DATA REDUCTION AND PROCESSING SYSTEM FOR FLIGHT TEST OF NEXT GENERATION BOEING AIRPLANES
AuthorCardinal, Robert W.
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AbstractThis paper describes the recently developed Loral Instrumentation ground-based equipment used to select and process post-flight test data from the Boeing 777 airplane as it is played back from a digital tape recorder (e.g., the Ampex DCRSi II) at very high speeds. Gigabytes (GB) of data, stored on recorder cassettes in the Boeing 777 during flight testing, are played back on the ground at a 15-30 MB/sec rate into ten multiplexed Loral Instrumentation System 500 Model 550s for high-speed decoding, processing, time correlation, and subsequent storage or distribution. The ten Loral 550s are multiplexed for independent data path processing from ten separate tape sources simultaneously. This system features a parallel multiplexed configuration that allows Boeing to perform critical 777 flight test processing at unprecedented speeds. Boeing calls this system the Parallel Multiplexed Processing Data (PMPD) System. The key advantage of the ground station's design is that Boeing engineers can add their own application-specific control and setup software. The Loral 550 VMEbus allows Boeing to add VME modules when needed, ensuring system growth with the addition of other LI-developed products, Boeing-developed products or purchased VME modules. With hundreds of third-party VME modules available, system expansion is unlimited. The final system has the capability to input data at 15 MB/sec. The present aggregate throughput capability of all ten 24-bit Decoders is 150 MB/sec from ten separate tape sources. A 24-bit Decoder was designed to support the 30 MB/sec DCRSi III so that the system can eventually support a total aggregate throughput of 300 MB/sec. Clearly, such high data selection, rejection, and processing will significantly accelerate flight certification and production testing of today's state-of-the-art aircraft. This system was supplied with low level software interfaces such that the customer would develop their own applications specific code and displays. The Loral 550 lends itself to this kind of applications due to its VME chassis, VxWorks operating system and the modularity of the software.
SponsorsInternational Foundation for Telemetering