Embedded airborne computer hardware for non-vital and vital functions up to DAL-A: from standard IFEC systems to full-custom critical control systems.
A number of innovations and changes are delivering new capabilities to aircraft operations. Modern aircraft are equipped with a multitude of electronic components. There is also a multitude of standards that must be fulfilled when designing an avionics hardware solution.
The computers are increasingly connected by safe Ethernet networks like AFDX (ARINC-664), have to conform to safety levels up to DAL-A and different ARINC or supplier specific standards like GRESS and also the software is subject to standards like ARINC 653 and to DO-178C. Since 2008 MEN is certified to the EN 9100 aerospace standard giving us long experience in the special design requirements. MEN’s avionic designs benefit from our core competencies such as modular concepts, flexible FPGA architectures and robust designs.
It is one thing to make a system safe, but another to make it safe and cost-effective. MEN has gathered vast experience with various architectures used to implement functional safety. It became our goal to make safe computers modular and available "off the shelf", and to make them certifiable “off the shelf”.
One hazard impacting the architecture for example is cosmic radiation. Cosmic radiation can cause memory errors in airborne applications; special, well-known design techniques can prevent effects like Single Event Upsets (SEU) in FPGA and memory components. In order to automatically detect and correct single bit errors Triple Modular Redundancy (TMR) can be employed.
Quality from the Beginning
Quality in design is a deciding factor for reliability of the electronics for operation, e.g., in-vehicle or during flight. During the design process, the reliability of the electronics has to be defined under given environmental impacts and for a desired period of time. MEN works according to the V-model and RAMS method (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) to ensure that systems are defined, hazard and safety analyses are carried out, hazard rates are determined and detailed checks as well as safety verifications are made.
Due to our experience in safety-critical avionic applications we support customers in their end-system certification process. Some of our COTS products are already prepared for certification up to DAL-A reducing development and certification costs with a fast time-to-market.