Spectra Aerospace & Defense is a trusted and growing platform of C5ISR companies – CALCULEX, Galleon Embedded Computing, and ArgonFDS - bringing over a half-century of rugged, mission-ready, battle-tested experience to bear in aerospace and defense applications. From high-speed data acquisition, data recording and secure, high-density storage, to computing and rugged, clear display of mission data, Spectra delivers the products and subsystems needed for the most demanding military air, land, and sea platforms. With our comprehensive portfolio of rugged products, systems, and solutions, the Spectra family of companies’ customized end-to-end solutions for the C5ISR market help military end-users achieve mission success. Simply put, Spectra's rugged solutions Capture, Process, and Display your mission-critical data in the harshest environmental conditions. In the air, at sea, on land, and in space; We simplify integration.


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Rugged Displays Designed for Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C)

Supporting Advanced AEW&C Systems

We now face multiple adversaries, each bringing tension and potential conflict to a different part of the globe. One way we stay ahead in surveillance and information is the real-time intelligence and air battle management capability of Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems. These systems, often referred to simply as AWACS, provide critical tactical and strategic advantages to our forces.

Advancing technology, deployed in both new systems and upgrades, maintains the advantages AWACS provides. Cutting-edge sensors and communications techniques are essential, but so are advanced displays that efficiently present detailed and rapidly changing information to human operators.

This article focuses on a family of full HD, extremely rugged displays designed for AEW&C systems. The ARD21,  ARD24, and ARD27 all offer a large viewable surface area and interface flexibility to systems designers, with a broad range of customizable options to ensure a tailored fit meeting your program’s specific requirements.

Challenges AEW&C Designers Face

While AEW&C sensors capture an exploding range of data and communications connectivity expands, designers must still provide on-platform personnel with easily absorbed information and a user-friendly workspace. To do that, designers need displays with (1) large, high-resolution screens, that can present information from multiple subsystems simultaneously, are also (2) viewable under all ambient light conditions, and (3) ruggedized to withstand harsh environments during long missions, with uncompromised reliability.

New displays must also be (4) easily interfaced with both legacy subsystems and new, advanced technology subsystems. The traditional, long-range radars on AEW&C platforms are now being supplemented by other sensors. Similarly, communication to command centers and deployed assets is expanding to bring in sensor data from other platforms, while employing multiple information transfer techniques. Designers need a flexible set of interface options that can streamline data display from all of these sources.

Lastly, displays (5) must meet airborne platform SWaP constraints. Size, always important, is often critical during system upgrades, with rigid physical limits. Weight and Power are parameters that designers must fit into overall platform constraints; new displays should simplify meeting those constraints, not strain them.

Designed to Meet Today’s Deployed Display Challenges

The ARD2x family consists of three Full HD rugged displays, each designed to support a wide range of aircraft applications. Their outstanding characteristics include:

  • Large, Full High Definition display areas
    • ARD21 resolution is 1600×1200 (Form, Fit, and Function replacement of legacy 20” displays)
    • ARD24 is configurable as 1920×1080 or 1920×1200
    • ARD27 is configurable as Quad HD (2560×1440) or 4K (3840×2160)
  • Crystal clear visuals in all environments, supported by:
    • LED backlighting
    • Anti-reflective coating
    • Sunlight Readability
    • NVG Compatibility
  • Straightforward display of data from multiple subsystems using a range of flexible input configurations, including Analog RGB, DVI, Video, and other interfaces.
  • Low SWaP – Power Consumption
    • ARD21 – 65W at 400 Nits
    • ARD24 – 65W at 300 Nits
    • ARD27 – 75W at 300 Nits
  • Low SWaP – Weight
  • Ruggedized for airborne applications to withstand extreme temperatures, shock, vibration, EMI/EMC, high altitude, high humidity, and salt fog/sand/dust.
  • Front filter to protect personnel from impact-generated glass shards.
  • Installation confidence from a fully enclosed unit with no holes or fans.

This combination of attributes makes the ARD2x family an ideal fit for both AEW&C system upgrades and new designs.

Three Decades of Defense Program Experience

For 31 years, ArgonFDS has been designing, producing, and supporting a variety of rugged computing and display solutions that serve land-based, naval, and airborne applications. Our business model revolves around providing both custom and Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) rugged solutions to the global military C5ISR market. With a deep understanding of the design requirements for these products, ArgonFDS possesses the technical expertise to create long-term supportable designs. Our solutions are all derived from commercially available components and ruggedized to withstand severe environments.

While this article discusses the ARD2X display family’s optimization for a wide range of aircraft programs, we also offer other rugged displays in sizes ranging from 5 inches to 43 inches. There is an ArgonFDS display to fit any platform, from fighter aircraft to ground vehicles, helicopters to naval vessels.

A Display Tailored to Your Program

Our team will work closely with your engineers to develop a tailored display solution that meets your program’s unique requirements. We pride ourselves on taking the time to fully understand each program’s goals and constraints, therefore configuring an innovative solution that meets or exceeds the specifications.

ArgonFDS products have run the gamut from specialized mounting hardware to non-native display resolutions. Other examples include touchscreen surfaces, user-defined bezel button configurations, USB connectors, and cold start heating.

Don’t hesitate to contact ArgonFDS to inquire further about capabilities. We specialize in customizing our products to achieve complete user success.

Let’s Discuss What You Need

At ArgonFDS, we know that all our display solutions are complemented and enhanced by customer partnerships, our team and yours collaborating to solve problems. We see close cooperation with application experts and system engineers as key to our mutual success. Engage with ArgonFDS to explore how we can meet your most demanding requirements and help move your programs forward.

Have questions? Let’s connect.