Nadesakumar, A., Crowder, R.M. and Harris, C.J.
Advanced System Concepts for Civil Aircraft: An overview of Avionic Architectures.
Proc. Inst. Mech. Engrs., Part G., J. Aerospace, 209, .
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The avionics systems of state-of-the-art commercial aircraft have become increasingly complex and sophisticated, in order to meet the ever increasing performance and reliability requirements. With the capibility of the avionics technology improving by an order of magnitude every few years, it is envisaged that the current philosophy of one box-per-function will soon reach its limits in terms of cost, functionality, reliability and certification. The proposed solution is the integrated systems configurationm, using distributed processing, where the computational resources are shared between many functions, therefore improving the reliability, availability, survivability and extensibility of the overall system. Furthermore, this approach will also provide the potential for reducing the acquisition, maintenance and operating costs. The paper discusses the limitations of the current avionic system's architecture in dealing with the high levels of functionality required by the state-of-the-art aircraft, and discusses the philosophy of the integrated modular avionics, which represents a change in philosophy of avionics design to a decentralized, distributed architecture that allows interchangeable components within a distributed aircraft avionic system. The paper also addresses a number of specific issues considered necessary for the implementation of a decentralized, distributed architecture such as data bus requirements, electromagnetic and radio frequency prevention, and fault tolerance. But it also argues that for true systems integration, a new culture is required based on open systems with a set of inherent quality features such as conformance, robustness, extendibility, compatibility, and reusability built into the architecture.
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