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Aerial Refuelling Monitor

A rugged COTS computer board acts as the brain of a refueling monitor system. Refueling is a critical maneuver during flight because the different speeds of tanker and receiver aircraft have to be synchronized and illumination conditions may make visibility of the receiver aircraft nearly impossible. Effective support to the pilot can be given by using an IP-based camera system to monitor the approaching speed and the right position for the docking process of the fuel tank filler hose.

The IP camera is controlled by two identical F17 CompactPCI system slot cards. One is used as acquisition computer, the other one as the display and recording unit. All necessary functions like PCI Express, SATA, Gigabit Ethernet, USB, video and audio are provided by these COTS computer boards that are based on an Intel dual-core 64-bit CPU L7400. All components including the working memory are firmly soldered to withstand shock and vibration.

The F17 SBCs are installed in an Arinc 600 size 8 chassis with a CompactPCI sub-chassis. Both SBCs are driven by the the 1.5GHz low-voltage processor versions that still produce a heat dissipation of 22 Watts per board. Thus, careful thermal management considerations were necessary to specify the conduction cooled environment for an operation temperature of -40 to +85°C.