Apr 08, 2019 Aerospace & Defense

Avionics Expo 2019 Update: Open architectures and multi-core certification

By Paul Parkinson

Paul P

Wind River recently participated in the Avionics Expo 2019 conference and tradeshow (now branded as Aerospace Tech Week) in Munich Germany. This year’s conference was attended by a record number of delegates, which was apparent from the standing room only opening keynote presentation. It was a big event for Wind River and Collins Aerospace as we had the opportunity to not just talk about safety certification on multi-core architectures, but also demonstrate the multi-core avionics platform undergoing FAA DO-178C DAL A certification in the tradeshow exhibition.

The opening keynote was given by Woodrow Bellamy III, Editor-in-Chief at Avionics International. He covered current and emerging trends in the aerospace industry and shared some interesting statistics on the top ten trending topics for 595,000 visitors to the Avionics Magazine website over the last nine months:

  1. Connected Aircraft
  2. Cyber Security
  3. Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing Aircraft (eVTOLs)
  4. ADS-B in Europe/US
  5. F-35 Avionics upgrades
  6. GADSS: Automated distress tracking
  7. Electronic Flight Bags: new applications
  8. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning in avionics
  9. Commercial UAVs: going beyond line of sight
  10. Open Systems Architecture

Many of those topics are of interest to Wind River and our aerospace customers, and it was interesting to see that connected aircraft and cyber security were at the top of the list (the latter being directly related to the former); AI/ML in avionics now being in the top ten; and open systems architecture, though now well-established and proven, is still a very important consideration for many programmes.

One of my personal highlights of the conference was giving a joint presentation with Dave Radack, Principal Software Engineer at Collins Aerospace on Civil Certification of Multi-core Processing Systems in Commercial Avionics, which was based on the Collins Aerospace & Wind River joint technical white paper. We had some interesting questions from delegates on multi-core performance, multi-core interference channels, and worst-case execution timing analysis. We were able to invite them to the Wind River exhibition stand to discuss their areas of interest at length and to view a Collins MFD-4068 Multi-Function Display featuring Assured Multicore™ processing components.  This avionics system is currently undergoing DO-178C DAL A certification on an FAA Program of Record.

Collins Aerospace MFD-4068 Multi-Function Display

Image: Collins MFD-4068 Multi-Function Display

The MFD-4068 was running a helicopter Primary Flight Display overlaid on top of a Synthetic Vision System with terrain avoidance capabilities.  The Collins Assured Mulitcore display was running VxWorks 653 Multi-core Edition on a T2080 multi-core processor-based platform. The demonstrated capabilities, and the associated DAL A certification, are in accordance with the FAA CAST-32A position paper with all 4 cores operational and hosting heterogeneous guest operating systems containing multiple applications, including DAL A applications running on multiple cores.

The event was held on 12th & 13th March 2019, and this year the conference programme had expanded into three parallel tracks on Avionics, Aerospace Testing and Connected Aircraft. In 2020, the event will be held in Toulouse and will expand further with additional tracks on MRO iT and Flight Ops iT.

If you weren’t able to attend the show, or didn’t get to see the demo, you can catch a brief glimpse in this new video clip. If you would like to learn more about VxWorks 653 and multi-core platforms, please feel free to contact our global sales team, and hope to see you in Toulouse in 2020?

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