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  • Satellite Evolution

Mercury enables Airbus A330 MRTT to become world’s first tanker certified for automatic refuelling


Mercury Systems has announced that the mission computer built for the Airbus A330 MRTT allowed the tanker to receive the world’s first certification for automatic air-to-air refueling (A3R) boom operations.


Mercury Mission Systems International, located in Switzerland and Spain, 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.


Why It Matters

The in-flight refueling process must be reliable and repeatable, and it must meet avionics flight safety certifications designed to eliminate risk of catastrophic failure caused by computing malfunction. Airbus’s SMART MRTT program enables A3R operations with no additional equipment on the receiver aircraft, which can reduce refueling operator workload, improve safety, and enable air superiority.

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