Case Study

Case Study: Airbus A3R MRTT Tanker Automatic Refueling

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CHALLENGE Build a fully automatic safety-certifiable in-air refueling system that implements a refueling process that is reliable, repeatable and, most importantly, safe. In addition, the system needed to allow the refueler to see approaching aircraft accurately and in real time by ingesting video data from multiple aircraft sensors. SOLUTION Mercury delivered a purpose-built computer for Airbus based on the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) ROCK family of pre-integrated subsystem platforms that draw from a range of safety-certifiable modular COTS building blocks, addressing both the need for high-end video processing and the safety-criticality of the application. The system handles video streams with very low latency across multiple processors while meeting stringent DO-178 and DO-254 software reliability processes. RESULT With a total of 45 flight test hours and 120 dry contacts, Airbus successfully demonstrated the first-ever fully automatic air-to-air refueling operation with a boom, opening the door for future unmanned refueling systems. This significant milestone is part of the production phase of the Airbus A3R system that will be implemented in the A330 SMART MRTT tanker. The certification phase for the tanker program begins in 2021. Mercury Helps Airbus Achieve World's First Safety-Certifiable Fully Automatic Refueling System CASE STUDY Mercury + Airbus LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ROCK PLATFORM Mercury developed a high- performance computing platform that allowed Airbus DS to integrate the core artificial vision algorithms necessary to make this achievement possible. Luis Miguel Hernández, Airbus SMART MRTT program manager Innovation That Matters®

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