Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division recently introduced the industry’s first rugged data recording system designed to support legacy sensor systems based on the Fibre Channel (FC) data communications protocol and to bridge that data to Ethernet networks.

The newest addition to Curtiss-Wright’s industry-leading family of data recorders, the CNS4-FC compact network storage subsystem, combines four-channel data recording, encryption and removable storage in a single rugged chassis. It uniquely provides system designers with a modernised solution for high-speed data recording, cryptography, and removable storage while protecting their investment in previously qualified FC-based sensor and client system architectures.

As FC disk drives have become obsolete, system designers are faced with the challenge of maintaining or updating their existing high-speed data acquisition applications without interruption. The CNS4-FC provides a no-compromise solution for system designers seeking a high-capacity FC recorder solution capable of bridging the FC protocol and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). The CNS4-FC delivers a cost-effective alternative to ease access to captured data across modern system networks.

The CNS4-FC ensures the integrity of critical data in demanding military environments, such as those endured by transport, helicopters, unmanned platforms and mobile radar systems. With its high-density storage capacity, broad support for multiple network protocols, and encryption capabilities, the CNS4-FC enables system designers to address all of their data recording requirements with a single solution, eliminating the need for separate, multiple data recorders.

For applications that require security for data-at-rest, the recorder also provides support for NSA Type 1 encryption.

"Our new CNS4-FC data recorder uniquely delivers a powerful future-proofing data recording solution to system designers ‘orphaned’ by the obsolescence of fibre channel disk drives," said Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division.

"Because this rugged recorder bridges legacy fibre channel and modern Ethernet architectures, it frees integrators from having to re-qualify the sensor system, re-design it with modern interfaces, or re-wire the airborne platform, which saves significant time, budget and programme risk.

"What’s more, the CNS4-FC enables legacy applications to upgrade with support for NSA Type 1 encryption to protect their critical data-at-rest."

Bridging Fibre Channel and Ethernet

To make accessing legacy FC data seamless, the CNS4-FC stores FC block data in a single large file. This enables CNS4-FC users to access data using a normal client via NFS or CIFS file server protocols. The recorder also supports iSCSI, which means that modern Ethernet-based clients can access the stored FC block data exactly as a legacy FC client would. This unique feature bridges FC and Ethernet systems.

Flexible I/O

To support contemporary avionics and sensor management systems, the CNS4-FC supports a wide variety of I/O interfaces. In addition to its four built-in GbE ports and two FC ports, it also provides a 3U VPX slot for additional I/O expansion.

An optional universal capture card (UCC) XMC module can also be used to record multiple streaming channels of sFPDP, GbE and 10GbE data. In addition, when combined with a VPX carrier card, the CNS4-FC can host a wide-range of XMC I/O cards to support the capture of legacy protocols such as MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC-429.

Scalable Storage

The CNS4-FC can be configured with up to four Curtiss-Wright flash storage modules (FSM-C) in its fully rugged convection-cooled ATR chassis. The current capacity of the FSM-C, which is based on industry standard 2.5in solid-state drives, is 2TB per module.

The maximum capacity of available FSM-C modules will increase as the storage capacities of SSD drives increase. These modules feature a 100,000 insertion cycle connector, which is critical for long-term life in mobile applications such as mission recorders, unmanned vehicle data loaders, mobile intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems and ground vehicles.

Data Protection with Type 1 Encryption

In addition to its VPX I/O expansion slot, the CNS4-FC chassis also accommodates a 3U VPX inline media encryptor (IME), which is certified for secret and below information (SABI) in attended systems. A Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) and DS-101 key fill port are mounted on the chassis’ front panel when the IME is used. Additional encryption options are also available.