Issue 55 Uncrewed Systems Technology Apr/May 2024 Sellafield’s UAV equipment l Applied EV Blanc Robot l Battery tech l Robotican’s Goshawk l UGVs l UAVHE RW1 rotary l Roboat UVD l Autopilots l Arkeocean UVD l UMEX 2024 l CycloTech UVD

34 Dossier | Applied EV Blanc Robot UGV compounding effect in terms of how we can optimise and shrink down our system,” Broadbent says. Key contributors to reducing latency include a mixture of prudent component selection and programming rigour with regard to the network and the embedded software. On top of this, a huge part of the company’s effort has gone into careful management of signal prioritisation across the network bus. “Going through the system processes has been fundamental to creating the right bandwidth architecturally for fast computational processing,” Broadbent says. “After that, it’s a matter of combing through software algorithms to develop highly efficient code. You can buy fast hardware, but you need to spend a lot of time developing fast software.” Software development The arrangement of PCBs in the Digital Backbone’s hardware stack is somewhat echoed in the map of software modules responsible for the Blanc Robot’s sensor processing and control network. To achieve that, Applied EV forgoes traditional coding in favour of modelbased software engineering, requiring the entire system architecture to be drawn up and processed via a V-model from the very beginning. A V-model, also known as a Verification and Validation model, is a category of software development lifecycle in which the software is produced sequentially in a V-shape, starting with the gathering and analysis of requirements. The developer then progresses to the design, implementation, testing and maintenance of the software, with each developmental stage being tested before proceeding to the next, such that the following one can be informed by the results of the prior. “There is a V-model for every single board and component, and doing that ensures we have full traceability of every software and hardware choice, from our upfront requirements to final delivery. We have leveraged significant automated code generation to get it done, and as difficult as it has been, it is the only way we could have achieved the safety rating we have,” Broadbent says. “Our programmers do find traditional coding more tangible and more real. The modelbased software design architecture, by contrast, is extremely complex and it’s more heavily front-loaded.” As per the ISO standards, all of the Applied EV’s software tool chains are required to be audited and approved by certification bodies as credible and safety-rated, so the selection of approaches for producing algorithms is defined by the required approvals. April/May 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology As each integrator will want a different sensor layout for their application and body, the Blanc Robot provides an open architecture for installing them It’s a matter of combing through software algos to develop highly efficient code… you need to spend a lot of time developing fast software