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The Impact of MIL-DTL-901E on Shock Requirements

29 May 2018

With mounting global tensions, and advanced weaponry readily available to most rebel factions, components used in mission-critical and safety-critical conditions must be constructed to withstand high impact shock.

Navy ships in storm

MIL-S-901D, an 82-page document published in 1989, detailed the shock testing requirements for shipboard machinery, equipment and systems, as they must endure constant stress while maintaining normal operating performance and structural integrity. However, the document deliberately left some “wiggle room” in the specifications as to how the tests are conducted, allowing manufactures a certain degree of flexibility in defining the performance characteristics of their ruggedized products.

Technological advancements are exploding! While the consumer industry has brought us the power of a desktop computer that slips conveniently into a pocket, so too has warfare and battlefield technology advanced.

The updated standard, MIL-DTL-901E, is a 142-page document published in 2017. It is written with much detail, specifically to limit ambiguity and avoid misinterpretation. After all, there should be no room for error when lives are on the line.

As MIL-S-901D has from the beginning, MIL-DTL-901E outlines rigorous testing procedures for high-impact shock testing, which is performed on a floating platform in a body of water, known as a barge test. As it involves the use of explosives, this test is quite thrilling to observe. It also adds a Medium Weight Deck Simulating Shock Test. Lightweight and medium weight testing is performed on shock machines on land. Another important goal of MIL-DTL-901E is to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by performing certain tests on land an an approved Deck Simulating Shock Machine (DSSM).

Photo of MIL-DTK-901E Barge Test explosion

MIL-DTL-901E is absolutely a necessary qualification for equipment designed for harsh environments, such as battle cruisers and submarines. Most of General Digital’s LCD monitors are designed and built with the intention of meeting these requirements, including the Saber, Barracuda and Impact product lines. While in the past we’ve had various monitors tested to MIL-S-901D, it’s simply not feasible to have each and every one of our ruggedized monitors tested to MIL-DTL-901E. Though based on standard models, nearly all are built specifically to customer requirements.

Should you require more information about MIL-DTL-901E or other military specifications to which our rugged monitors are built, please feel welcome to contact a Sales Engineer for a no-obligation consultation.

Systems Integration by General Digital

9 May 2017

SlimLine 1U 19 inch in transit caseGeneral Digital is well-known for our state-of-the-art engineering regarding display technology. But what you may not know is that we also provide a full complement of engineering for systems integration of displays and other electronics, along with mechanical components and devices.

From display systems to power supplies, secure servers, KVM switches and extenders, as well as cooling systems—to name a few—we can incorporate the disparate components essential to your build and deliver the complete system. General Digital can provide the computing power, embedded or application software, rack or console construction or assembly, and even do in-house confidence and pre-qualification testing. We do it all to ensure everything works as designed and meets expectations.

Army intelligence equipment in rack mount stationsAs a partner in complete systems integration, we are willing to do as little or as much of an integration project as required, for cost-effective results. This means that General Digital can assemble a few simple parts for a larger and more complex integration unit. Or we can design and develop an entire large, complex system—or series of systems—and partner with our customer to document the plans as a Statement of Work, afterward delivering the final integrated system as a program deliverable.

Many of our customers are systems integrators themselves. We do not intend to pose as competition with them; rather, we offer our expertise for the purpose of serving as a resource for overflow and level-loading of common ebbs and flows of contracts and orders received by government prime contractors and engineering centers.

The overwhelming majority of our products are designed and built to meet various military standards including, but not limited to: MIL-STD-901D, MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461E/F, and MIL-STD-167B. Our systems are perfect for shipboard, airborne, vehicular, space and land-based applications. At General Digital, we provide our customers with support and expertise for all steps during the engineering process, from planning and analysis to the final qualification of the system.

Technician analysing server in large data center

The collective engineering expertise at General Digital includes electrical, mechanical, software, optical and qualification compliance. Inquire with a Sales Engineer to learn more about this new service offered for commercial, industrial and military applications.

Announcing the Release of VueSim and Mi-HMI Smart Displays

16 Feb 2017

General Digital’s new re-configurable smart display line could save up to 75% of a company’s software and display costs.

The NEW VueSim™ / Mi-HMI™ smart design and display line are versatile, highly-configurable systems designed to provide easy-to-use, complete display solutions for simulator manufacturers. With VueSim / Mi-HMI, you design your screens, download them to the smart display and run. The plug-and-play monitor can hold thousands of screen configurations and can be used at will for the desired simulation at hand.

Some key features and capabilities include…

  • Build your own configuration by choosing from a wide variety of LCD sizes and resolutions, LED backlights, overlays, embedded processors, I/O, memory, etc.
  • Select a standard enclosure or have us build to your exact mechanical specifications
  • Create instrumentation and reusable vector-based graphic libraries using General Digital’s Author™ graphics editor, or by importing SVG files directly from your libraries or third-party sources
  • Intuitively link input data from popular simulation programs to graphics; animate and download executable files to VueSim or Mi-HMI Display System
  • Engage a Technician—rather than an expensive Engineer—to rapidly design or reconfigure screen content

General Digital can tailor the VueSim and Mi-HMI to simulate virtually any military or industry-related graphics by configuring the unit with an assortment of standard or custom LCDs, Graphic Processing Units, I/O expansion modules, bezel switches, rotary encoders and more. Watch our latest videos below to learn more and then visit our Web pages for VueSim and Mi-HMI. Or call 800.952.2535 for a no-pressure consultation.



Bridging the Gap Between Pre-Clinical and Real-World Experience Using Simulation

7 Nov 2016

VueSim LCD Monitor

Training with real world devices can be expensive, never mind having the correct combination of devices for every training scenario required. A typical Operating Room, Emergency Room or doctor’s office can have many devices for monitoring a patient’s health. Some of those devices can have costs in excess of $50,000. This makes going from the pre-clinical/classroom to the real world very tough.

But now a solution is available for far less than the cost of one piece of equipment— and can do everything you would need. Finally, a way to give real world, hands-on experience and training in a cost-effective way using simulation…truly bridging the gap between pre-clinical training/education and real world experience.

Mi-HMI LCD MonitorAll of this with the appearance, and the performance, of authentic equipment, and you can create your own instrumentation for your devices and recall them on-demand to suit your needs. General Digital’s Mi-HMI will accommodate your every requirement. It is truly a unique and cost-effective “Design & Display” solution.

Contact General Digital for more information.

Learn more about Mi-HMI™ and VueSim™ on our Web site.

General Digital’s First 4K UHD 24-inch LCD Monitor

28 Sep 2016

Saber Standalone rugged 24 inch 4K UHD display

General Digital is excited to announce that we recently finished constructing our first 4K UHD monitor. This first configuration is equipped with a 23.8″ LED-backlit LCD, though other sizes will be available soon (27″, 30″ and larger). The 3840 x 2160 resolution screen (16:9) displays 1.07 billion colors at a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The standard brightness is rated at 300 cd/m², though we will be offering sunlight readable and NVIS goggle-compatible capability.

Enclosed in our rugged Saber Standalone housing, this ultra high definition display features DVI-D, HDMI (x3), and DisplayPort video inputs, as well as an internal AC power supply. Contact a Sales Engineer today at 800.952.2535 for a no-obligation discussion on how we can configure a 4K display that will suit your requirements.

Uses for a 4K display are many, as they offer greater definition for sharper images and increased color depth. Though still in its infancy, we see many industries adopting 4K to enjoy the benefits of the display’s high resolution clarity. Those markets include military, industrial, digital signage and advertising, education, entertainment, aerospace, restaurants and other service-oriented establishments, and even consumer-grade monitors for PC gamers and home theaters.

Canada/NY/MA Road Trip 2015

29 Sep 2015

Parliament Hill Peace Tower Centre Block in OttawaThe week of September 21 found Tenell, Brian and yours truly (new team member Ronald) rolling up the highway to visit customers in our general neck of the woods.

The trip, in all of our minds, was a huge success! We were able to make new connections, due to changes in staffing for some of our customers, and we strengthened the more tenured connections. We met with a range of interesting and engaging people, from all levels of position/status within the company. Considering the upbeat dialog, I’m confident that this trip will pay dividends.

Our latest product, the VueSim (a smart monitor for flight simulators) sparked quite a bit of interest in how it can be applied to our customers’ projects.

Below is a breakdown of the visits and highlights of each company we visited.

Lockheed Martin SyracuseLockheed Martin (Syracuse, NY)

Falling well within our area of expertise, we discussed the possibility of installing our Impact Monitor Kit into their existing enclosure design.


General Dynamics Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)

General Dynamics CanadaSeveral of our products could be a good match for their ground-based applications, as well as buoy applications. Designed to meet and exceed a whole host of military specifications, our monitors and display kits are already serving in similar applications.


Lockheed Martin Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)

Our rack mount monitors, which are widely accepted for ground-based and shipboard applications drew considerable interest. When we unveiled our VueSim monitors (one, a sunlight readable/NVIS compatible solution; the other, a display featuring a wider color gamut) they cited a shipboard application for which they thought it might be instrumental.


Lockheed Martin Canada (Montréal, Quebec)

Our VueSim monitors may very well be a perfect fit for an application that would require a replacement and a redesign of consoles. Also on their wish list are flat screen LCD monitors larger than 24″ (possibly up to 32″), specially designed to display both tactical and classified information.


L-3 KEO Massachusetts

The VueSim monitors were a hit, to say the least! L-3 KEO’s business model doesn’t require immediate use of monitors, but the technologies that comprise VueSim were of interest to them, as they require a 1″–2″ display with high resolution capabilities for use with/in periscopes.


And there you have it! Five customers in four days from Ottawa to Northampton certainly kept us on our toes—just the way we like it. We have much to which we look forward.

Midwest-North Road Trip 2015

4 Sep 2015

It’s been quite some time since General Digital has made its presence known in the rugged upper Midwest. Our long-standing relationship with Astronautics, and our growing relationship with UTC Aerospace Systems, gave Jennifer and Brian a compelling reason to head west. Their three-day trip started Wednesday, August 26th, and ended with them touching down again late Friday night on the 28th.

Astronautics in Milwaukee, Wisonsin

General Digital’s work with Astronautics in Milwaukee, WI, stretches back to the early years of the new millennium, providing our expert display enhancements to their renowned avionics products. Our Optical Bonding Laboratories is often tasked with augmenting customer-supplied displays which, on their own, do not meet the customer’s desired level of performance. Although we’ve worked with Astronautics for well over a decade, it was apparent that our visit made Astronautics aware that we can serve in many other ways, as well.

From passive enhancements involving improvements to the display’s film stack to the replacement of trailing edge CCFL backlights with leading-edge LED backlight designs, General Digital covers an impressive range of product and service offerings.

Jennifer and Brian hit the road once again, leaving Milwaukee behind, as they made their way to Burnsville, Minnesota, for their visit with United Technologies. After all, what’s a five-plus hour ride among friends?

UTC Aerospace in Burnsville, Minnesota

United Technologies was especially interested in our Optical Testing Laboratory. General Digital offers a suite of laboratory services that quantify the capabilities of both our, as well as customer-supplied, flat panel displays and monitor products. We explained to the engineers that one of the processes we are able to provide is professional display calibration and matching, granting customers image uniformity and true-to-life image reproduction across multiple displays. Companies like UTC consider these services invaluable in helping them provide quality solutions to their customers.

Our ability to optically bond overlays of various thicknesses and characteristics to the display improves both the display’s optical performance and its durability. Beyond that, our technicians are trained in the art and science of using a wide variety of bonding adhesives, chosen for the properties that best achieve the desired results. Once integrated into the customer’s overall system, our rugged displays offer superior viewing and unparalleled performance.

In all, the Wisconsin/Minnesota Road Trip afforded Jennifer and Brian the opportunity to shed light on more of General Digital’s vast arsenal of capabilities. With the warm reception they received, we’re looking forward to meeting their display enhancement needs at the highest caliber!

GenStar IV Spotlight: Recessed Connector Panel

13 Aug 2015

The next big thing is actually smaller!

General Digital is quite familiar with the mantra “Less is more.” In keeping with that theme, the GenStar IV features a recessed connector panel, requiring less of a bend radius for power and video cables.

Watch our video to see this innovation in action.

GenStar IV Spotlight: Field-Replaceable Power Supply

12 Aug 2015

What could possibly so great about a power supply? Usually, nothing.

But in the case of General Digital’s new GenStar IV, the power supply that was once a hulking mass on the rear of the GenStar I and II is now internal to the unit.

The result? An amazingly slim redesign of the FAA’s STARS program Primary Tower Display.

And the icing on the cake is that it’s field replaceable, which saves you from the burden of shipping expenses and lost productivity.

Watch the video to learn more!

GenStar IV Spotlight: User Interface Display

11 Aug 2015

The GenStar IV is loaded with all sorts of new features that make it the premiere monitor for the air traffic control industry. Of all  the features it includes, the User Input Display (UID) is perhaps the most unique.

The UID was designed to provide the air traffic controller with unrestricted access to mission critical data on the main display. The Calibration, Setup, System Status, and Maintenance functions can all be controlled through the UID.

What’s the only thing better than one display? Watch the video and you’ll agree that two is definitely better than one!