Embedded Avionics

UTAS Developing Next-Gen Aircraft Computer

(UTC Aerospace Systems)

UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) is the process of developing a next-generation aircraft computer that the company says will offer 20 times the computing power of today’s flight control computers. Unveiled at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow, UTAS is calling the programs next-gen vehicle management computer (VMC).

The VMC will be capable of supporting fly-by-wire and autonomous flight for civil and military fixed-wing, rotary and unmanned aircraft. UTAS is developing the computer to be FAA certifiable for new and retrofit applications.

According to UTAS, three dissimilar multicore processors will enable 20 times the computing power of the flight control computers featured on in-service aircraft. The company says that it is self-funding a multi-million dollar investment to develop and test the hardware and software for the computer, and expects to announce a launch customer by 2019 with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2022.

“Commercial and military operators want to be able to fly 24/7 in degraded visual environments, no matter what the condition,” said Tim White, UTAS president of electric, environmental and engine systems. “Autonomous and unmanned operation is a significant part of the solution to that challenge, and we’re excited about how our next-gen vehicle management computer will help.”

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