Chassis Plans is providing rugged custom portable computer systems in support of the US Marine Corps VIPER/T program. The Virtual Instrument Portable Equipment Repair/Tester (VIPER/T) is a rugged, man-portable automated test system. This is the USMC’s primary functional test gear used to test and diagnose electronic, electro-mechanical and electro-optical systems in communication and weapons systems. It is currently used to test components of weapons systems (e.g. Avenger, TOW2 Missile, LAV-25, and LAV-AD, M1A1), radar systems (TPS-59, TPS-63, and TPQ-46A), and communications gear (TRC-170 and Unit Level Circuit Switch).
VIPER/T is a long-duration program with the USMC and is using the Chassis Plans’ custom portable computer to upgrade the system’s capabilities. The VIPER/T system consists of VXI analog, digital and RF instrumentation controlled by the Chassis Plans’ rugged portable computer.
Chassis Plans’ portable computer provides a 17” TFT LCD with 1280×1024 resolution, shock mounted drive bay, and slim-line DVDRW drive. The LCD is provided with a dimming feature for 0-100% brightness adjustment. The LCD is modified with a bonded anti-reflective overlay glass for enhanced high-bright viewability and to protect the LCD.
The system includes a plug-in SBC with an Intel i7 processor, Q87 chip set and 8GB of RAM, expandable to 32GB. The SBC is plugged into a 14-slot passive backplane providing one x16 and five x4 PCIe slots and seven 32-bit PCI slots. The customer required all connections to the system be mil-compliant so mil-circular connectors were provided where appropriate for interfacing to the legacy VXI test equipment and military weapons systems under test.
Power to the system is provided by a custom wide-range 18VDC to 36VDC 760W DC/DC power supply. An AC supply is optionally available.
A full-feature, full-travel fold-down keyboard protects the LCD while the unit is being transported. An included touch pad is used for cursor control.
The computer system is designed specifically for rugged military environments and transportation and is designed to be MIL-STD-810G compliant for assured reliability. One of the selling points is the multi-year program support offered by Chassis Plans to assure future hardware availability for long life-cycle programs such as the VIPER/T.
The Marine Corps has 200 VIPER/T systems in the field scheduled for upgrade with an additional 200 on contract for delivery. Additional acquisitions are on-going.
Chassis Plans is known for custom system design and integration. Variants of the VIPER/T portable computer system are available for other projects.