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The A330 MRTT is the first tanker
transport from Airbus Military with a
boom refueling system; this flight
test program was critical in the
evolution of this technology. Airbus
Military conducted more than 350
A330 MRTT flights and nearly 180
more on an A310 demonstrator to
obtain the certification.
12 Acra KAM-500 DAUs, each
acting as an Ethernet node, often
physically very far apart
• A low risk, re-usable and
flexible flight test
• Fewer flights due to real-time
• Reduction in overall flight test
program time through quick,
reliable delivery of new
Airbus Military move to an
Ethernet flight test instrumentation
system for certification
The FTI system consisted of 12 Acra KAM-500 DAUs,
each acting as an Ethernet node, often
physically very far apart. Each DAU contained :
• PCM Encoder (used only as unit backplane
controller and not as PCM encoder),
• Fast Ethernet interface for programming and acquisition
• Multiple ARINC-429, MIL-STD-1533 RS-232/422 bus monitors
• Various A/D modules.
One of the nodes in the data acquisition system was
designated as “timemaster node” while the remaining
eleven nodes were assumed to be “time-slave nodes”.
The time-master synchronizes with the incoming IRIG B time
generated by the system time server and broadcasts a
proprietary RS-422 synchronization signal to the remaining
timeslave nodes providing an accuracy of 1 μsec
and 1 PPS synchronization.
Proven on every platform type in
all environmental conditions
COTS hardware with short delivery
Reduces Cost of Ownership
Reduced inventory of spares due
to common product line
Lower installation, setup and
Modular design greatly extends
FTI by Design
Designed to minimize the data
transfer time from sensor to screen
Guaranteed predictable data
Simultaneous sampling occurs
across the complete system
“Working with Acra
means hardware is
never delayed and
support is always at
The Results I
A low risk, re-usable and flexible flight test
This project marked Airbus Military’s first use of a
completely networked FTI system.
• The success of the hybrid Ethernet FTI system on the
A310, meant the system was proven, reliable and
mature prior to installation on the A330 MRTT, lowering
the risk of the program
• The Acra KAM-500 chassis’ modularity yields an
exceptionally long useful life with a direct upgrade
path to new technologies.
Airbus Military has a re-usable Ethernet networked FTI
system that can be easily adapted to suit changing
requirements and advancements in technology.
Head of Flight Test Ground
No other company
listens to customers
as much as Acra.
The Results II
Fewer flights due to real-time data access and
increased data throughput.
The move to Ethernet allowed a dramatic increase
in data throughput to handle the increased data
acquisition requirements of the program.
• Data was available to the FTI engineers in real
time and time it took to access the data on the
ground was determined only by the time it took
to copy the files.
• The quantity and quality of data allowed the
complex program to be conducted with fewer
HIGH QUALITY DATA
FLIGHT AFTER FLIGHT
UNPARALLELED LEVELS OF
The Results III
Reduction in overall flight test program time
through quick, reliable delivery of new products
When the need for a CAN bus monitor was
identified Acra developed the KAD/CBM module
in 12 months.
During the time it took to develop the new module,
Acra provided Airbus Military with a temporary system
so that the program could start without delay.
The confidence that Acra would deliver a working
solution in time was instilled by past success with Airbus,
the proven modular architecture of the Acra KAM-500,
and a track record of delivering 100+ modules.
For more information visit
Curtiss-Wright Controls Avionics & Electronics
665 North Baldwin Park Boulevard
City of Industry, CA 91746, USA
Landscape House, Landscape Road
Dublin 14, Ireland