While both military and commercial aircraft electronic system designers are concerned with avionics data bus integrity, they are also under pressure to reduce cost, increase operability and where possible, utilize commercially available components. Strides have been made in this area with use of LRUs which are modular, plug-and-play electronic components which serve a multitude of functions. Still, LRUs may themselves impact flight safety if they can transmit data to other components rather than simply receive.
Air Force researchers have developed a hardware firewall to address the above issue which isolates LRUs and other devices such that they can only receive data. The military has concerns with the integrity of data between LRUs while commercial carriers are also concerned with passengers accessing avionics circuitry through on-board networks. Isolating LRUs would mitigate concerns in both environments.
- Military Standard 1553 compliant (DoD avionics standard for a serial data bus also used by major commercial aircraft manufacturers as well as ships and ground vehicles)
- Lowers operational costs by allowing the purchase of COTS, receive-only LRUs
- Firewall is a hardware device which is more difficult to circumvent than a software-only solution
- Electronic components in the device are commercially available
- A device to isolate components for absolute “receive only” operation may lower barriers in qualifying new avionics hardware
- Pending US Patent Application is available for license and commercialization
- TRL 6, devices have been prototyped and tested, data available.
- Related technologies, “Flight Bus Logger” and “Data Filter for High Confidence Routing”, are also available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Air Force inventor and laboratory