Certification Milestone for Airbus Military Aircraft

| Aerospace Testing

Airbus A330 MRTT can conduct automatic air-to-air refuelling in daylight operations

VxWorks software assists Airbus by supporting the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for automatic air-to-air refueling (A3R).

Airbus uses VxWorks 653 from Wind River for the A330 MRTT air-to-air refuelling boom system (ARBS). This system is comprised of multiple ARINC 653-compliant applications running at multiple levels of safety-criticality and achieved DO-178C DAL A certification.

With this development, the Airbus A330 MRTT A3R capability has earned the distinction of being certified by the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), involving multiple ED-12C / DO-178C DAL A applications running simultaneously on multiple cores on a multicore processor.

A3R is considered to be a significant milestone in the evolution of airborne refuelling systems and Airbus is the first worldwide company to certify airborne military equipment with an embedded multicore processor to the highest assurance level DAL-A covering CAST-32A requirements.

“With the support of Wind River, Airbus successfully navigated its multicore certification journey to achieve this impressive milestone as well as identifying milestones, potential obstacles. They helped to develop key metrics during the process to ensure that the system architecture was on the right track,” says Andrés Morán Valero, multicore certification team leader, Air Refuelling Software group, Airbus.

The automated A3R system enables more efficient operation, reduces air refuelling operator (ARO) workload, reduces inherent risk of this operation and optimises the rate of air-to-air refuelling transfer. In A3R, advanced technologies can identify the receiving aircraft’s shape and its refuelling receptacle, then perform automated contact and fuel transfer while flying at high altitude.

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