Rugged computers: Curtiss-Wright to design vibration-management computer for modern helicopter research demonstrator

Avionics designers at European helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland in Yeovil, England, needed a custom vibration management system computer for a research program to develop intelligent, active rotors for a new generation of helicopters. They found their solution from Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Curtiss-Wright staff will design the vibration-management computer with custom I/O and conduction-cooled components. The system will provide the processing to control vibration in the main rotor head of the AgustaWestland Rotorcraft Technology Validation Program (RTVP) demonstrator, reducing vibration in the airframe. Company engineers will design the computer to be certifiable to Level A and Level C of DO-254 and DO-178B safety-critical avionics specifications.

The AgustaWestland RTVD is part of the United Kingdom Rotor Embedded Actuator Control Technology (REACT) project, launched in 2008 by AgustaWestland and the U.K. Technology Strategy Board in Swindon, England. The project seeks to develop active surfaces in helicopter rotor blades and active hydraulic systems in rotor controls, which continuously vary the rotor aerodynamics to produce the best possible performance.

The REACT program will study the feasibility of a flexible helicopter rotor trailing edge, and the efficient transfer of power to the helicopter rotor blades. Active rotor technology could provide a jet-smooth ride to reduce pilot fatigue and helicopter noise, and improve efficiencies.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Curtiss-Wright Controls Electronic Systems at www.cwcelectronicsystems.com.

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February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
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