Business & GA, Commercial, Connectivity, Embedded Avionics

Column: Busy Year for AEEC in 2013

By by Paul Prisaznuk | February 1, 2013
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The AEEC continues to create value for the airlines, aircraft manufacturers, avionics suppliers and other stakeholders by establishing common technical standards and shared technical solutions that no one organization could develop on their own. Last year, AEEC meetings were attended by more than 2,500 engineering professionals representing more than 60 airlines and 200 industry suppliers from nearly 40 countries.

The AEEC has planned an ambitious schedule for 2013, highlighted by the AEEC General Session to be held April 22-25 in Orlando, Fla. The meeting has a long tradition of collaboration and teamwork, including close coordination with the Avionics Maintenance Conference (AMC).

In 2013, AEEC will provide leadership to the aviation community by responding to aircraft development programs, major retrofit programs and regulatory requirements that drive avionics development. AEEC meetings cover a broad range of technical topics, as identified by airlines and the AEEC Subcommittee. AEEC meetings are open to all parties.

In 2012, AEEC meetings were attended by more than 2,500 engineering professionals representing more than 60 airlines and 200 industry suppliers from nearly 40 countries.

Today more than 10,000 commercial and regional aircraft around the world rely on standards prepared by the AEEC. The product of this activity is reflected in the many ARINC standards, all a testimony to the long-standing commitment from the aerospace organizations and the many individuals that serve in AEEC leadership roles.

➤ AGIE/MAGIC Subcommittee: This activity develops standards for Air/Ground Information Exchange and the Manager of Air/Ground Interface Communication (AGIE/MAGIC), including aircraft data networks, routers, file servers and related systems. The focus is to connect the aircraft to the airline ground infrastructure in a way that facilitates the management and transfer of large amounts of operational and administrative information using Internet Protocol (IP). Flight operations data, maintenance data, software data loading and cabin services will be supported.

➤ Air-Ground Communications System (AGCS) Subcommittee: The goal of the AGCS subcommittee is to ensure current and emerging air-ground communication systems are specified based on airline operational requirements and defined for cost-effective implementation based on existing and anticipated aircraft architectures. It is focused on developing standards for SwiftBroadband connectivity.

➤ Aeronautical Data Bases (ADB) Subcommittee: This activity is responsible for the standardization of the aeronautical data base structures for airport surface data, terrain data and obstacle data. The ADB Subcommittee works in conjunction with RTCA SC-217.

➤ AOC Standardization Subcommittee: A standardized set of Airline Operational Control (AOC) messages are defined by this activity. The messages are defined independent of the medium. The AOC messaging application can by hosted on an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). The message types are common to all types of operations. They are intended to be used by multiple airlines on multiple aircraft types.

➤ Application/Executive (APEX) Subcommittee: This activity is responsible for developing software interface standards for Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS) used with Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA). ARINC Specification 653: Avionics Application Software Standard Interface defines a standard interface between avionics application software and the software operating system capable of providing RTCA DO-178B, Level A service.

➤ Cabin Systems Subcommittee (CSS): This activity develops cabin and in-flight entertainment standards, defining cost effective and valuable network infrastructure for the airlines to offer news and entertainment. This includes interface standards to allow airlines to implement their preferred systems for their passengers. Cabin communications, interface protocols and connector standardization are integral parts of this activity.

➤ Cockpit Display Systems (CDS) Subcommittee: This activity develops the flight deck display interface standard for primary display systems and their interface to avionics equipment (e.g., communication, navigation, and surveillance systems). ARINC Specification 661 is intended to support new airplane development programs for air transport, regional, general aviation, military and rotorcraft. The updates will ensure growth for CNS/ATM applications that provide advanced operational concepts increasing aviation safety, capacity and efficiency.

➤ Data Link Systems Subcommittee: The Data Link Systems Subcommittee develops standards that promote reliable, uniform and cost efficient transfer of data between the aircraft and various locations on the ground. These standards cover the existing ACARS and the emerging Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) as defined by the ICAO SARPs. Ground locations include civil aviation agencies, manufacturers of avionics and engines, data link service providers, weather providers and departments within the airlines such as payroll, maintenance, operations, engineering and dispatch.

➤ Data Link Users Forum: The Data Link Users Forum is a coordinating activity among airlines and cargo carriers, data link service providers, aircraft manufacturers, avionics manufacturers and others. It focuses on technical issues of mutual interest to operators. The discussions lead to the identification and resolution of numerous issues that collectively improve data link performance. The product of this activity assures operators received significant operational and economic benefits of air/ground communication services. This activity provides input on the direction and schedule of new Air Traffic Service (ATS) data link programs.

➤ EFB Subcommittee: The EFB Subcommittee is developing hardware and software standards for the EFB, including hardware installation standards as well as software application standards. This is a rapidly evolving technology with wide-ranging applications. Development of an Aircraft Interface Device standard was commissioned this year. Airlines, airframe manufacturers and EFB suppliers are expected to benefit from reduced EFB integration costs.

➤ EFB Users Forum: The EFB Users Forum is a joint activity with IATA that enables airlines and other aircraft operators to voice their preferences in the evolution of EFB hardware and software, as well as EFB connectivity to an airline’s infrastructure. The goal is to maximize the operational and the economic benefit of the EFB and associated EFB applications. Flight Operations, Information Technology, Engineering and Maintenance disciplines are represented among the forum’s participants.

➤ Fiber Optics Subcommittee (FOS): The goal of this activity is to develop standards for fiber optic components and interfaces. This effort includes the preparation of fiber optic design guidelines, component criteria, testing and maintenance procedures. The standards specify the performance requirements with an objective of minimizing the cost of procurement, implementation and maintenance.

➤ Flight Deck Audio Working Group of SAI Subcommittee: The Flight Deck Audio Working Group was formed in 2012 in response to APIM 12-003 calling for the definition of new standards for the Boomset and Handheld Microphone. This activity is coordinated with RTCA SC-226, developing MOPS for Audio Systems. The products of this activity are ARINC Project Paper 535B and 538C.

➤ Galley Inserts (GAIN) Subcommittee: The goal of the GAIN Subcommittee is to standardize the physical dimensions and electrical interfaces for Galley Inserts that will enable standard installations, both electrical and mechanical. This includes standard wiring, standard electrical connectors, water connectors, physical interfaces, electrical interfaces and equipment mounting rails.

➤ Ku/Ka-Band Satellite Communication Systems Subcommittee: This activity is developing Ku-band and Ka-band satellite system installation provisions, electrical interfaces and mechanical interfaces. Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, avionics suppliers, cabin equipment suppliers, EFB suppliers and service providers are participating in this activity.

➤ Navigation Data Base (NDB) Subcommittee: The NDB activity is responsible for ARINC Specification 424, written to assist aircraft operators, manufacturers, regulatory authorities, and data base suppliers to maximize the operational and economic benefits of FMS navigation by the exchange of technical information that improves overall system performance.

➤ Network Infrastructure and Security (NIS) Subcommittee: The NIS activity develops aircraft data network and aircraft information security standards. The goal is to enable fleet-wide solutions based on open standards for lower development cost, increased flexibility, higher reliability, reduced complexity, longer lifespan and ease of configurability and maintenance. The NIS activity is presently providing guidance on the implementation and use of digital certificates on an aircraft.

➤ NextGen/SESAR Avionics Architecture Working Group of SAI Subcommittee: The NextGen/SESAR Working Group is preparing recommendations for avionics architectures for CNS/ATM. The product of this activity is ARINC Project Paper 660B: CNS/ATM Avionics Architectures Supporting NextGen/SESAR Concepts. The goals are to share a common understanding of NextGen/SESAR concepts between the aeronautical industry and the airlines; establish a consensus on the aircraft contribution to NextGen/SESAR; assess the impact of NextGen/SESAR concepts on aircraft architectures; and identify new ARINC standards to develop and standards to be modified.

➤ Software Data Loading (SDL) Subcommittee: The SDL Subcommittee is developing standards for software data loading, including the development of standards for a high-speed data loader with high-density storage media. Standards for file format, media type, part numbering and terminology will be developed in a way that can be used for various data loading devices and communication protocols.

➤ Systems Architecture and Interfaces (SAI) Subcommittee: The SAI Subcommittee provides technical leadership in the development of standards for new aircraft programs and major derivative programs. It coordinates top-level avionics requirements for emerging airspace environments, namely NextGen, SESAR and CARAT. The SAI Subcommittee works with international air navigation service providers to develop standards for CNS/ATM. Working together with several AEEC Subcommittees, the SAI Subcommittee investigates the application of new technologies and prepares new project proposals where operational benefits are financial benefits are achievable.

➤ Traffic Surveillance Working Group of SAI Subcommittee: This activity defines Traffic Surveillance equipment suitable for operation in the NextGen, SESAR and CARATS airspace environments. This includes traditional Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B). Traffic surveillance requires the use of the Air Traffic Control Transponder. The latest standard is ARINC Characteristic 735B-1: Traffic Computer, TCAS and ADS-B Capability.

Paul Prisaznuk is the AEEC executive secretary and program director.

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