Embedded Systems

Development of hardware and software for embedded systems for manned and unmanned systems

The Embedded Systems Unit of the Avionics and Unmanned Systems Department is in charge of the following tasks:

  • Design of electronic systems including microprocessor and microcontroller based systems, programmable logic, power electronics and electronic instrumentation.
  • Development of real-time embedded software and sensor drivers.
  • Engineering system formal processes including the definition and adoption of system engineering planning for the projects developed by the department following the normative that applies to the aeronautic sector such as ISO IEC 61508, ISO IEC 15288, SAE ARP 4754/ED79, ARP4761, DO-178B/ED-12, DO-254/ED-80.
  • System integration in aircraft including the manufacture of wires.

The Embedded Systems Unit has experience in the design of electronic circuits for instrumentation and measure systems and various embedded systems. CATEC has its own facilities for manufacturing prototypes which allows it to guarantee strict control of the Intellectual and Industrial Property of the developments. With these facilities the Embedded Systems Unit can manufacture PCB boards of up to 6 layers and mount SMD chipsets.

In the field of embedded software, the unit is specialized in the design of real-time embedded software in different architecture including x86, PowerPC, ARM as well as PCs included in FPGAs. The unit count with a wide experience in the integration of algorithms developed using model-based design tools including MATLAB, Simulink and Scade.

Some of the tasks that have been performed are:

  • Design of the hardware and software as well as their integration of control models for the autopilot developed at CATEC which have been used in several projects such as ARCAS (www.arcas-project.eu) in which this platform was used as autopilot and also to control a robotic arm onboard a quadrotor.
  • Design and hardware integration of an embedded PC for the monitoring of fire forest from a manned helicopter.
  • Hardware design of the functional tester of the thrust lever of the Airbus A-350.
  • System engineering plan for the EC-SAFEMOBIL project (www.ec-safemobil-project.eu).
  • Design of a reconfigurable onboard payload management system that is able to record the data coming from different types of sensors such as IR cameras, radars, LIDARs, etc.

Another task that is performed in this area is the definition of engineering plans as well as the support to the rest of the units of the department in following those plans. This activity includes the design of the engineering plan according to the normative that applies and the objectives of the project.


Design of PCB boards

System with acquisition board

Autopilot developed by CATEC
on board a quadrotor

Autopilot developed by CATEC on board
a fixed-wing aircraft