Sailing Through Challenges: The BOXER-6643-TGU Powers Autonomous Ships

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    In the vast expanse of the open sea, where harsh conditions and limited installation space pose formidable challenges to smart technology, one government commissioned a project aimed at building and deploying small autonomous ships in the surrounding sea. The proposed autonomous ships were intended for a range of purposes, including seabed mapping, carrying out routine maritime patrols, and to aid in search and rescue operations. With a strong need for a robust and compact computing solution equipped with high processing power, expandable storage, and the ability to seamlessly integrate LIDAR, SONAR, and GPS functions, AAEON's BOXER-6643-TGU proved to be the perfect fit.

    Project Requirements

    Small, Tough, & Seaworthy

    Operating in the unpredictable marine environment, the customer required a computer that could withstand harsh conditions, including extreme temperatures and high levels of humidity. Additionally, space on board the autonomous ship was at a premium, meaning that any proposed solution needed to be compact.

    Fishing for Data

    Given the complex task execution needed in order to achieve the ship’s operational goals, the customer needed a solution capable of integrating LiDAR and sonar sensors for precise seabed mapping and navigation, as well as being able to integrate GPS function for accurate positioning.

    High-Powered Processing on the High Seas

    A crucial feature present across all of the ship’s proposed uses was the ability to efficiently compute and process vast quantities of data received from connected peripheral devices. Therefore, the chosen solution needed high-performance processing power and abundant storage capacity.

    The Solution: BOXER-6643-TGU

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    AAEON’s BOXER-6643-TGU, a Fanless Embedded Box PC available with a range of CPUs from across the 11th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor platform, emerged as the ideal computing solution for the project. The BOXER-6643-TGU not only met the key requirements set out by the customer, but exceeded them.

    Multiple Sensor Integration

    Typically equipped with three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, AAEON’s expert design and manufacturing team provided an additional USB 3.2 Gen 2 port to ensure the system had adequate avenues through which to install all of the necessary peripheral devices. As such, the BOXER-6643-TGU allowed for the easy installation of a GPS module, ensuring the customer could track the ship's precise location. Additionally, the computer's DB-9 and DB-15 ports facilitated a secure connection to both SONAR and LIDAR sensors, enabling high-resolution seabed mapping and obstacle detection.

    11th Generation Intel® Core™ Processing

    To handle the complex data processing required for the execution of complex workloads, the customer chose the BOXER-6643-TGU model with an embedded Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7E processor with Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics. This powerful CPU offered exceptional processing capabilities, guaranteeing the rapid analysis of data to support real-time decision-making.

    Compact, Unsinkable Design

    The BOXER-6643-TGU's robust design addressed the challenges that come with harsh maritime deployment. Its compact 7.87” x 5.62” x 1.75” dimensions made it an ideal fit for the limited space on the autonomous ship, while its rugged construction allowed it to operate in temperatures ranging from - -20°C ~ 60°C. The PC’s wide 9V ~ 36V power input range also helped to prevent data loss and maintain operation even when faced with unstable power sources.

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    1TB Storage Capacity

    To handle the massive volumes of data generated during seabed mapping and maritime patrol, along with supporting the development of object detection inferencing models, a 1 terabyte storage module was installed via the BOXER-6643-TGU’s 2.5" SATA Drive Bay. This abundant storage capacity alongside onboard TPM 2.0 ensured that a high volume of critical data could be securely stored and utilized as needed.

    Connectivity Far & Wide

    While the most crucial functions, such as LiDAR and sonar, utilized the BOXER-6643-TGU's wired inputs such as its DB-9 and DB-15 ports, the system also enabled wireless communication via its M.2 3052 B-Key slot, into which a 5G module was installed. This assisted by giving human resources the ability to communicate and instruct the autonomous ships from an independent data center.

    Application Architecture

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    The application's technical workflow began with data acquisition through LIDAR, SONAR, and GPS sensors. These sensors fed data into the BOXER-6643-TGU via its DB-9, DB-15, and USB ports, where it was analyzed by the system’s Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7E processor. The processor's high processing power enabled the system to efficiently handle the significant data volumes. Data analysis software processed this information, particularly in seabed mapping, by creating precise maps to support navigation and operational tasks. This data processing was crucial in maritime patrol, providing real-time insights for monitoring and controlling ship movements, ensuring safety, and responding to threats effectively. In search and rescue, the processed data aided in locating distressed vessels and individuals, while its wireless connectivity enabled the transmission of this data to human personnel.

    Impact

    The deployment of AAEON's BOXER-6643-TGU in this project was extremely successful. The challenges of navigating the vast and unpredictable open sea, including harsh environmental conditions and limited installation space, were met and exceeded with the versatility and resilience of this AAEON’s expertly designed rugged system. AAEON's BOXER-6643-TGU proved to be the linchpin in the success of this innovative maritime project. With its unwavering performance in the face of challenging conditions, seamless sensor integration, powerful data processing, and secure data storage, it stands as a testament to AAEON's commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology solutions that empower customers to excel in their most demanding endeavors.