Transporting and resupplying troops in rugged, austere terrain has become a major challenge, especially as the U.S. military shifts to using smaller and more distributed combat units. The Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) was in need of an operational VTOL system with a more compact footprint than those of conventional helicopters, coupled with higher cruise speeds. NAI's Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) SIU6 rugged chassis, populated with a highly configurable PowerPC-based Single Board Computer (SBC) (64EP3) and exceptionally flexible and versatile, Multifunction I/O VME Boards (64C3) was the chosen solution. The ARES program is an example of how NAI’s modular and adaptive Configurable Open Systems Architecture™ (COSA®) delivers SWaP-C efficient, I/O-intensive boards and systems with more processing power in less time at a lower system cost—all with no NRE. The integrator partnered with NAI for the ARES program due to our incomparable COSA capabilities. Chief among them is the ability to configure boards with up to six module slots and 70+ functions without having to spend man-years developing a processing and I/O system from the ground-up.