Everyday Life, Enhanced with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Modern technologies are enabling increased automation across multiple markets and enhancing everyday life in myriad ways.

Organizations across the world are increasingly adopting and heavily investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning – and reaping myriad benefits. AI and ML technologies are helping optimize business processes, boost efficiency and productivity through automation, grow customer satisfaction with enhanced reliability and responsiveness, and reduce costs and increase uptime via predictive maintenance. In fact, AI has the potential to provide trillions of dollars in value annually, market analysts predict.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already hard at work all around us, enhancing everyday life, and reshaping the way we live, through the advent of automated and autonomous vehicles, smart cities and smart factories, and much more. Modern technologies are empowering innovative AI and ML applications across multiple market verticals, including commercial, industrial, aerospace and defense, energy, and other critical infrastructure sectors.

Rugged, robust, reliable systems from Crystal Group Inc. in Hiawatha, Iowa, are enabling a broad array of AI and ML applications across critical markets with the use of Intel technologies, including the latest Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family and Intel 3D NAND solid-state drives (SSDs).

Aerospace and defense organizations are actively harnessing AI and ML technologies in various operational environments. Greater AI and ML adoption is, in turn, driving the demand for rugged compute, networking, and data storage devices at the edge – on land, at sea, and in air and space. Engineers and systems integrators are choosing Crystal Group rugged compute, networking, power electronics, thermal management, and data storage devices – designed to deliver high reliability and high performance over a long life in even the most extreme environments – to enable AI and ML at the edge of the battlefield.

Crystal Group’s rugged systems combine with complex AI and ML software algorithms to boost public safety and national security in critical applications, including protection from current and future air and missile threats. Air and missile self-defense is a central focus and of growing importance globally, and several modern missile defense systems tap Crystal Group rugged hardware solutions. The Crystal Group RS112 Rugged 1U Server, for example, is vital to Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) for the U.S. Army.

IBCS is a revolutionary command-and-control (C2) system developed to deliver significantly enhanced aircraft and missile tracking in a single, unambiguous view of the battlespace to help maximize defense capabilities, optimize resources, provide flexibility on the battlefield, and save lives. Crystal Group’s rugged servers provide onsite network services as part of a command and control data relay network in a mobile warfare environment as part of IBCS.

The U.S. Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense (AIAMD) system also takes advantage of the Crystal Group RS112 1U Rugged Server, while the U.S. Army Air/Missile Defense Planning and Control System (AMDPCS) harnesses the Crystal Group RS132L24 1U Rugged Server to fulfill its mission and benefit Army operations. Both the RS112 and RS132L24 are rugged, rack-mounted 1U servers sporting industry-leading Intel CPUs in small size, weight, and power (SWaP) footprint and a strong but lightweight aluminum enclosure.

AI and ML technologies, together with Crystal Group rugged hardware, are also enabling AI and automated systems in manned and unmanned aircraft, helping to meet mission goals while keeping military personnel out of harm’s way.

The Boeing Insitu RQ21A Blackjack small, tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) provides persistent maritime and land-based reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition data collection and dissemination capabilities to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Crystal Group’s RCS6450 Rugged Switch and RS378 3U Rugged Server support the RQ-21A and its ability to launch on land and at sea, quickly integrate multiple intelligence and sensor payloads, and operate in even harsh, high-temperature environments for up to 12 hours continuously or 24 hours with short surges.

Deployed on more than 500 military programs, Crystal Group rugged solutions with Intel technology are meeting AI and ML needs in critical air traffic control communications, spacecraft and International Space Station (ISS), and satellite telecommunications ground station systems. They can further boost public safety and mission success in a variety of homeland security, law enforcement, and first response AI and ML installations, and as part of today’s hottest autonomous vehicles.

Early adopters and continued investors in AI and ML, military organizations and defense contractors helped to pioneer autonomous vehicles, which depend heavily upon AI and ML capabilities and reliable, real-time data handling functionality.

U.S. Armed Forces rely on the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned autonomous helicopter for reconnaissance, situational awareness, aerial fire support, and precision targeting. This unmanned and autonomous workhorse and ground station use Crystal Group’s RS255 2U Rugged Server, able to withstand harsh environments and high levels of shock and vibration. Rugged AI and ML systems are helping meet requirements and keep people safe in both military and commercial vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) from major manufacturers promise to transform transportation as we know it, and significantly reduce driver workload in addition to accidents, emissions, and fatalities. Rugged, high-performance compute and networking equipment from Crystal Group – the Crystal Group Rugged Intelligence Appliance (Crystal Group RIA™), in particular – are helping achieve these benefits, enabling AI and ML with real-time data processing, sensor fusion, data storage, fast networking, and high reliability in even rough terrains, tough conditions, and harsh environments.

A growing number of modern, commercial autonomous vehicles and ADAS are harnessing Crystal Group RIA rugged autonomous computer equipment, which draws on the latest Intel processors and advanced graphics processors. Designed to put automated, autonomous, and unmanned projects on the fast track and speed time to market, Crystal Group RIA high-performance, rugged computers systems pack impressive compute power, data-handling capabilities, and storage capacity into a compact, rugged solution that withstands harsh conditions—including potholes, collisions, and extreme temperatures that could cause traditional systems to fail. Crystal Group RIA systems are built for safety and reliability, leveraging the company’s 35 years of experience designing, manufacturing, and testing rugged systems for safety- and mission-critical applications.


Figure 1: Commercial transportation companies are deploying AI and ML capabilities and Crystal Group rugged, robust systems in novel ways. A commercial transport pioneer in the southwestern U.S. is leading the way toward autonomous commercial trucking and deploying Crystal Group rugged servers to help address the truck driver shortage issue.

AI and ML systems, enabled by rugged and reliable hardware, are also integral to the coming wave of urban mobility and multimodal transportation technologies – a rapidly growing multibillion-dollar market in which a long list of industry leaders are investing resources.

Critical infrastructure sectors – including power, oil and gas, and telecommunications – are undergoing modernization and digitization, and in turn, increasingly relying on AI, ML, and rugged, reliable systems to increase automation, efficiency, safety, and security.

Rugged, high-performance hardware systems and AI/ML algorithms are enabling smart grid modernization, including updating aging power substations in various locales to be smarter and more digital. Smart digital power substations rely on real-time data handling, which requires robust compute, networking, and data storage equipment designed to withstand tough environmental conditions, cyber and physical threats to security, as well as lightning and other electrical surges. Leading power companies continue to choose Crystal Group rugged, reliable systems incorporating Intel, Nutanix, VMware, and Ruckus Networks technologies and solutions for power substation control, plant monitoring, outage identification, and field monitoring applications in even the most remote and harsh environments.

Smart Cities and Factories
AI and ML technologies in concert with Crystal Group rugged systems are playing an ever larger role in various industrial settings, as organizations modernize through increased automation, greater use of robotics, and digitization. In fact, AI and ML systems are helping to usher in the fourth industrial revolution.

Rugged compute, networking, and data storage systems are also finding a home atop utility poles, cell towers, and buildings in smart city applications. Helping to enable AI and ML at the edge, these rugged boxes can power myriad sensors and cameras, facilitate sensor fusion, transmit and store critical data, provide fast network switching, support 5G communications, and more – to enable rugged-at-the-edge computing, communications, and connectivity cost-effectively with less network infrastructure.

Crystal Group rugged compute, networking, and data storage systems simultaneously facilitate AI and ML, while allaying cybersecurity and physical security concerns using anti-intrusion technologies at both the system and component levels.

As a growing number of organizations invest in AI and ML, continued technology advances promise to enhance our lives even further, potentially to the limits of our imagination. AI and ML are going to become more prevalent and integral to daily life, enabled by a variety of rugged, high-performance systems – including rugged embedded computers, servers, networking devices, data storage solutions, and hyperconverged systems from Crystal Group Inc. in Hiawatha, Iowa.

As engineers and systems integrators across market verticals push the AI/ML envelope with novel new systems and applications, Crystal Group continues to partner with innovators like Intel and others to extend the limits of technology and help take rugged hardware to impressive, new heights.

Bob Haag holds a Master of Science in Computer Engineering and is Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Crystal Group, a technology leader in rugged computer hardware that specializes in the design and manufacture of custom and commercial rugged servers, embedded computing, networking devices, displays, power supplies, and data storage for high reliability in harsh environments. Haag is responsible for global business identification, capture, and delivery. Prior to joining Crystal Group in 2016, he spent 10 years in various executive leadership positions at Rockwell Collins, including Vice President & General Manager, Communication & Navigation Products and Vice President, Sales & Marketing.

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