Logo

The Client

Boom Supersonic is transforming air travel with the world’s fastest airliners, optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability. Boom Supersonic’s aircraft fly at twice the speed of today’s airliners and are designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.

"Working with Vitalsphere’s flight software engineers was a refreshingly positive experience. They were able to absorb technical material with little guidance and independently arrive at well-thought-out solutions. Vitalsphere provided debugging, troubleshooting, and analysis of our XB-1 Experimental Aircraft flight software as well as made significant contributions to the onboard fuel system module. They also expanded our X-Plane flight simulation capabilities enabling test pilots to prepare for the first flight of the Boom Supersonic Jet. We’re lucky to have their team of incredible talent."

- Jeff Bozarth, Lead Avionics Engineer

The Solution

Boom needed support to finish their flight software system before moving forward with testing their first experimental supersonic jet, XB-1. We made significant contributions to the onboard XB-1 fuel system calculations responsible for accurately informing the pilots of their remaining fuel levels and implemented an extensive rework of the associated fuel system unit testing. We also worked closely with Boom’s avionics engineers to expand the capabilities of their custom X-Plane flight software simulation. We implemented simulated real-time LSO (Landing Safety Officer) and PLAT camera (Pilot Landing Aid Television) views of the flight model as well as accurately diagnosing and correcting simulation 3D model errors that were leading to a false feel of the sim for the test pilots.

Jet

The Services

C++ Development
Technical Documentation
System Level Architecture
Test Driven Development
System Integration Testing
Hardware Communication Protocols
Unit Testing
CI/CD
Code Reviews

The Stack

C++
Fluidd
Gtest
Jenkins
CMAKE
PTP Over UDP
X-Plane
Linux
Docker
Clang
Visual Studio
Bash Scripting

Supported Platforms

XB-1 Flight Software Support

General support for the flight software team included interpreting aircraft data from engine and taxi testing, troubleshooting electro-mechanical device communication, debugging the extensive Jenkins CI-CD system, and facilitating feature requests from the many multi-discipline engineering teams responsible for XB-1.

XB-1 Flight Controls

XB-1 Fuel System Display

Working with Boom’s system engineers, we added a multi-tiered warning system to the existing fuel software calculations displayed on the onboard aircraft multifunction display (MFD). We coded fuel system interactions between hardware and Simulink computational models, including temperature readings, totalizer checks, center of gravity analysis, and fuel flow.

XB-1 Fuel System Display

The XB-1 Simulation

We continually supported the primary test bed of the flight system, an X-Plane-based working replica of the XB-1 cockpit and damper actuators. Boom’s existing simulation model had significant errors that were difficult to pinpoint but led to an inauthentic flight experience for the experimental test pilots. For example, the 3d dimensional model of the plane used for the first person camera offsets never touched the ground, instead hovering ten feet above it when in a landed state. We worked with the mechanical modeling team to build an accurate representation of the XB-1 and seamlessly integrated it with the custom Boom physics engine layered on top of X-Plane simulation software in order to accurately represent flight and landing behavior.

XB-1 Flight Controls

LSO and Landing Camera Simulations

As part of the XB-1 Validation, Boom required both landing signal officer (LSO) and pilot landing aid television (PLAT) camera views. We helped build out the ability to have multiple simulations simultaneously running off of the same flight model, and then developed both LSO and PLAT views so that the ground control team could rehearse landing procedures in real-time.

XB-1 Flight Controls