TuffServ 540 Rugged Recorder / Server

Redefining Performance in a Device Smaller Than a Soda Bottle

  • Greater than 800 MB/s sustained network throughput
  • Small and lightweight 105 cu. inches and less than 10 lbs.
  • Detachable Memory Module Capacities up to 16 TB
  • High Speed I/O Interface using XMC for user options
  • Built for Rugged, MIL-STD-810 Environments with MIL-STD Power and Connectors
  • Options for Additional or Customized I/O via miniPCIe slots

Designed with a scalable architecture consistent with the Ampex Common Compute Environment™ (ACCE), the TuffServ540 recorder / reproducer supports a wide range of applications. With its compact size, low weight, and I/O options, it can be used wherever it is needed.

Designed for Unique Environments

With dimensions of 8.5” x 4.25” x 2.9” (215mm x 108mm x 74mm), the TuffServ 540 comes in at approximately 105 cu. Inches (1.7 liters) and weighs less than 10 lbs (4.5Kg). Combined with rugged, MIL-Spec qualifications, it is uniquely suited for applications where performance cannot be sacrificed, despite installation challenges.

Performance, Security and Capacity

Based on the standardized processing platform using Red Hat Linux version 7.4 common amongst all TuffServ models, the TuffServ 540 celebrates sustained data rates in excess of 800 MB/sec for onboard data storage applications. The base TuffServ 540 provides two 1000Base-T interfaces plus a 100Base-T port for control/status, as well as expansion capability through a high-speed XMC interface site with options for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (up to 4 channels), VITA 17.1 sFPDP (two or four channels) and other I/O types. Additional I/O is available via a miniPCIe slot, for MIL-STD-1553B, etc.

To support this range of interfaces, the TuffServ 540 provides a high-capacity, high performance detachable memory module using a pair of NVMe SSDs, offering total capacities up to 16TB and higher, as memory technology matures. The memory modules leverage rugged COTS media solutions, further qualified by AMPEX to meet the requirements of challenging programs.

Designed for Flexibility

The heart of the TuffServ 540 is a standardized, rugged pluggable processing module, integrating the CPU with memory and I/O interfaces such as mini-PCI Express, XMC, USB, Ethernet and serial ports. This design provides opportunities to expand and adapt the platform for new or unique requirements, as well as provide options such as MIL-STD-1553 control and GPS time synchronization. This also facilitates product reliability and long-term supply by isolating the intricacies of the CPU from the overall system; as technology evolves, alternative modules can be used without changing the system’s internal and external interfaces.

Video & Imagery

The TuffServ 540 provides video data management and storage in the smallest, most powerful system on the market.  Ampex has taken the technology in our fastest system, the TS-640, and scaled it to 105 cubic inches (2.9”H x 4.25”W x 8.5”D).  Its small size enables the United States Navy’s F-18 fighter aircraft program to use it for video transforming of cockpit displays during flight tests and the Dream Chaser® Spaceplane to use it for video processing as part of cargo missions to the International Space Station.


The TuffServ 540 (TS-540) has the benefit of being able to store even the most powerful radar’s data in an extremely small package. At just 105 cubic inches (2.9”H x 4.25”W x 8.5”D), it is smaller than a toddler’s shoebox. The front panel or “FP” model is equipped with a serial front panel data port (sFPDP) interface common to radar manufactures and radio frequency collection systems. The TS-540FP for example, is used onboard the development models of the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (mid-band).


The TuffServ 540 is ideal for EW pod or unmanned vehicle applications because it puts the power of Ampex’s highest performance devices in a form factor of only 105 cubic inches (2.9”H x 4.25”W x 8.5”D). The Next Generation Jammer uses the TS-540 in its modular pod.

Mission Computers & Storage

The TuffServ 540 (TS-540) stands alone in its class as the smallest, most powerful, ruggedized mission computer in the industry. At just 105 cubic inches (2.9”H x 4.25”W x 8.5”D), it is smaller than a toddler’s shoebox and is the ideal mission computer for smaller unmanned vehicles, remote sensing systems, and smaller space vehicles.  Like all Ampex systems, the TS-540 can also be configured to capture and record military and commercial standard bus data (e.g. MIL-STD 1553, 1760, ARINC-429). The Dream Chaser® Spaceplane uses the TS-540 to support mission computing.

Flight Test

The TuffServ 540 (TS-540) is ideal for flight test data needs in “tight” spaces. Whether it’s a test pod on a wing or inside the cockpit, at only 105 cubic inches (2.9”H x 4.25”W x 8.5”D), the TS-540 is the perfect fit. Because of its small size and tremendous speed (900 megabytes per second), the F-18 program uses the TS-540 to transcode cockpit display test data before downlink. The combination of sizespeed, and capacity also makes the TS-540 ideal for test data collection and storage on mission aircraft as the trend toward instrumenting “fleet systems” gains more traction.


Ampex has created a radiation tolerant version of the TS-540, the TS-540RT. The specially designed TS-540RT still maintains size at just 237 cubic inches (4.67″H x 4.88″W x 10.30″D) is perfect for high altitude and low earth orbit systems. The Dream Chaser® Spaceplane uses the 540RT for video processing as part of cargo missions to the International Space Station.