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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Mercury introduces ROCK 4 mission computer that sets performance standard for form-factor avionics

Mercury Systems introduced ROCK 4, the first safety certifiable, small-form factor, ruggedized mission computer with latest 11th gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors.

Why It Matters

Aerospace and defense platforms have precious little space to house the computing systems needed to power new capabilities, and small-form factor mission computers have not historically been powerful enough to run Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered and other advanced avionics workloads. ROCK 4 changes the paradigm by allowing existing air- and ground-based platforms to be rapidly upgraded with new sensors and mission applications that increase safety and effectiveness.

ROCK 4 mission computers feature Mercury’s proven BuiltSAFE commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) elements and artifacts, which have been tested, certified, and fielded over three decades on airborne platforms to deliver optimal performance and accelerate safety-critical systems integration. Modular and reusable, BuiltSAFE technologies maximize interoperability and speed technology refresh by minimizing the need for recertification.

Some of the first customers for ROCK 4 include several European police forces that needed to upgrade existing helicopter fleets. Mercury provided a solution that packages three ROCK 4 mission computers together with a video switch. The computers will enable the helicopters to run AI-powered search and rescue and surveillance applications and process video for multiple cockpit displays.

“As government organizations seek to extend the lifespans and maximize the effectiveness of existing platforms that support critical national security, law enforcement, and emergency response missions, the ability to insert next-generation technologies is essential,” said Wolfgang Tostmann, Mercury’s general manager for mission systems. “ROCK 4 is the ideal solution for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft that can benefit from enhanced capabilities that were not part of their original design, such as advanced surveillance, sense-and-avoid, autonomous, and semi-autonomous flight applications that enhance pilot situational awareness and increase aircraft survivability. ROCK 4 enhances the mission computing capabilities of the Mercury processing platform, enabling customers to bend the curve for the most critical aerospace and defense missions.”

Safe and Powerful Computing that Fits Anywhere

  • Safety-certifiable 11th gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor with built-in AI and hardware accelerators to run advanced avionics workloads

  • 4x4 video/sensor switch with capture and processing to connect video to four displays

  • Up to 1080p60 (full HD) video capabilities and a range of avionics I/O to capture and process camera feeds

  • Stackable, passively cooled, and 3 kg lightweight design is easy to install and scale

  • TPM 2.0 to implement advanced cybersecurity features


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