Curtiss-Wright has developed reliable, high performance Ethernet interface modules and rugged switches that allow the “network native” Acra KAM-500 to be interconnected in an Ethernet network. In such a network, setup, data acquisition and synchronization occur over a single Ethernet connection, leading to significant savings in wiring, complexity and weight.

Standard protocols are used for programming (TFTP) and health status monitoring (SNMP). The managed switches transmit IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) packets to synchronize a system typically to better than 100ns, even across large distributed systems. There is no adaptive or dynamic switch behavior, as the Ethernet data output of the DAU is predictable and known in advance. This deterministic acquisition and transmission facilitates coherency. 

Data from an Ethernet Acra KAM-500 is optimally packetized for Ethernet transmission and recording, but can be also be converted to many other industry standard protocols. This facilitates hybrid system (e.g. PCM DAUs) integration into an Ethernet system or enables Ethernet data to be converted to PCM for telemetering.

Curtiss-Wright employs IEEE 1588 PTP synchronization to facilitate open and commercially-based systems centering on Ethernet for Flight Test Instrumentation (FTI) networks. Through PTP, a single Ethernet connection enables discovery, setup, acquisition and synchronization. The IEEE 1588 Grandmaster device synchronizes to the global positioning system (GPS) and, using accurate time stamping packets to and from each device, synchronizes all devices on the network.

Example of an Xbar connection setup

Curtiss-Wright’s XBar architecture facilitates flexible forwarding and filtering configurations (e.g. to send data to multiple destinations for real-time monitoring, recording and transmission). The next generation Xbar architecture of Curtiss-Wright IEEE 1588 switches combines rugged, live on power-up performance with flexible crossbar architecture. Xbar facilitates the definition of static forwarding tables. The technology’s sophisticated filtering hardware creates high performance Ethernet switches that provide flexible forwarding and filtering configurations.

The store-and-forward Xbar switching fabric uses the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMPv2c). This protocol supports configuration of user-defined static forwarding tables and filtering in accordance with “RFC4188: Definitions of Managed Object for Bridges.” The forwarding tables permit enhanced flexibility for direct forwarding of incoming Ethernet frames to the output of one or more egress ports.

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