TTTech brings protocol to Dreamliner, CAPTAIN

  • 09-Jul-2008 12:10 EDT
TTTech believes that the fly-by-wire developments that come out of the CAPTAIN UAV program will simplify and accelerate the deployment of TTP-based systems in aerospace applications.

Technology from TTTech was used for integration of Hamilton Sundstrand's electric and environmental control systems in Boeing’s 787, which recently completed power on, a milestone for the 787 program that brings it closer to first flight. This step was accomplished using TTTech's time-triggered protocol (TTP)-based distributed control systems in what is described as “global multi-vendor cooperation,” amidst complex concurrent engineering and system integration projects.

Systems integration is especially important to Hamilton Sundstrand since it is developing a broad range of subsystems for the Dreamliner. In addition to its component engineering and manufacturing roles, Hamilton Sundstrand manages the integration, and oversees verification testing and certification, of the airplane power system.

The 787's power-on sequence began in early June with a series of pretest continuity checks to verify that the wiring installed in the airplane had been connected properly. Upon completion of those checks, the Boeing team plugged in an external power cart and slowly began to bring full power into each segment of the system, beginning with the flight deck displays. From that point forward, the pilot's controls were used to direct the addition of new systems to the power grid.

At each step of the testing, power was allowed to flow into one additional area and gauges were used to verify that the right level of electrical power reached the intended area while ensuring the integrity of the airplane's systems, such as its pneumatic, or bleed air, system that is being totally replaced by electronics.

TTTech provided generic embedded platform components and tools, which facilitate design of deterministic hard real-time systems, support system integration, and concurrent engineering in large teams working at different locations. Within the scope of this project with Hamilton Sundstrand, TTTech took over some system integrator responsibilities with focus on tool-assisted system resource allocation. TTTech’s involvement spanned platform architecture analysis and integration tasks; integrated software development environment; and corresponding processes to verification, validation, and certification support.

Further readiness tests will continue on the 787 in preparation for first flight, expected in the fourth quarter.

TTTech has also recently been putting its resources into the CAPTAIN (COTS Airborne PMC card for Time-triggered Aerospace Interfaces and Networks) research project with a goal of developing a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) embedded platform for low-cost flight-control systems in UAVs and general aviation aircraft. The intended use of UAVs in civil aerospace also necessitates a high level of onboard system safety.

The PMC (PCI mezzanine card) standard is widely used for rapid prototyping, testing, and flight hardware in UAVs. Within the CAPTAIN project, a TTPPMC card will be developed, facilitating and accelerating the development of TTP-based onboard electronic systems for safety-critical applications. This TTPPMC card will be a part of the TTP-based fly-by-wire platform to be used in FH Joannuem's UAV project, JXP. FH Joannuem is one of Austria's leading Universities of Applied Sciences.

CAPTAIN is co-funded by TAKE OFF, the Austrian national aerospace research program. It is the first joint research project for FH Joannuem and TTTech.

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