• THE ARCHITECTURE OF AIRCRAFT INSTRUMENTATION NETWORKS

      Roach, John; Teletronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      The development of network-based data acquisition systems has resulted in a new architecture for supporting flight instrumentation that has the potential to revolutionize the way we test our aircraft. Unlike conventional flight test instrumentation, networks provide for a two-way communication path between all elements of the system, utilize packetized data, support communication protocols, have dynamic quality of service levels, can be subject to loss of data, utilize asynchronous transmission behavior and provide an even higher level of time synchronization. Different flight test architectures can be realized which combine each of the previous attributes in different ways; finding the best architecture for a set of given applications while minimizing cost and complexity is a very difficult problem. For the last 3 years, the Network Products Division at Teletronics has been involved in the design and evaluation of aircraft instrumentation networks for both customers and the iNET program. This paper describes the result of these efforts by discussing the high-level design of a modular architecture for an aircraft instrumentation network.
    • DESIGN OF A CONFIGURATIONAND MANAGEMENT TOOL FORINSTRUMENTATION NETWORKS

      Roach, John; Teletronics Technology Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      The development of network-based data acquisition systems has resulted in a new architecture for supporting flight instrumentation that has the potential to revolutionize the way we test our aircraft. However, the inherent capability and flexibility in a networked test architecture can only be realized by the flight engineer if a sufficiently powerful toolset is available that can configure and manage the system. This paper introduces the concept of an instrumentation configuration and management system (ICMS) that acts as the central resource for configuring, controlling, and monitoring the instrumentation network. Typically, the ICMS supports a graphical user interface into the workings of the instrumentation network, providing the user with a friendly and efficient way to verify the operation of the system. Statistics being gathered at different peripherals within the network would be collected by this tool and formatted for interpretation by the user. Any error conditions or out-of-bounds situations would be detected by the ICMS and signaled to the user. Changes made to the operation of any of the peripherals in the network (if permitted) would be managed by the ICMS to ensure consistency of the system. Furthermore, the ICMS could guarantee that the appropriate procedures were being followed and that the operator had the required privileges needed to make any changes. This paper describes the high-level design of a modular and multi-platform ICMS and its use within the measurement-centric aircraft instrumentation network architecture under development by the Network Products Division at Teletronics.