UAV Systems

The Client

A leading maufacturer in the Aerospace & Defense market. The direct client was the division in charge of engineering and production of the company’s UAV systems and a worldwide leader in the field of UAV development.

The Client’s Needs

Following the adoption of an industry standard as guideline for all new Ground Station of UAV systems development, our client faced the problem of supporting communication interfaces between newly developed Ground Systems and their previously developed UAV systems, that do not conform to this standard. With a growing number of worldwide clients adopting it as the de facto standard, and not wishing to see a sharp drop in the sales of their UAV systems, the client needed a quick and viable solution for controlling legacy vehicles through interfaces that adhere to this standard.

The Solution

Based on requirements from project engineers, Adi Mainly Software designed and implemented the VSM system: a family of vehicle specific software modules that are shipped as part of each legacy UAV which is required to be controlled by Ground Systems that follow the new standard.

Throughout the process we relied heavily on our tools in each phase of the development to ensure that we deliver reliable software on schedule. The following table lists the tools we used for each activity performed in order to reach our goal:

Defining data of interfaces between Ground Station ⇔ VSM and VSM ⇔ UAVICD16
Defining relationships between incoming and outgoing data elements and messagesJunction16
Defining UAV fail conditions, how to calculate them, and the actions to take upon occurrenceFDM16
Generating code for VSM, UAV and Ground Station applications developmentFiles Generation
Implementation of VSM applicationJunction and VSM frameworks
Functional and black box testing of VSM and Ground StationSimulator
Automating smoke and regression testingTesting Tool

The Results

Pacman eating pizzas below gives you a good estimate of the amount of code generated from the tools and the generic framework code out of the total lines in a VSM application.

While measuring lines of code does not provide a completely accurate picture of the impact on the ROI, it does provide a general idea of the power of using the tools correctly.

Besides the obvious advantage of massive code generation, our client also received the following advantages:

  • Framework reuse in subsequent projects which amounts to about 10% of the code.
  • Consistent interface code from ICD was also generated to UAV and Ground Station developers, eliminating discrepancies and reducing integration time.
  • Large parts of MIL-STD documents were generated from the tools. Sections of the SRS & IDD & SDD documents from the ICD16, the FDM16 and the Junction16 Tools, and STD/STR documents from the Test Manager.
  • Simulators were generated while development was carried out allowing each feature to be tested as it was developed reducing development and testing time.
  • Automatic functional and regression testing were implemented reducing time and increasing testing thoroughness.
  • Test scenarios were reused in subsequent VSM projects.

Using all of these tools allowed us to cut the development time considerably to about 1/3 of the conventional estimated development time.