Systems integration is no small feat. Ensuring disparate parts and systems—standalone solutions from multiple vendors—talk and work together seamlessly and reliably is a challenge.
In fact, the systems integrator, not to mention the MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) specialist charged with keeping systems in good working order over decades of deployment, has been given many nicknames reflective of the daunting task of making sure all electronics play well together.
(Many such nicknames relate to taming electronic systems as though they were wild, unbridled horses; among them are systems whisperer and hardware wrangler. This is the person that walks into the room and the troubled computer magically starts working. As you mutter, “It’s not doing it now.” If you know of others, this geek invites you to share!)
This geek spent hours getting disparate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic components in a home theater system to talk to each other effectively and work as a cohesive unit. The downside, however, is that the end user is saddled with five controllers—making him a “remote wrangler.”
Just one week later, at a party held by a friend of the geek, there sat a similar home theater. His system also was comprised of disparate components, but one thing tied them all together quickly, easily, and seamlessly: a standard.
In this case, all the disparate parts incorporated HDMI, the High-Definition Multimedia Interface. As a result, the systems integrator could easily plug everything in and the components talked to one another upon startup; and, the end user could control all five disparate systems via one remote.
Now, if only everything worked this quickly and easily for mil/aero systems integrators and end users… Aerospace and defense technology firms, including Mentor Graphics, are actively working with industry standards bodies to this end. In the meantime, however, electronic design automation and testing/verification tools from industry leaders such as Mentor, continue to aid systems designers, systems integrators, and myriad other engineers in delivering seamless end-to-end mil/aero solutions.