The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on December 16 that it has developed the Qplus-Air on its own, which is an operating system controlling computer systems of aircraft, and successfully finished a test operation on an unmanned aircraft.
The accomplishment is highly meaningful in that all of the currently available operating systems for unmanned aircraft are imported ones. Once the Qplus-Air is put to commercial use, the high dependence on imported software can be reduced, and software upgrades and system updates are expected to be facilitated.
In particular, the Qplus-Air supports integrated modular avionics (IMA) for the first time in Korea in order to reduce the weight and power consumption of planes. It is a type of next-generation technology essential for longer flight durations and wider operation ranges of manned and unmanned aircraft.
The researchers who participated in the development have set up a venture company, named Altist, and had the technology transferred. Under the circumstances, ETRI is expecting that the commercialization of the technology will be able to be accelerated down the road. The venture firm has already signed a contract with Korea Aerospace Industries to supply a condition monitoring system that can be compared to a black box for helicopters.
The Qplus-Air is scheduled to be installed in the utility helicopter Surion in 2017 through more safety and security tests. “The system will be used in the helicopters manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries, including the Surion and light armed helicopters,” said the ETRI.