The Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) is heading north to Anchorage for the upcoming AEEC General Session April 30-May 3. The Alaska state motto is most fitting for this meeting: “North to the Future.”
Clearly the future we refer to is the next generation of air traffic management using collaborative decision making. Though the terms NextGen is used to describe the future airspace capabilities for the United States, SESAR in Europe and CARAT in Japan, the fundamental goal of these initiatives are all the same improving the safety and efficiency of air transportation. The AEEC is firmly committed to preparing avionics equipment standards for the future.
A total of 25 new ARINC standards were adopted in 2011 alone, adding to the 240 standards in the portfolio. By adopting these standards, AEEC has substantially completed at least for now the development of standards for Mode S Transponder, Integrated Surveillance Systems (ISS), ACARS security and Flight Data Recording. These standards enable the manufacturing community to move forward with confidence that products built to these standards will meet customer needs. This work also allows AEEC to focus considerable attention on NextGen, SESAR and CARAT initiatives, including avionics architectures recommendations and equipment definitions for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), CPDLC and 4-D Trajectory. The AEEC Executive Committee has initiated several industry standards activities in 2011, producing standards for traditional avionics systems, information management systems and cabin systems. Here is a sample of AEEC activities that you can expect to see in 2012:
NextGen/SESAR Equipage: AEEC has initiated APIM 11-002 to focus on the upcoming airspace evolutions, specifically NextGen and SESAR. The goal is the prepare guidance for NextGen/SESAR avionics equipment architectures. The effort will evaluate the emerging airspace requirements, survey aircraft in-service, develop avionics reference architectures and provide avionics architecture recommendations. This APIM calls for the preparation of ARINC Project Paper 660B, CNS/ATM Avionics Architectures Supporting NextGen/SESAR Concepts.
Traffic Surveillance: APIM 11-001 authorizes updates to Mode S Transponder and Traffic Computer standards. This activity will update ARINC Characteristic 718A: Mark 4 Air Traffic Control Transponder (ATCRBS/Mode S) and ARINC Characteristic 735B: Traffic Computer, TCAS and ADS-B Functionality to support ADS-B applications. The Mode S Transponder work was completed in 2011. Traffic Computer standards are expected to be completed in 2012.
Data Link Systems: APIM 11-003 authorizes Supplement 7 to ARINC Specification 618: Air/Ground Character-Oriented Protocol Specification. Supplement 7 is expected to improve ACARS performance by defining appropriate ATN timer values. The update will add Broadcast/Multi-Aircraft call functionality.
Data Link Systems: APIM 11-004A will expand Supplement 7 to ARINC Specification 620: Data Link Ground Systems Standard and Interface Specification. Supplement 7 will add Metrological data parameters, which will enhance weather prediction and reporting. Standard VDL broadcast messages are expected to replace obsolete ACARS broadcast messages. As part of this update, Media Independent Aircraft Messaging data parameter definitions will be added.
Airline Operational Control (AOC): AEEC has initiated APIM 11-011 to develop Supplement 2 to ARINC Specification 633: AOC Air-Ground Data and Message Exchange Format. This effort is expected to simplify the integration of AOC applications from different suppliers. Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications will benefit from a simplified data exchange.
Navigation Data Base: AEEC has initiated APIM 11-005: Navigational Data Base (NDB) update, extending the effort needed to develop ARINC Specification 424 to ensure interoperability between air traffic procedures and FMS implementations. Additionally, the NDB working group will develop an open software specification using Universal Mark-up-Language model.
Electronic Flight Bag: AEEC has initiated APIM 11-009 to develop Supplement 3 to ARINC Specification 828: EFB Standard Interface to define the interface between the EFB processing unit and the display unit. This will enable EFB components to be installed from a range of suppliers and potentially at lower cost.
Aircraft Data Interface: AEEC has initiated APIM 11-012 to develop Supplement 2 to ARINC Specification 834: Aircraft Data Interface Function, which defines the interface between avionics equipment and on-board file servers and EFBs.
Satellite Communications: AEEC has initiated APIM 10-007A to prepare Supplement 5 to ARINC Characteristic 781 Satcom to include a single-channel SwiftBroadband in a small footprint (2MCU) airborne terminal definition. This is in addition to the 6MCU form factor included in Supplement 5. AEEC is also preparing standards for Ku- and Ka-Band.
The AEEC Executive Committee looks forward to your valued inputs to the ARINC Standards process. On behalf of the AEEC Executive Committee, we look forward to seeing you in Anchorage. For more information, visit www.aviation-ia.com/aeec.
Paul Prisaznuk is the AEEC executive secretary and program director.