L3Harris Technologies and Air Tractor to Develop AT-802U Sky Warden ISR Aircraft
L3Harris Technologies and Air Tractor to Develop AT-802U Sky Warden ISR Aircraft

ZMicro Awarded Contract to Provide Rugged Computers for USSOCOM AT-802U Sky Warden

ZMicro announced it will provide rugged computing solutions for the AT-802U Sky Warden planes that L3Harris provides U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM or SOCOM) Armed Overwatch program. Each plane will include two ZMicro ZM3 ultra-lightweight servers for situational awareness and mission management applications. Located in the body of the aircraft, the ZM3s are connected via optical fiber to a storage docking unit in the cockpit, which includes four ZMicro TranzPak 1 ultra-compact NVMe drives. The cockpit storage dock gives crew members immediate access to drives for on- and off-boarding and enables remote control to power the ZM3s on and off.

Sky Warden is designed to perform in austere, disaggregated combat environments with limited infrastructure. It merges the features and functions of larger ISR and armed aircraft into a single cost-effective, resilient platform that provides the operator the agility and flexibility to identify, track and immediately react to counter threats. High-end server capability has become essential for running ISR mission software which must create a common operating picture by intelligently combining video feeds, imagery, geospatial data, and maps with tools to allow operators to maximize mission focus. The ZM3 uses a Type 7 COM Express module to support a 16 Core Intel® Xeon® D Processor with up to 96G DDR4 RAM.

The ZM3 mission computer offers full computing capability in a small, rugged package. (Photo by Zmicro)

“The ZM3 was designed to provide the enterprise-class capabilities of a rack mount server in a fraction of the size and weight, making it ideal for space-constrained applications such as airborne ISR. It is unique because it’s the smallest, lightest rugged mission computer available that can support an NVIDIA GPU card, which is needed to run the advanced and trusted mission execution software developed by L3Harris ForceX,” said Wade.

“L3Harris continues to be a fantastic partner to work with in terms of thinking outside the box to deliver leading-edge solutions. With Sky Warden, we can meet a critical need for U.S. Special Operations Command for a low-cost aircraft that can take off and land in austere fields, fly for long periods, and support a variety of modular payloads,” said Jason Wade, President of ZMicro.

ZMicro provides rugged computing solutions for military and industrial applications. The company offers off-the-shelf, customizable, built-to-spec military-grade computers, displays, storage, and video enhancement systems. All products are manufactured on-site at ZMicro’s AS9100-certified facility at its San Diego, California, headquarters. In business since 1986, the company’s rugged computing products have been deployed in military, industrial and medical platforms worldwide. ZMicro has been supplying MIL-SPEC computing solutions to U.S. military and intelligence system integrators for more than 30 years and has earned a reputation for superior product quality, reliability, and performance.

U.S. Special Operations Command Armed Overwatch’s Sky Warden system can conduct missions in austere, disaggregated combat environments with limited infrastructure. (Photo by L3Harris)