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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Column: AEEC Eyes NextGen, SESAR

By Paul Prisaznuk

The Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) has made ambitious plans for the coming year. The AEEC continues to focus on NextGen and SESAR airspace initiatives. Equipment providing CNS capability will need to evolve in a step-wise fashion and do so in a way that makes economic sense for the airlines. At the April AEEC General Session in Orlando, Fla., the AEEC adopted 12 ARINC Standards, several pertinent to NextGen and SESAR.

➤ ARINC Specification 618-7: Air/Ground Character-Oriented Protocol Specification

➤ ARINC Specification 628-3: Cabin Equipment Interfaces, Part 5, Cabin Electrical Equipment and Wiring Installation Guidelines

➤ ARINC Specification 628-2: Cabin Equipment Interfaces, Part 7, Cabin Equipment Cooling General Specification

➤ ARINC Specification 653: Avionics Application Software Standard Interface, Part 0 – Overview of ARINC 653

➤ ARINC Specification 661-5: Cockpit Display System Interfaces to User Systems

➤ ARINC Characteristic 791: Mark I Aviation Ku-Band and Ka-Band Satellite Communication System, Part 2, Electrical Interfaces

➤ ARINC Specification 801-3: Fiber Optic Connectors

➤ ARINC Specification 802-2: Fiber Optic Cables

➤ ARINC Report 803-3: Fiber Optic Design Guidelines

➤ ARINC Report 807-3: Fiber Optic Training Requirements

➤ ARINC Specification 832: Cabin Equipment Interfaces, 4GCN Cabin Management and Entertainment System, Cabin Distribution System

➤ ARINC Specification 841-1: Media Independent Aircraft Messaging

In addition to the current work, the AEEC Executive Committee initiated 11 new projects in Orlando. The AEEC work program was expanded as follows:

➤ Digital Video Interface – Supplement 2 to ARINC 818: APIM 13-001 calls for the development of standards for video switching, bi-directional communication, new link rates, compression and other features. A mature draft is expected in 2013.

➤ Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) – Supplement 4 to ARINC 828: APIM 13-002 calls for the specification of two additional connectors intended to be used when separate EFB processing units and display units are utilized. A mature draft is expected in 2013.

➤ Gatelink – Supplement 2 to ARINC 822: APIM 13-003 calls for the inclusion of new technologies, best practices in IT, and incorporate network security considerations. This work would expand the possibilities beyond IEEE 802.11 technology and potentially include cellular telephony. Guidance for security, authentication and audit trails will be added. A mature draft is expected in 2014.

➤ CAN bus – Supplement 3 to ARINC 825: APIM 13-004 calls for the development of guidance to support the CAN flexible data rate standard. This will improve CAN bandwidth by a factor of eight. Other items include a new timing model, common latencies methodology, ARINC 429 interface to CAN, ARINC 664 conversions, and network bandwidth management policy. A mature draft is expected in 2014.

➤ Media Set Identification – New Standard Post Floppy Disk: APIM 13-006 calls for guidance on software parts storage methods and distribution in the absence of ARINC 615 compliant floppy disk media. The obsolescence of floppy disk media drives the need for a solution of this costly situation. The result will be ARINC Project Paper 8xx. A mature draft is expected in 2014.

➤ Shop Loading LRUs: APIM 13-007 calls for guidance to standardize the format, content and detail of the documentation required for “in-shop” data loading requirements for modern networked avionics. The information will provide airlines the information needed to enable bench testing and loading of operational software found in newer avionics used in the latest aircraft. A mature draft is expected in 2015.

➤ Expanded Beam (EB) Fiber Optics – ARINC 801 – 807: APIM 13-008 calls for a new fiber optic EB contact for use in connectors with frequent disconnect/connect operations and/or in harsh environments. This effort will update the fiber optic document set. Mature drafts are expected in 2016.

➤ Mechanical Transfer (MT) Fiber Optics – ARINC 801 – 807: APIM 13-009 calls for a new fiber optic Mechanical Transfer contact for use in high density applications with less weight and a smaller area footprint. This effort will update the fiber optic document set. Mature drafts are expected in 2016.

➤ Ku-/Ka-Band Satcom – Supplement 2 to ARINC 791 Part 1: APIM 07-008D calls for an update to ARINC 791 to define an Airplane Personality Module (APM). It would provide provisions for a new type of architecture and it will incorporate clarifications and corrections to the document. A mature draft is expected in 2014.

➤ Cockpit Display System – Supplement 6 to ARINC 661: APIM 08-004A calls for new display interface provisions to support touchscreen technology, three dimensional capability, new widgets and widget extensions. A mature draft is expected in 2015.

➤ Aircraft Data Interface Function Supplement 4 to ARINC 834: APIM 11-012A calls for the definition of a minimum command set for the Simple Text Avionics Protocol to support the Aircraft Interface Device. In addition, it will encompass modifications necessary to enable avionics write access for the Aircraft Data Broadcast Protocol. A mature draft is expected in 2013.

Paul Prisaznuk is the AEEC executive secretary and program director.

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