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Avionics Industry Moving Towards Open Systems

Avionics Industry Moving Towards Open Systems

Avionics is the science and technology of electronics applied to aeronautics and astronautics or the electronic circuits and device of an aerospace vehicle. Federated avionics architectures make use of distributed avionics functions that are packaged as self-contained units. Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architectures employ a high-integrity, partitioned environment that hosts multiple avionics functions of different criticalities on a shared computing platform. IMA technology and the standards that apply to it are still quite new as compared to the service life of many presently deployed federated avionics systems. This article focuses on the implementation technique for avionics architectures, which are characterized as Federated (in the past), Closed Integrated Modular Avionics (in the present) and Open Integrated Modular Avionics (in the future). Also this article describes the basic principles of various architecture implementations with their advantages and disadvantages.

Excerpts from the Paper
The Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) concept, which replaces numerous separate processors and line replaceable units (LRU) with fewer, more centralized processing units, is promising significant weight reduction and maintenance savings in the new generation of commercial airliners.
There are two types of IMA architectures that a system architect can choose when they transition from federated architectures to IMA architectures: “Open” and “Closed”. An open IMA architecture utilizes interfaces that are non-proprietary, and adhere to interface definitions available in the public domain. Closed IMA architectures utilize proprietary interfaces that are custom implementations that typically are optimised for the present applications.