Joby Aviation is acquiring software engineering group Avionyx to support its efforts to certify a four-passenger eVTOL aircraft. The Costa Rica-based company has been developing software and providing verification solutions for the aerospace industry for 30 years.
According to Joby, the ability to verify software used in aircraft systems is critical to the successful completion of type certification and requires engineers to review, analyze, and test software to ensure it meets regulators’ standards. Avionyx has completed software verification tasks to the standards of both the FAA and Europe’s EASA.
Avionyx has been doing work under contract with the U.S. manufacturer since 2021. Its eVTOL vehicle has multiple onboard systems that require extensive review, analysis, and testing.
Using its Vehicle Software Integration Lab at Joby’s facility in Marina, California, Avionyx will employ flight simulation and hardware emulation capabilities to rapidly conduct thousands of pre-programmed tests to validate and verify the performance of various aircraft software systems. A similar facility at the company’s Costa Rica headquarters will conduct tests at the same time to accelerate the software verification process. The company will continue to work for other clients in the aviation sector.
“Acquiring Avionyx puts us in an excellent position to meet the regulatory requirements necessary for us to bring the Joby aircraft to market,” said Tom Ferrell, Joby’s development assurance lead. “Having worked alongside Avionyx for the last year, I’m continuously impressed by the wealth of experience they bring to our software verification activities.”
The move to boost its capabilities in this area follows the completion in late 2021 of Joby’s first compliance review process with FAA officials. This review assessed the company’s approach to the development and verification of aerospace-grade software and airborne electronic hardware.
In December 2021, Joby boosted its in-house capability in radio frequency (RF) technology with the acquisition of specialist start-up Inras. The Austrian company has been helping its new U.S. owner to develop a customized radar system for its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft.