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A System Architecture for Smart Sensors Integration in Avionics Applications

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3855, e-ISSN: 1946-3901
Published October 22, 2012 by SAE International in United States
A System Architecture for Smart Sensors Integration in Avionics Applications
Citation: Tremblay, J., Savaria, Y., Zhu, G., Thibeault, C. et al., "A System Architecture for Smart Sensors Integration in Avionics Applications," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 5(1):189-195, 2012,
Language: English


With the next generation of avionics systems, more sensors and actuators will be required for an ever increasing number of functions. In this paper, we propose a system architecture based on several enhancements to the IEEE 1451 standard, granting it a wider application range, improved resource efficiency and a generic and reusable character. This architecture facilitates the integration of next generation smart sensors with a wide range of avionics data communication networks and allows the specification of generic features to be respected. In order to meet the requirements of avionics applications, this architecture that provides a design framework offers customization of features such as bandwidth, reliability, resources utilization and compatibility with different types of transducers, especially smart sensors. The resulting resource utilization and reliability are analyzed for several configurations that provide a basis for comparison. To validate the proposed architecture and the benefits it offers, we have designed and implemented a transducer network inspired by representative avionic needs. The implementation reported in this paper targets a LX45T Xilinx FPGA board. The transducers are connected to the data network through field buses based on the ARINC 825 protocol, while the backbone of the network is based on the AFDX specification. The analysis of the ensuing prototype shows an important increase in reliability that result from using the proposed architecture. We also show that this architecture enables important complexity reduction over a typical transducer network based on the same communication protocols for the same level of reliability.