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Engineering Materials

EV Race Car Uses Green Composites Under the Hood

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Ann R. Thryft   5/22/2012 11:59:30 AM
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EV Race Car

The COTS systems, platforms, networking technologies, and software are, as the term says, commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software, meaning stuff that's originally designed and built for the rest of us. Basically, that means the military is using Windows-based laptops and other standard commercial hardware and software, as well as standard networking protocols, which is actually kind of scary. This is instead of spending zillions of dollars on designing their own stuff, like in the "good old days." Even the NSA buys a lot of standard signal-processing equipment.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Rob Spiegel   5/22/2012 1:16:09 PM
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What I've heard is that the COTS stuff is used for office and support functions. When it comes to electronics out in the field, the electronics are ruggedized (and leaded) so they can withstand a difficult environment over many years.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Ann R. Thryft   5/22/2012 1:24:43 PM
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As I learned working for COTS Journal, COTS doesn't just mean actual end-system computers and apps software. It can also refer more broadly to both software and hardware design and development platforms, specifically for creating end-system hardware and software used in the field. Ruggedization is taken for granted for military field use; that feature doesn't determine whether a machine is COTS. A COTS-based machine may also be further tweaked--and usually is--for specific apps. The big difference is that the military is no longer spending zillions of dollars on proprietary, entirely customized systems.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Rob Spiegel   5/22/2012 1:58:17 PM
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You worked for COTS Journal. Wow. What did you cover? The components market? Distribution?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Ann R. Thryft   5/22/2012 2:38:13 PM
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Since there were only two of us, myself and the editor-in-chief, I did a little of everything. Mostly we did not address distribution, but design and development technologies for HW and SW, comms, and a lot of board-level products and technologies. I wrote several features on RoHS, too.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Rob Spiegel   5/22/2012 3:00:19 PM
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Cool subject for a magazine. Yes, I can imagine you covered RoHS quite a bit, since it had a major impact on the COTS market.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Ann R. Thryft   5/23/2012 12:47:53 PM
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Actually, among the high-end embedded board-level products we covered, RoHS seemed to affect most the manufacturers that served both mil and commercial customers, since they often ended up running two separate lines for two different versions of the "same" product. Mil-only board manufacturers were  not affected much until later. One thing that did affect them both was the nightmare of components tracking and part numbers changing.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Any possibility of commercial applicability?
Rob Spiegel   5/23/2012 2:32:33 PM
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Yes, I remember the difficulties with component tracking and part numbers. For some reason REACH didn't see to cause the same consternation. At least not that I noticed. I guess it's becasue REACH was more of a reporting function.

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