19" smart LCD passes MIL-S-901D shock testing

27th May 2016
Nat Bowers

General Micro Systems (GMS) has announced that the SD19 rugged smart display has successfully passed rigorous MIL-S-901D shock testing. Simulating an explosion or a projectile hit, the MIL-S-901D "High-Impact Shipboard Machinery, Equipment, and Systems" specification is notoriously difficult to pass. A heavy hammer strikes a test fixture onto which the SD19 unit under test is mounted.

Subject to hundreds of Gs of force, or more, metal can deform, glass can break, switches and covers can fly off and components can be ripped from PCBs.

To accurately measure the effects of shock waves in all three axes, accelerometers are installed on the test fixture and no dampening or any other shock-mitigation mechanism is allowed. The UUT receives the full impact force transmitted. Nonetheless, subjected to the 5-foot, 400-pound 'hammer test', the GMS SD19 standard-definition, 19" smart LCD with integrated 4th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor workstation remained fully operational. The result was not a surprise: the SD19 was designed ground-up to survive excessive punishment.

"The ‘hammer test’ is brutal," said Ben Sharfi, CEO and Chief Architect, GMS. "Rigidly mounted in a test fixture, our display was slammed over and over again by a 400-pound hammer from five feet in the air. The noise of the strike was deafening and its impact shook the ground, but throughout the test the SD19 remained not only intact but completely operational."

Test results show shock in excess of 500Gs transmitted to the SD19 and a hand-shot video (watch it below) recorded the tests; actual instrumented data proves the results (x-axis 552G; y-axis 102G; z-axis 326G). The test suite was conducted in conjunction with a GMS customer and its military customer representative as part of a programme qualification of the SD19 rugged smart display. Actual test conditions were in compliance with MIL-S-901D, Grade A, Class 1, Type A, Unrestricted Orientations, Operational.

Part of General Micro Systems’ RuggedView smart display product line, the SD19 is a standard-definition ultra-dense, super-rugged smart display combined with a workstation computer subsystem in a single, conduction-cooled chassis. The 16.9x19" (width x height) GMS SD19 smart display with Intel-based single board computer is less than 3.5" thick and is passively conductively cooled. Competing products with similar functionality measure up to 8" thick and use one or more fans. Fans are known causes of failure and reduced MTBF in defence systems and they rarely survive MIL-S-901D shock testing.

The GMS SD19 is thin because of the company’s patent-pending RuggedCool technology, which allows 'mix and match', densely packed modular boards that conduct heat from the Intel Core i7 processor directly to the SD19 case. Depending on the mounting location, heat from the SD19 is either radiated into the environment or conducted away from the unit via mounting hardware.

"Modular design plays a key role in the ruggedness of the SD19," added Sharfi. "This means that as we update and extend this product family to new processors and technologies, it will continue to offer customers the same outstanding shock and thermal protection."

The SD19 RuggedView smart display has a hardened 4:3 aspect-ratio touchscreen and an LCD with finely controlled, military-specified brightness settings from full on to complete dimmed darkness. In addition, the SD19 supports multi-display operation that enables output to other displays and input from other systems with the push of a bezel button.

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