NIU1 delivers significant advantages for mission computers

28th October 2013
Posted By : Staff Reporter
NIU1 delivers significant advantages for mission computers

The Nano Interface Unit, an advanced rugged, nano-sized Intelligent I/O and communications subsystem from North Atlantic Industries, adds distributed network, sensor data interfaces to airborne mission computer without expensive chassis or backplane redesign.

Recently, a key military integrator needed additional discrete I/O capability for an existing airborne system — quickly, with minimal space to do so. Adding capability to the existing qualified chassis was not a cost-effective solution. Instead, the integrator used NAI’s compact NIU1 subsystem to connect to the existing Ethernet network to provide full, multi-channel discrete support. The low-cost, SWaP-optimized NIU1 interfaced directly with the existing system, required no additional processor management, and easily fit into a space-constrained environment with a limited power budget. Standard configuration 28VDC or Power over Ethernet (PoE) input, dual Gig-Eports, and continuous background Built-in Test (BIT) provided additional benefits by simplifying the integration meeting status verifications and redundant communications interface requirements.

The host processor required no special system software or I/O drivers because all of the I/O functions were supported using NAI’s platform-independent, Custom-On-Standard Architecture™ (COSA™). The integrator downloaded the free Software Support Kit (SSK) immediately, which reduced their application software development time. In just four weeks NAI delivered a fully-functional, tested NIU1-K600 discrete I/O unit. With application software ready-to-go, the NIU1 was quickly installed and mission-qualified. The NIU1 met all of the new application requirements while minimizing engineering design time — without costly NRE.

"The NIU1subsystem was the ideal choice for our customer because it provided Intelligent I/O and communications functionality where needed," explained Lino Massafra, VP of Sales/Marketing.

The small form factor NIU1 can be configured with any one, off-the-shelf, field-proven, multi-function I/O module. A wide selection of Intelligent I/O is available and includes: motion simulation/measurement and communications functions such as: A/D, D/A, TTL, RTD; Discrete I/O; Differential Transceiver, Synchro/Resolver/LVDT/RVDT Measurement, Simulation and Excitation; Strain Gage; Encoder; 2-channel, dual redundant BC/RT/MT MIL-STD-1553; high speed Sync/Async RS232/422/423/485; ARINC 429/575 and CANBus. This approach provides a simple integration effort for dedicated I/O interface capability to existing or new applications targeting specific interface requirements and provides a complete I/O function subsystem.

The NIU1 is only 1.5" H x 1.6" D x 6.5" L at 16 oz. (454 g) with three mounting options. Pricing for the NIU1-K600 configured with sixteen programmable 0 to 60V Discrete I/O channels, 28Vdc input, Power over Ethernet and Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports, starts at $3,429 each in quantity of 100. Delivery starts at 10 weeks, ARO.


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