Close this search box.

Modular Design of New Aitech Remote I/O Unit Offers Fine-tuned Functionality for Aerospace and Defense Applications

Space-qualified Ai-RIO offers scalable intelligence, easy expansion for exceptional performance in a compact small form factor unit


Technical Specifications:

  • Scalable intelligence through highly integrated module ‘slices’ that add functionality as needed
  • Dual-core P1020 Power PC and rad-tolerant FPGAs for powerful performance in space and defense applications
  • Expandable with up to eight inter-networked units in compact form factor
  • Different I/O configurations enable flexible design
  • 3.75 lbs with extremely low power dissipation of 12 W typical

Chatsworth, Calif. April 2017 – Aitech Defense Systems Inc. has developed a new method of providing high performance, application-specific remote I/O management through the use of expansion modules, or “slices,” in the new rugged, space-qualified Ai-RIO.  Through its modular, small form factor (SFF) structure, the remote I/O interface unit (RIU) is a system-of-systems that provides a new level of scalable intelligence that meets specific user requirements and adapts to evolving application needs.

The Ai-RIO is an extremely high density, low power rugged sub-system that provides exceptional, user-specific functionality.  This compact unit occupies very little space in a variety of aerospace, defense and military applications.  It is ideally suited for vehicle platform flight control, attitude and navigation controls, servo-valve and thrust vector control (TVC), robotic motor control, video and image processing and storage, data telemetry, platform stabilization, communications and telematics, high speed data recorders, booster and launch propulsion and thruster control, remote sensor and effector monitoring and much more.

Versatile Modularity for Scalable Intelligence
The Ai-RIO is easy expandable, with up to eight units networked together, for unprecedented functionality in a compact space.  Added capabilities include I/O, power switching, mass/SD FLASH memory as well as other functionalities.

Offering one of the widest ranges of I/O available in a SFF platform, the remote I/O sub-system includes a Gb Ethernet port with precision time sync IEEE-1588 support, ten RS-422 ports (eight of which are RS-422/485), an additional eight LVDS or RS-422/485 UARTS as well as four SpaceWire ports with LVDS I/O, two CANbus ports and sixteen GPIO in two blocks of eight.

Using Aitech’s RIO-NET client/server software as well as additional memory and I/O arrays, the new unit can serve as a standalone command and data handling (C&DH) platform or networked remote command/response I/O unit.

Meets High Performance Demands of Rugged Applications 
The compact, rugged Ai-RIO features a powerful radiation-qualified, dual-core PowerPC processor with two rad-tolerant FPGAs.  All internal electronics are conduction-cooled and mechanically fixed and housed within a sealed, EMI/EMC Faraday cage for maximum thermal transfer.

The housing is constructed of 6061/T6 flight grade aluminum and is based on a common 5.5″ x 5.5″ x 1.2″ small form factor. The expansion modules can be single- or double width, incorporating one or two PWBs, respectively, measuring between 1″ and 2″, depending on connector width and type and module/”slice” board count.

External connectors can be either micro D-Subs for space applications or standard micro MIL-DTL-38999 circular military connectors for use in defense environments.  The base unit configuration weight of an Ai-RIO is only 3.75 lbs with a power dissipation of less than 12 W.

Additional System Support
Each of the two e500 cores within the processor are monitored by its own watchdog timer that generates an internal CPU interrupt after the first expiration period or a hardware reset after a second timeout. A third external watchdog timer is located in the rad-tolerant FPGA that, when enabled, resets the entire subsystem after the first expiration period of the internal timers.

The Ai-RIO features onboard temperature sensors as well as A/D voltage and current monitoring with built-in test (BIT) for high reliability.  The unit has been tested and characterized directly by Aitech for radiation effects over 25 krads(Si) TID at varied flux rates.  The P1020 processor is immune to latch up, with other components meeting the heavy ion Linear Energy Transfer threshold (LETth) of at least 37 MeV-cm2/mg.

The Ai-RIO Series 100 lab-grade software development units will be available in Q2’17.

Need more information? Contact an Expert