The €14.3 million ($17.1 million) European Union Sixth Framework Dependable Embed­ded Components and Systems (DECOS) project could lead to avionics being distributed throughout an aircraft and co-located with actuators.

Electronics would be placed with the actuators they control in the wings, fuselage and tail to reduce cabling. “You could have brake-by-wire systems. It could save tens of kilogrammes in a larger aircraft,” says Dr Mirko Jakovljevic, head of aerospace marketing for DECOS partner Austrian electronics company TTTech Computertechnik.

The researchers aim to ensure the distributed avionics work together using a special databus architecture. TTTech has proposed an Ethernet network to link the different local control and actuator systems. Within such a network one method for controlling communication among the distributed systems is a so-called time-triggered protocol.

Avionics time-triggered communication protocols send data at a specific time for a specific duration. Previous protocols are “event triggered”, where data communication occurs immediately after any aircraft subsystem activity. This is considered more problematic by TTTech due to data from simultaneous events being transmitted at the same time.

Time-triggered technologies are, says Jakovljevic, also applicable to future unmanned air vehicle development. The project’s 19 partners include Airbus Deutschland, Hamburg University of Technology, Thales Avionics, Esterel Technologies, and the Swedish National Testing and Research Institute.


Source: Flight International