Volocopter and Diehl agree to expand cooperation

Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility and Diehl Aerospace, a leading supplier of avionics systems and a joint venture between Diehl Aviation and Thales, are further expanding their cooperation. The contract extension provides for the development and production of an optical splitter to complement the flight control system as well as other components for the battery management system for the first all-electric VoloCity air taxi. Diehl Aerospace has already developed the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for the VoloCity, including the primary and backup control computers.

The optical splitter complements the flight control system by providing control information to the VoloCity’s total of eighteen rotors. In contrast to conventional fly-by-wire control systems, the electrical signals from the flight control computer are translated into optical signals and consequently controlled opto-electronically. Instead of electrical signals via copper wires, light signals are now used via corresponding optical fibres

This so-called Fly-By-Light control is considered to be particularly immune to electromagnetic interference, for example from cell phones or transmission towers. Interference immunity is a key safety criterion, particularly in view of the VoloCity’s planned flight operations at low altitudes in cities. With the development of an optical splitter, Diehl Aerospace once again underlines its competence in flight control technology for commercial aviation.

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