The conventional approach to military vetronics design uses military components which typically lag their commercial counterparts by a couple of years and are generally limited in functional integration. A new paradigm is now emerging in the US military to leverage the commercial technology investment and technical innovations in PC based hardware and software developments. This paradigm has instigated major semiconductor vendors such as Motorola and Intel to exit the military market and henceforth accentuate the need to be innovative in repackaging commercial . components to operate over extended temperatures. The concept presented in this paper consists of a militarized Pentium based general purpose Single Board Computer (SBC) using commercial components. This design incorporates an open architecture (PCI high speed bus, VMEbus) and expansion through the IEEE P1386.1' PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) connector for peripherals such as Multimedia, Discrete I/O, MIL-STD-1553B2, Global Positioning Satellite System (GPS), etc. These features will contribute to the realization of the "Tactical Internet" which is an integral part of the US army digitized battlefield initiative.
Keywords: digitized battlefield, militarized, COTS, open architecture, PC Compatible, PCI, PMC expansion, VME