentally sealed controller.

With a complete set of standard PC I/O interfaces, the Nighthawk also provides two Gigabit Ethernet ports, six USB 2.0 ports and four multi-function RS232 serial ports, dual graphics/video ports, a keyboard, a mouse and stereo audio-in/output ports as well as an I/O set specifically tailored for embedded military and severe industrial applications.

Optional I/O includes MIL-STD-1553B, Arinc-429 and Arinc-708, Can Bus, Wi-Fi and WAN ports as well as video capture and processing, discrete and analogue I/O and an eight-port Gigabit Ethernet switch.

All I/O is available via a flexible, user-defined configuration of MIL-DTL-38999-style connectors mounted on the unit’s front access panel.

The unit uses conductive silicon rubber O-rings and flat EMI gaskets to keep sand, dust, humidity and contaminant splash out.

Its EMI/RFI filter protection meets MIL-STD-461 emission and susceptibility limits.

External surfaces are finished with black hard anodise for corrosion resistance, with other colours and chemical-agent-resistant coating paint available upon request.

Internal surfaces are chemical conversion coated for corrosion resistance as well as to ensure high electrical conductivity.

Operating temperature is -55C to +71C in extreme environments up to 40G peak single half-sine shock and 10G RMS sine vibration at 5Hz to 500Hz.

The Nighthawk RCU is compliant with MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-704, MIL-STD-461 and MIL-STD-462 and features an input-voltage range from 18VDC to 36VDC with reverse-polarity protection.

The total power supply output is 50W to power optional, user-defined I/O.

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