Rugged display computer enables synthetic aperture sonar

The MAGIC1 rugged display computer from GE Intelligent Platforms in Huntsville, AL, provides processing capability for signal processing intensive applications such as radar, sonar, and image processing. Engineers at the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) used the board to demonstrate near real-time processing of synthetic aperture sonar data for adaptive track spacing and target detection on an autonomous vehicle. It was deployed on the Minehunting UUV for Shallow water Covert Littoral Expeditions (MUSCLE) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to create detailed images of the seafloor as part of the Autonomous Mine Search Using High-Frequency Synthetic Aperture Sonar project.

The computer provides parallel processing capability through the NVIDIA EXK107 GPU for access to GPGPU computing. For rapid application development, it uses tools such as CUDA, OpenCL, and MATLAB. Onboard storage is provided by a solid-state disk drive, which has a capacity of as much as 256 GB and sustained read performance of 250 MBps. It has three chassis configurations: base-plate cooled when a suitable coldplate is available, convection cooled with integral fins, or forced air cooled through hollow sidewall heat exchangers when no external cooling mechanism is available.