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Wisk’s Verocel acquisition underscores growing demand for software verification

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Boeing’s electric vertical take-off and landing subsidiary, Wisk, is bolstering the certification program for its Generation 6 eVTOL through the acquisition of Verocel, an established firm specializing in the verification and validation (V&V) of high-integrity software.

More than 50 specialized software engineers based in Westford, Massachusetts and Poznan, Poland will join Wisk through the acquisition, announced on June 25. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Verocel has deep expertise in supporting the certification of software for aerospace and other safety-critical applications, including rail systems and medical devices. It has also developed a proprietary toolset called VeroTrace, which helps manage complex software systems through multiple stages of development, review, authorization and sign-off.

Related: Absent 797, Boeing bets on Wisk’s autonomous moonshot

These capabilities will immediately boost Wisk’s Gen 6 program, which will have an especially high V&V burden as the first self-flying, passenger-carrying eVTOL to undergo certification with the Federal Aviation Administration. But according to Wisk CEO Brian Yutko, the Verocel acquisition should also help support the development of future Boeing products, which will be increasingly reliant on high-integrity software as aircraft become ever more integrated and autonomous.

“We started from scratch with Gen 6 and we are conceiving what are the means and methods of working and developing software in a modern environment,” said Yutko in an interview with The Air Current. Bringing the Verocel team in-house, he explained, contributes “not just to building the things that we need at Wisk, but also building the modern software tool chains and all the rest that Boeing will start to be able to leverage as part of their work in the future.”

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