Rapid Prototyping Avionics

Today’s Avionics developers are increasingly challenged by accelerated development cycles, parallel development of multiple systems, integration of “compatible” Line Replaceable Units (LRU) and the inevitable evolution of requirements. Curtiss-Wright’s data acquisition products can be used as building blocks to greatly reduce the time to develop new or replacement data acquisition units or data concentrators.

The KAM-500 and Axon range, for example, includes hundreds of available COTS modules that can be used to monitor practically any sensor or bus on an aircraft. A range of different sizes of standard chassis are available which can house anything from 3 to 16 user selected modules and thus a custom LRU can be designed.

The concept is shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: Cutaway model of KAM-500

Example sensors and buses that can be interfaced with the modules include:

  • Accelerometers
  • Thermocouples
  • Pressure sensors
  • Analog voltages
  • Discretes (Open/Ground etc)
  • Arinc-429
  • MIL-STD-1553
  • Ethernet

The data will be aggregated by the LRU and then either stored locally on a Compact Flash recording module or else sent out over ethernet to a recorder or remote system. Several remote LRUs can be connected together and their data aggregated into one ethernet output thus collecting data from around the aircraft.

This modular customizable approach can be used in the early stages as a prototype LRU during evaluation and then rolled out to the entire fleet. It would also be possible to repackage the LRU and remove weight and functionality if needed or to change the connectors etc.

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