October 23, 2020
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Collins Aerospace to Develop Future Vertical Lift Digital Backbone – Aviation Today

The SB>DEFIANT produced by Sikorsky-Boeing is one of two aircraft selected for further testing under the JMR-TD program, a precursor to the Army’s Future Vertical Lift effort. (Boeing)

Collins Aerospace is looking to develop a digital backbone for the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programs. While the modular open systems approach (MOSA) provides standards for creating open systems, it does not cover integration challenges, which the digital backbone would hope to do.

During an Oct. 13 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) webinar, Harold Tiedeman, chief engineer for FVL at Collins Aerospace, presented solutions the company has created for gaps left by MOSA.

“The U.S. Army has that term, digital backbone, which is kind of confusing because when you hear digital you kind of think about digital communications and the Internet,” Tiedeman said. “And really what the Army’s after here is a concept that covers all aspects of an aircraft infrastructure as needed to digitally enable the air vehicle mission systems on mobile Army aircraft.”

Tiedeman said the Army’s goal is to be able to update aircraft without going back to the manufacturer, however industry is still attempting to establish common standards.

“The goal of the digital backbone is to increase the speed in which these capabilities can be put on the aircraft, qualify, and return to service the warfighter,” Tiedeman said. “The Army wants to make these kinds of changes quickly and without upsetting that initial aircraft certification