Product References

Tech Brief: OpenFPGA Rappid Firmware App-Based Electronic Warfare

Aerospace and Defense Technology Product Guides, Tech Briefs, and Technical Content

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 3

OpenFPGA: RAPPID FIRMWARE App-based electronic warfare 4 EXPANDING TECHNIQUE EFFICIENCY WITH OpenFPGA — USE CASE An EW DRFM-based jammer offers an example of how OpenFPGA can be used in the field. Typically, an EW jammer suite can contain 50 or more unique technique types, traditionally all programmed simultaneously into the FPGA device. However, in real-world applications it is extremely rare to have a situation where every one of those 50 techniques are needed at the same time. With the support of Rappid's OpenFPGA standard, any required capability can be selected in real time by loading the needed applications from memory to the FPGA processor. The storage of a large number of techniques in off-FPGA memory drastically increases the total effective resources of an FPGA and enables more efficient utilization of FPGA resources than the previous "fit-everything" paradigm. Additionally, this concept allows the use of much smaller FPGAs to perform the same system solutions that would otherwise require larger ones, reducing costs and cooling and power needs. OVERCOMING THERMAL CHALLENGES WITH OpenFPGA — USE CASE An aircraft or drone sits on the tarmac in final preparation for launch. The final system checks are in process. An EW system is in the queue to run its built-in self-test before aircraft takeoff. Inside the EW system are FPGA processing modules, executing their functions and algorithms regardless of the system input. An FPGA's temperature is linearly correlated to the amount of resources executing, so the FPGA devices are dissipating their full thermal load even when not used. When the aircraft is not moving, thermal dissipation taxes the aircraft 's systems since there is the least amount of airflow when idle. Overheating is a challenge for system designers. Revisiting this scenario on an EW system designed using Rappid and its OpenFPGA standard, before takeoff, the EW system commands its FPGA modules to clear its resources, effectively lowering the thermal dissipation. When the built-in self-test of the EW system runs, the EW system commands the full capabilities of the FPGA modules be loaded, allowing for complete execution of self-tests. After the short time testing takes, the EW system again clears the FPGA resources until takeoff. Once airborne, the EW system can load the full FPGA resources when airflow is more readily available. Corporate Headquarters 50 Minuteman Road Andover, MA 01810 USA +1 978.967.1401 tel +1 866.627.6951 tel +1 978.256.3599 fax International Headquarters Mercury International Avenue Eugène-Lance, 38 PO Box 584 CH-1212 Grand-Lancy 1 Geneva, Switzerland +41 22 884 51 00 tel The Mercury Systems logo and the following are trademarks or registered trademarks of Mercury Systems, Inc.: Mercury Systems, Innovation That Matters, and BuiltSECURE. Other marks used herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Mercury believes this information is accurate as of its publication date and is not responsible for any inadvertent errors. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. © 2021 Mercury Systems, Inc. 8063.00E-0421-tp-OpenFPGA For more information on OpenFPGA and the Rappid platform: Visit:

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Product References - Tech Brief: OpenFPGA Rappid Firmware App-Based Electronic Warfare