Wind River drives advanced rotorcraft development

Posted By : Nat Bowers
Wind River drives advanced rotorcraft development

Wind River has revealed that AgustaWestland is using Wind River VxWorks 653 Platform for its revolutionary "Project Zero" tilt rotor technology incubator. “Project Zero” is an unmanned all-electric tilt rotor, designed to hover like a helicopter and convert to a fixed wing aircraft in forward flight, giving insight into the future of advanced rotorcraft.

Dr. James Wang, vice president of research and technology at AgustaWestland, comments: “Wind River’s proven solutions for avionics combined with its professional services expertise contributed to the development of Project Zero in record time with an innovative approach by leveraging market-leading technology. Wind River technology was selected because of its hard real-time, portability, reusability and robustness characteristics, and the company’s strong ecosystem helped us to save tremendous time in the development process.”

The technology incubator is the result of close collaboration between Finmeccanica companies, including Selex ES, which contributed to the starting phases of the project, its implementation, and ultimately to its acceptance. Selex ES has designed and manufactured key elements to the avionics of Project Zero such as: the Navigation Sensor Unit and the Flight Control Computer.

Wind River VxWorks 653 is a commercial off-the-shelf platform for delivering safety-critical integrated modular avionics applications. VxWorks 653 is compliant with ARINC 653, which implements ARINC 653 partitioning of applications. AgustaWestland was able to design, develop, build and test its unmanned rotor craft in twelve months. This was thanks to Wind River’s Professional Services team, as well as the use of an open standards-based approach.

“A testament to the power of open standards in aerospace systems, VxWorks 653 is used in over 300 programs, by over 165 customers and on over 60 aircraft. It is gratifying to know that Wind River products and services have enabled the development of yet another revolutionary unmanned vehicle, making it extremely easy to modify the system in order to support changes in customer requirements without impacting the overall robustness of the solution,” commented Chip Downing, senior director of aerospace and defense at Wind River.


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