Dimensioning of Civilian Avionics Networks

Authored by: Jean-Luc Scharbarg , Christian Fraboul

Industrial Communication Technology Handbook

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9781482207323
eBook ISBN: 9781482207330
Adobe ISBN:


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The evolution of civilian aircraft avionics systems is mainly due to an increasing complexity, which is illustrated by a larger number of integrated functions, a larger volume of exchanged data, and a larger number of connections between functions. Consequently, the growth of the number of multipoint communication links cannot be taken into account by classical avionics mono-emitter data–buses (such as ARINC 429 [ARI01]). A first solution proposed for Boeing 777 led to the design of a new multiplexed data–bus based on CSMA-CA medium access control (ARINC 629 standard [ARI99]). The solution adopted by Airbus for the A380 consists in the utilization of a switched Ethernet technology (AFDX: Avionics Full Duplex Switched Ethernet), which allows a reuse of development tools as well as of existing communication components while achieving better performance and which has been standardized in ARINC 664 [ARI02,ARI03]. This new communication standard represents a major step in the deployment of modular avionics architectures (Integrated Modular Avionics: IMA ARINC 651 [ARI91] and 653 [ARI97]). But the main problem is due to the indeterminism of the switched Ethernet, and a network designer must prove that no frame will be lost by the AFDX (no switch queue overflow) and must evaluate the end-to-end transfer delay through the network (guaranteed upper bound and distribution of delays) according to a given avionics applications traffic.

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