ATM Modernization, Commercial, Embedded Avionics

New ARINC Datalink, GNSS, Software Standards in Development

By Woodrow Bellamy III | October 18, 2016
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[Avionics Magazine 10-18-2016] Several new avionics standards are in development to provide production and manufacturing guidance for avionics equipment and Air Traffic Management (ATM) technologies designed to support Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) and NextGen air transportation system modernization initiatives. Between October 13th and 14th, Rockwell Collins hosted the annual ARINC Industry Activities Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) mid-term session in Toulouse, France, where some of the industry’s brightest avionics engineers gathered to cover subcommittee activity, adopt new standards and approve new project proposals. 
Airbus A350 XWB cockpit. Photo: Airbus.
AEEC is one third of the aviation industry activities committees that are hosted by ARINC, which also hosts the Avionics Maintenance Committee (AMC) and the Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Committee (FSEMC). AEEC features engineers from 12 U.S. and European airlines, with representatives from Airbus and Boeing as well. Throughout the year, these engineers from various parts of the industry collaborate bi-annually at a general session and mid-term conferences, and independently in subcommittee standard development work. 
In Toulouse, some of the committee’s work focused on standards to support the continued deployment of the FAA’s Data Comm program which has established the capability for air traffic controllers to exchange digital flight clearances to aircraft flight management systems in 45 of the 56 air traffic control towers it is targeted for deployment at this year. 
“Datalink standards ARINC Specifications 618, 619, 620, 622, will be updated to ensure timely uplink of ATS (Air Traffic Services) winds data used with FAA’s Advanced Interval Management Service in the airport terminal area,” Paul Prisaznuk, AEEC’s executive secretary and program director told Avionics Magazine. 
The committee is also supporting CPDLC services with an update to ARINC Specification 631, VHF Data Link 2 (VDL 2) Implementation Provisions, Prisaznuk said. ARINC Specification 631 provides the functional description for VHF digital aircraft links. AEEC’s data link systems subcommittee notes that the update, supplement 7, will provide “provide guidance on the allocation of VDL Mode 2 (VDLM2) ground station addresses, define the downlink of perceived avionics channel utilization, add ground station requirements, address excessive Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) disconnects (i.e., provider aborts) and other long ATN delays plaguing the operation of European Data Link Services.”
The update to ARINC Specification 631 comes following SESAR JU’s release earlier this year of the “VDL Mode 2 Capacity and Performance Analysis” study to formulate a timeline showing when VDL Mode 2 data link technology would reach its operational limit in Europe. Problems associated with the ground automation system segment of Europe’s Link 2000 program lead to the delay of the European CPDLC mandate last year. 
AEEC’s mid-term session also had some developments in navigation, with updates to Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) standards. Updates were approved to ARINC Characteristic 743A GNSS Sensor, ARINC Characteristic 743B, GNSS Landing System Sensor Unit (GLSSU) and ARINC Characteristic 755 MMR (Multi-Mode Receiver), according to Prisaznuk. These standards are being developed in parallel to the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Special Committee 159’s (SC-159) efforts to define new PRN codes for GNSS, he added.
A new ARINC standard, 743C, is also being planned to support Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) technology, with a focus on the process of integrating a VHF Data Broadcast receiver into the MMR concept. 
“Software distribution and loading standards will be expanded to include a new ARINC Standard to define E-enabled aircraft ground system applications for managing and distributing software parts. This initiative is being led by American Airlines,” said Prisaznuk. 
Lufthansa is also leading an AEEC effort to define a new ARINC standard that will provide metrics for avionics software performance and reliability. 

“In the cabin in-flight entertainment area, a new ARINC Standard will be prepared to define a Next Generation Cabin Data Bus, leveraging the IEEE-802.11 family of standards,” said Prisaznuk. 

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