ARTS III is the third generation ARTS and was engineered for NASA DFRC’s Predator-B (Ikhana) UAV #870 aircraft. The aircraft is an experimental platform for NASA’s HALE and Suborbital Science programs. Additionally, Ikhana plays a critical role in the U.S. Forest Service’s WesternStates Fire Mission, which provides real-time wildfire imaging and mapping capabilities in the western United States.
For the Ikhana UAV, the WVHTC Foundation engineered, built, tested, and delivered:
- 2 Flight Units
- 2 Flight-Equivalent Laboratory Units
- 1 Portable Test Computer
A single ARTS III flight unit features a ½ ATR chassis with three single board computers, and a wealth of external I/O including ARINC-429, 1553B, Ethernet, RS-422, and analog. Additionally, each unit has 6 GB of on-board data storage capacity.
For ARTS III, the WVHTC Foundation developed and tested application software based upon requirements provided by NASA DFRC. The ARTS III application software performed similar tasks to those listed for ARTS IV with two key differences:
- The ARTS III is not dual-redundant, thus voting of signals is not necessary
- Communications with the aircraft was via a RS-422 instead of a 1553 bus
The ARTS III flight units are environmentally certified to MIL-STD-810F (vibration, shock, and thermal) and MIL-STD-461E (EMI)
For more information on the Ikhana UAV: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/research/ESCD/ikhana.html.