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IMASAT, a new system that will revolutionise avionics

AERTEC led the European IMASAT project for the past four years, in which it partnered with the company CLUE Technologies. This research focused on the development of more efficient technologies in the area of systems for SAT (Small Air Transport) aircraft that carry between 6 and 19 passengers, a market that the forward-looking Clean Sky 2 initiative wants to promote.

A smaller and lighter on-board computer with more computing power than current systems on the market, and which improves the concept of integrated modular avionics (IMA) for aeroplanes with between 6 and 19 passengers.

Specifically, a smaller and lighter on-board computer with more computing power has been developed that is intended for all types of interfaces that an SAT aircraft requires, thus improving the concept of IMA. The project’s research work focused on the design, manufacture, verification and validation of the new computer node, so that it can be used as a flight control element in this SAT segment, providing a new approach to the architecture, design, software, production and certification of a new concept in IMA.

The Spanish engineering firm was responsible for designing both the hardware and on-board software, and is now in the final phase of environmental testing. To carry out the IMASAT project, AERTEC relied on Malaga company Clue Technologies, a specialist in the manufacture of electronic systems for the aerospace industry.

“We have achieved a significant reduction in the size, weight and cost of the on-board computer compared to the systems currently on the market”, says Rafael Ortiz, Head of the Aerospace Systems and Defence Department at AERTEC. The goal of this technology is for the European aeronautics industry to adopt fly-by-wire (FBW) systems to reduce the weight of avionics systems, reduce maintenance operations and enhance aircraft safety while also improving the man-machine interface, thus reducing pilot workload”.

According to Jon González, from Clue Technologies, “Clue’s research and development efforts throughout IMASAT have allowed us to evolve the Cuchillo architecture of our WittyBox family, giving rise to a fully operational demonstrator in laboratory conditions and in a simulated operating environment. The result is a flexible, secure, small and affordable computing platform that can be used in small aircraft as an innovative flight control computer thanks to the significant increase in processing capabilities and high-speed interfaces”.

Work is underway with the Italian manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace to implement this new technology on its aircraft. Thanks to IMASAT, the European SAT industry has the chance to develop the first avionics system that is based entirely on European technologies, which would offer significant strategic advantages.

All the information on the IMASAT project can be found on the imasat.eu website.

 

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