On 6 July, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) introduced what the company calls the industry’s first rugged data recording system. Designed to support legacy sensor systems based on the Fibre Channel (FC) data communications protocol and to bridge that data to Ethernet networks, the newest addition to CWDS' family of data recorders, the CNS4-FC Compact Network Storage subsystem combines four-channel data recording, encryption and removable storage in a single rugged chassis.

The new scalable CNS4-FC provides system designers with a modernised solution for high-speed data recording, cryptography and removable storage, while protecting their investment in previously qualified FC-based sensor and client system architectures. As FC disk drives have become obsolete, system designers are faced with the challenge of maintaining or updating their existing high-speed data acquisition applications without interruption. This Compact Network Storage system provides a no-compromise solution for system designers seeking a high capacity FC recorder solution that is capable of bridging the FC protocol and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). 

Our new CNS4-FC data recorder uniquely delivers a powerful future-proofing data recording solution to system designers ‘orphaned’ by the obsolescence of Fibre Channel disk drives,” Lynn Bamford, Senior Vice President & General Manager, CWDS, explained “Because this rugged recorder bridges legacy Fibre Channel and modern Ethernet architectures, it frees integrators from having to re-qualify the sensor system, re-design it with modern interfaces, or re-wire the airborne platform, which saves significant time, budget and program risk. What’s more, the CNS4-FC enables legacy applications to upgrade with support for NSA Type 1 encryption to protect their critical data-at-rest.”

The CNS4-FC can be configured with up to four Curtiss-Wright Flash Storage Modules (FSM-C) in its fully rugged convection-cooled ATR chassis. The current capacity of the FSM-C, which is based on industry standard 2.5” solid-state drives, is 2TB per module. The maximum capacity of available FSM-C modules will increase as the storage capacities of SSD drives increase. These modules feature a 100,000 insertion cycle connector, which is critical for long-term life in mobile applications such as Mission Recorders, Unmanned Vehicle Data Loaders, Mobile ISR Systems and Ground Vehicles.

In addition to its VPX I/O expansion slot, the CNS4-FC chassis also accommodates a 3U VPX inline media encryptor (IME) which is certified for Secret and Below Information (SABI) in attended systems. A Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) and DS-101 key fill port are mounted on the chassis’ front panel when this IME is used. Additional encryption options are available.


To support contemporary avionics and sensor management systems, the CNS4-FC supports a wide variety of I/O interfaces. In addition to its four built-in GbE ports and two FC ports, it also provides a 3U VPX slot for additional I/O expansion. An optional Universal Capture Card (UCC) XMC module can also be used to record multiple streaming channels of sFPDP, GbE and 10 GbE data. In addition, when combined with a VPX carrier card, the CNS4-FC can host a wide-range of XMC I/O cards to support the capture of legacy protocols such as MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC-429. (Photo: Curtiss-Wright)

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