Helicopter Cabin Computer

Abaco Systems
Huntsville, AL

Abaco Systems announced recently that it has won orders from a major European technology company that will see Abaco’s range of innovative hardware platforms deployed at the heart of a new helicopter cabin computer. The initial order is valued at $350,000. Total lifetime value to Abaco of the win is expected to be $1.5 million. Design and integration took place during 2020 with production scheduled to start in 2021.

The requirement was to replace the existing cabin computer, which was based on Abaco’s DAQMAG2A high-performance rugged display computer, which had ceased production, onboard a twin-engine helicopter designed to be suitable for long range operations. The challenge was to develop flight deck systems to make the pilot’s job as easy as possible by reducing workload, delivering intuitively actionable information based on data acquired from a broad range of sensors, and enhancing situational awareness.

Working with a channel partner, an evolution of the DAQMAG2A-based system was proposed. The new cabin computer would use Abaco’s SBC329 3U VPX single board computer and NVP2102 XMC graphics output and video capture board, plus other modules designed by the channel partner

The major European technology company has a multi-decade history and is a prominent player in the global aviation industry. Its helicopter division continues to develop an extensive range of modern rotary wing platforms for commercial, public service, and security and defense applications.

The SBC329 rugged single board computer features a high-performance Intel® Xeon ® E3-1505M or E3-1505L v6 (quad core) operating at 3.0 GHz base frequency, up to 4.0 GHz TurboBoost. With up to 16 GBytes of soldered ECC memory, it includes the SmartFusion2 FPGA with advanced security features.

The NVP2102 is a chip-down XMC graphics output and video capture board based on the NVIDIA® Pascal™ (GP107) Quadro® P2000 GPU. The NVP2102 offers very high-performance graphics and GPGPU capability – up to 2.3 TFLOPS floating-point - with CUDA™ and OpenCL™ support.

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