Etion Create success with CheetahNAV continues


Pretoria-based electronics company Etion Create is hitting full stride with its flagship CheetahNAV military vehicle tactical navigation system now in series production and attracting export sales in the Middle East.

The CheetahNAV was designed for harsh environments, such as in extreme battlefield conditions. Using an inertial measurement unit (IMU) comprising several aids, including an advanced algorithm, CheetahNAV provides vehicle crews with outstanding situational awareness.

According to business development manager Ian Esterhuizen, the system provides dead reckoning horizontal position accuracy of 0.2% of distance travelled, even where the vehicle crew is denied satellite navigation. “This translates to accuracy of 200m over 100 km. Importantly, the tactical grade IMU ensures the system is also immune to enemy jamming,” he added.

Data is displayed on a sunlight readable touchscreen enabled moving map display unit measuring 11.6” diagonal, in 16:9 TFT format, with a 1920×1080 resolution.

Etion Create also offers a slave unit for the vehicle driver, as the main display might be positioned elsewhere in a space constrained vehicle. This unit displays information specifically required by the driver.

“For the export market, specifically multinational operations that are nowadays almost the norm, we offer a multi-language option,” Esterhuizen said. “In addition, CheetahNAV is non-ITAR controlled.”

As a leading original design manufacturer (ODM) in South Africa, Etion Create’s portfolio expanded from an original focus on aerospace and defence to include mining and industrial, as well as transport, specifically rail systems.

Etion Create showcased its CheetahNav at last September’s Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition in Centurion, along with its range of embedded boards and modules, from SRUs (system replaceable units) to LRUs (line replacement units) or subsystems. Some were used in the rocket system of the Rooivalk combat support helicopter and in South Africa’s GBADS programme (ground-based air defence system).

The company’s own COTS (commercial off the shelf) products are based on open architecture standards, resulting in numerous products used in the defence, aerospace and industrial markets.

Some products at AAD 2022 were Etion Create’s DS600 smart display family for rugged applications and the CM120 mini module with an Intel Atom E3900 processor, codenamed Apollo Lake-I for IOT (internet of things).

“Measuring slightly bigger than a credit card, the CM120 provides scalable processing power for reduced SWaP (size, weight, and power) applications,” said Esterhuizen. “This makes it suitable for rugged small form-factor systems for aerospace, maritime, and land systems, ultra-HD video and graphic processing, network security, industrial control and transport systems.”

Etion Create’s hardware-based encryption and cryptographic solutions enable secure communication over public networks, including the Internet. SOLIDnet VPN (virtual private network) products are fully scalable from small businesses to top-secret classification levels, suitable for government and military applications. The SOLIDid 5000 family of cryptographic token solutions are a USB-based extension of smart card technology.