Modular Operating System for Unmanned Vehicles (UVs)

Ref-Nr: TD2014-73

Technology abstract

A Portuguese company, part of an international group working in different areas is using previous experience from the Space context allied with knowledge of Avionic Systems to introduce new and flexible avionic architectures for use in Unmanned Vehicles; for instance, for an application in Precision Agriculture. Partnerships, specifically with Unmanned Vehicle builders, would be of interest to further explore the application of this technology.

Technology Description

A long-term investment in IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) technology has given the company reliable evidence that the benefits originally pursued by the aeronautics industry - and consolidated in the aeronautical, space and automotive domains - are applicable to a multitude of domains and markets.
Relying on the Robust Partitioning concept, IMA provides the means to support sophisticated systems in which several functionalities share a single platform safely. The IMA architecture enables the use of multiple applications in one single piece of hardware, unlike the dedicated hardware model found in traditional architectures. The versatility of this approach enables, for example, multiple analyses with the same Unmanned Vehicle (UV) without the need for multiple passes.
The Modular Operating System (MOS) here offered uses IMA and thus integrates many potential advantages into the UVs in which it would be installed. This will therefore enhance the offer of UVs towards many end-user industries, such as Precision Agriculture.

Innovations & Advantages

  • The Modular Operating System (MOS) will run in low cost highly available hardware, providing a cost effective architecture that enables the production of cost effective systems; having multiple applications running on the same hardware also reduces hardware costs;
  • The MOS platform will allow different operating systems to coexist taking full advantage of the new generation of multicore devices for multi-partition application;
  • The MOS will enable the creation of an UV supporting different types of payload without changing the controlling hardware, enabling a much more versatile vehicle;
  • The MOS will provide a solution than can be easily adopted in sectors that cannot afford huge development costs due to niche production or that are not able to develop suitable systems due to the lack of necessary knowledge of the actors involved;
  • The MOS will generate seeds that enable new business opportunities to emerge, such as applications in Precision Agriculture or new applications in existing markets, emerging markets (e.g. drones) or other possible markets (e.g. automated piloted barges).
  • The device that will use the MOS will have a reduction in SWaP (Space, Weight and Power) due to the multiple uses of the same hardware, reduction of the connections between different boards of hardware and due to the fact that the ARM architectures are built for low power consumption.

Further Information

Current and Potential Domains of Application

  • Unmanned vehicles:

o    Aerial;
o    Terrestrial (Rovers, Electric Cars);
o    Underwater;
o    Hybrid;

  • Robotics:

o    Industrial;
o    Surgical;

  • Avionics systems test bench