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In-flight Correction of Faults in Non-Executable Software in Avionics Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241557D
Publication Date: 2015-May-11
Document File: 7 page(s) / 308K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Vinay Huddar: INVENTOR [+2]

Abstract

Many avionics systems use non-executable software (NES) such as databases, configuration files and media files, to support their in-flight functionality. The integrity of the NES has to be ensured at all times for proper functioning of the avionics system. If the NES is corrupted or in-accessible for some reason, the system functionality that relies on the affected NES is either disabled or moved to a state of reduced functionality and directly affects the safety of the flight. This paper proposes a novel method to rectify the NES faults soon after the fault is detected during flight and improves the availability of the avionics system during flight. The proposed invention identifies the NES fault, reports it to a ground maintenance station and the ground station uplinks the correct files to replace the corrupted files in the avionics systems, which reduces the on-ground maintenance time and down-time of the aircraft.

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In-flight Correction of Faults in Non-Executable Software in Avionics Systems

Vinay Huddar and Madhusudan Ramachandra ABSTRACT

Many avionics systems use non-executable software (NES) such as databases, configuration files and media files, to support their in-flight functionality. The integrity of the NES has to be ensured at all times for proper functioning of the avionics system. If the NES is corrupted or in-accessible for some reason, the system functionality that relies on the affected NES is either disabled or moved to a state of reduced functionality and directly affects the safety of the flight. This paper proposes a novel method to rectify the NES faults soon after the fault is detected during flight and improves the availability of the avionics system during flight. The proposed invention identifies the NES fault, reports it to a ground maintenance station and the ground station uplinks the correct files to replace the corrupted files in the avionics systems, which reduces the on-ground maintenance time and down-time of the aircraft.


1. Introduction

Avionics systems play a critical role in all aspects of flight, including Flight control, Navigation, Communication, Monitoring, Collision avoidance and Weather systems, etc. and enhance the safety of the aircraft. Most of the avionics systems such as Flight management systems (FMS), Cockpit display systems and In-flight entertainment (IFE) systems, use non-executable software (NES) for their in-flight operations. Some examples of NES are navigation database for navigation functionality in the FMS, airport and terrain database to display airport and cartographic maps, respectively, in the cockpit display systems and audio/video file to provide multimedia content in the IFE. In safety-critical systems such as FMS and cockpit display systems, the integrity of

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the NES has to be ensured during flight for correct flight operation. The integrity monitoring systems such as CRC or checksum, are used to monitor the integrity of the NES files. The non safety-critical system, such as IFE, does not rely on the integrity monitoring system for their correct functioning. The automatic integrity monitoring mechanism for the NES data in non safety-critical systems is not provided. In the absence of integrity monitoring mechanism, the fault detection is employed by crew intervention (triggering an IBIT).

In the existing system, the faults detected by automatic integrity monitoring systems or by crew are corrected or handled when the aircraft is on the ground. This results in partial or complete unavailability of an avionics system from the time the NES is corrupted until the time the rectification occurs on the ground.

Hence, there is a need for a method that corrects the some or all of the NES faults in- flight soon after they are detected, which allows the affected system to be restored to its normal state in-flight, and thus increases the availability of the affected avionics...