GE Fanuc Embedded Systems announced that the company's RT4 had been selected by BAE Systems for deployment in the UK ministry of defence's Taranis technology demonstrator programme, to develop a world class unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The RT4 was designed and manufactured by Radstone Embedded Computing - recently acquired by GE Fanuc - at its Towcester headquarters in the UK.
The RT4 is a small form factor CompactPCI-based rugged compute node with four conduction-cooled 3U slots, one of which is pre-loaded with the IMP2A single board computer. It features a high integrity bonded section chassis construction to provide exceptional strength, while the input-output (I/O) connector panel and backplane are formed as a single, removable assembly, for ease of maintenance.
BAE Systems is working with Rolls-Royce, Smiths Aerospace and QinetiQ, alongside UK ministry of defence military staff and scientists, to develop and fly Taranis. Named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis will explore and demonstrate how emerging technologies and systems can deliver battle-winning capabilities for the UK armed forces.
The four-year Taranis project is part of the UK Government's Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle (Experimental) Programme [SUAV(E)]. It will result in a UAV with fully integrated autonomous systems and low observable features.
The project is jointly funded by the UK ministry of defence and UK industry, and will bring together a number of technologies, capabilities and systems to produce a technology demonstrator based around a fully autonomous intelligent system. Ground testing of Taranis is expected to take place in early 2009, and the first flight trials in 2010.
GE Fanuc Embedded Systems is a leading global provider of embedded computing solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. It is part of GE Fanuc, a joint venture between GE and Fanuc Ltd of Japan.