By now, everyone knows SNC is an expert in aircraft integrations and modifications. We’ve built a 50+ year reputation on it in the global aerospace and defense industry. But did you know that SNC is also a leader in unmanned technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)? That’s thanks in large part to our fully-owned subsidiary, Kutta Technologies, Inc. (Kutta).
Kutta specializes in command-and-control communications, manned-unmanned teaming, visualization, airspace management and deconfliction software, components and subsystems. Whether they are inventing flight test technologies or hand-held unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controllers, Kutta is building the tools that will be used by next-generation military and first responders. Kutta also constantly improves their products by building in new technologies like Artificial Intelligence they develop through their own research and development efforts. The unique part about Kutta’s approach is that they do this while keeping the certifiability (DO-178C, etc.) in mind throughout the entire development process.
Autonomy and teaming between conventional manned platforms (like airplanes, helicopters and ground vehicles) and their robotic counterparts is a key area of development for Kutta. The way that these robotic vehicles interact with the ones that we fly or drive is a critical factor in the success and safety of both the commercial world (delivery drones, etc.) and our national security. Kutta has several products and programs that are directly influencing the way our country interacts with robotic platforms of all kinds.
To create a system that works, ultimately, we as people must trust that the system is safe. When we look at the world around us, we find elevators are now fully automated, and an autopilot is present on every commercial airliner. When these inventions were first developed, that was certainly not the case. But the developers, over time, developed highly reliable, mature and safe solutions that allow us to trust them. Simply put, Kutta is a leading force in creating that trust through creating an entire portfolio of software and products, along with a rigorous testing process.
Prior to their acquisition by SNC, Kutta realized that the unmanned or robotic vehicle market is composed of several products and product families. A decade ago, most of Kutta’s competitors focused on creating “stovepiped” solutions – meaning that a single company was producing the aircraft, the controller and many of the components. The result was a lot of useful proprietary systems that couldn’t be used interchangeably, leaving users stuck.
Kutta identified interoperability, or the ability for many different types of robotic platforms to talk to each other or be controlled using a common device, as a key attribute and need of their future military and commercial partners. One of the single most important factors that separates Kutta from the rest of the market is the ability to develop safety-critical, certifiable software and hardware solutions using a Modular Open Systems Architecture (MOSA). This allows them to assist a wide range of government and industry partners by simplifying the ability to quickly integrate their products with the needs of their customers. Kutta has built all of their software and products this way.
Much like SNC TRAX® software enables operators to freely interact and interface with many different radio systems, Kutta’s products have been designed to unify the multitude of robotic systems found in the military and commercial marketplace. Their remote controllers, ground control stations, mission planning and manned/unmanned teaming solutions are all focused on autonomy and creating an effective, interoperable, collaboration between humans and machines – and that makes them unique!