- Integrated Modular Avionics
Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) represent real-time computer network airborne systems. This network consists of a number of computing modules capable of supporting numerous applications of differing criticality levels.
The IMA concept proposes an integrated architecture with application software portable across an assembly of common hardware modules. An IMA architecture imposes multiple requirements on the underlying
Operating System[cite web
title=ASSC - Evaluation or RTOS Systems
It is believed that the IMA concept originated with the Avionics design of the
Fourth generation jet fighters. It has been in use in fighters such as Lockheed MartinF-22 and F-35, or Dassault AviationRafale in the beginning of the ' 90s. Standardization efforts were ongoing at this time (see ASAAC or STANAG 4626), but no final documents were issued thencite web
title=Integrated Modular Avionics: Less is More
quote="Some believe the IMA concept originated in the United States with the new F-22 and F-35 fighters and then migrated to the commercial jetliner arena. Others say the modular avionics concept, with less integration, has been used in business jets and regional airliners since the late 1980s or early 90s"
First uses for this concept were in development for business jets and regional jets at the end of 1990s and were seen flying at the beginning of 2000s, but it had not been yet standardized [cite web
title=Technical hurdles delay Primus Epic program
quote="When Honeywell started the development program no one had ever certified an MAU. There were no regulations or TSO standards to follow and so Honeywell had to start from square one, working with the FAA and JAA to set the standards for what an MAU would be."
IMA modularity simplifies the development process of
* As the structure of the modules network is unified, it is mandatory to use a common API to access the hardware and network resources, thus simplifying the hardware and software integration.
* IMA concept also allows the Application developers to focus on the
Application layer, reducing the risk of defaults in the lower-level software layers.
* As modules often share an extensive part of their hardware and lower-level software architecture, maintenance of the modules is easier than with previous specific architectures.
* Applications can be reconfigured on spare modules if the module that support them is detected faulty during operations, increasing the overall disponibility of the avionics functions.
Communication between the modules can use an internal high speed
Computer bus, or can share an external network, as of ARINC 429or AFDX.
It must be noted that there is no overall hardware or software standard that defines all the mandatory components used in an IMA architecture. However, parts of the API involved in an IMA network has been standardized, such as:
ARINC 653for the software avionics partitioning constraints to the underlying Real-time operating system (RTOS), and the associated API
* AFDX for the data network bus.
Examples of IMA architecture
Examples of aircraft avionics that uses IMA architecture :
Rafale: Thales IMA architecture is called "MDPU" (Modular Data Processing Unit) [cite web
title=Thales wins major Rafale through-life support contract from SIMMAD
accessdate=2008-02-09] [cite web
quote="The core of the enhanced capabilities of the RAFALE lies in a new Modular Data Processing Unit (MDPU). It is composed of up to 18 flight line-replaceable modules, each with a processing power 50 times higher than that of the 2084 XRI type computer fitted on the early versions of Mirage 2000-5."
Airbus A380[cite web
title=Avionics for the A380: new and highly functional ! Dynamic flightdeck presentation at Paris Air Show
quote="Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA), based on standardised modules that can be shared by several functions. The IMA concept is very scalable, and delivers significant improvements in reliability, maintainability, size and weight."
Boeing 787: GE Aviation Systems(formerly Smiths Aerospace) IMA architecture is called "Common Core System" [cite web
title=Common Core System (CCS)
GE Aviation Systems
quote="GE has developed a compute platform running an ARINC 653 partitioned operating environment with an Avionics Full Duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX) network backbone. The CCS provides shared system platform resources to host airplane functional systems such as Avionics, Environmental Control, Electrical, Mechanical, Hydraulic, Auxiliary Power Unit, Cabin Services, Flight Controls, Health Management, Fuel, Payloads, and Propulsion."
* Dassault Falcon 900, Falcon 2000, and Falcon 7X :
Honeywell's IMA architecture is called "MAU" (Modular Avionics Units), and the overall platform is called EASy [cite web
title=Dassault Falcon EASY Flight Deck
quote="The heart of the EASy platform is two, dual-channel, cabinet-based modular avionics units (MAUs). Highly rationalized, the MAU integrates functional cards for several applications into a single module. Each functional card performs multiple tasks previously requiring dedicated computer processors."
date= July 2005
IMA Publications & Whitepapers
* [http://www.ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4391842 "Transitioning from Federated Avionics Architectures to Integrated Modular Avionics"] , Christopher B. Watkins, Randy Walter, 26th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Dallas, Texas, October 2007.
* [http://www.ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4391848 "Advancing Open Standards in Integrated Modular Avionics: An Industry Analysis"] , Justin Littlefield-Lawwill, Ramanathan Viswanathan, 26th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Dallas, Texas, October 2007.
* [http://www.ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4391845 "Application of a Civil Integrated Modular Architecture to Military Transport Aircraft"] , R. Ramaker, W. Krug, W. Phebus, 26th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Dallas, Texas, October 2007.
* [http://www.ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4391843 "Integrating Modular Avionics: A New Role Emerges"] , Richard Garside, Joe F. Pighetti, 26th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Dallas, Texas, October 2007.
* [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4106349 "Integrated Modular Avionics: Managing the Allocation of Shared Intersystem Resources"] , Christopher B. Watkins, 25th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Portland, Oregon, October 2006.
* [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4106353 "Modular Verification: Testing a Subset of Integrated Modular Avionics in Isolation"] , Christopher B. Watkins, 25th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), Portland, Oregon, October 2006.
* [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=1245803 "Certification Concerns with Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) Projects"] , J. Lewis, L. Rierson, 22nd Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), October 2003.
Other External links
* [http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~philippa/IMA.html What is integrated avionics ?]
* [http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/categories/commercial/8420.html Integrated Modular Avionics: Less is More]
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