Current Projects

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  • AFE 49s7: Implementation of an Electronic Components Management Plan- Phase 8
    This project will; develop, document and implement the Electronic Components Management Plan (ECMP) evaluation criteria to verify compliance to industry documents EIA 4899 and IEC TS62239. These criteria will be used in development of a training course used to certify ECMP subject mater experts (SME). Consistent technical evaluation of an “ECMP” is critical to the acceptance of the third-party ECMP assessment process. This phase will focus on (1) supporting maintenance of industry component management/counterfeit parts and GEIA Pb-Free requirement standards and verification processes, (2) developing assessment processes and subject matter expert/assessor training to support the third-party assessment process for AS5553 certification, and (3) providing technical guidance and supporting revision to ECCC ECMP operating documentation as required in response to regulatory agency requirements.
  • AFE 59s1: SAVI Expanded Proof-of-Concept Demonstration - Supplement 1
    AFE 59S1 is the third step in demonstrating the feasibility of an “integrate-then-build” (virtual integration) approach to developing complex aerospace systems and represents the first attempts to parallel actual development of systems and subsystems with the Systems Architecture Virtual Integration (SAVI) Virtual Integration Process (VIP). AFE 58 demonstrated that architectural modeling with virtual integration can take place before physical integration and provide benefit for system and subsystem developments with large software/system integration issues. The follow-on effort in AFE 59 added credibility that the SAVI VIP can be beneficial to all stakeholders (airframers/ integrators, suppliers, end users, and regulators). AFE 59 extended and expanded the Model Repository and Model Bus constructs developed in AFE 58 and produced stronger evidence that subsystem and system developments for both commercial and military projects can be technically and cost-effectively integrated under this virtual integration approach. AFE 59 Supplement 1 (AFE 59S1) is designed to put the SAVI VIP to work alongside actual programs and to track the efficacy of the SAVI VIP in direct comparison to the current developmental integration process.
     
    The emphasis in AFE 59S1 is to demonstrate that the SAVI VIP can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of development efforts conducted at the Tier1 (OEM) and Tier 2 (Supplier) level. The Use Cases and the models postulated during AFE 59 will be expanded and further exercised to fit the actual development of both a major subsystem and a system, thus addressing both supplier and OEM questions about “real-world” applicability of the SAVI VIP. A mechanism for formally estimating the usefulness of the SAVI VIP will be set in motion with the expectation of demonstrating an average (for all subprocesses in the SAVI VIP) Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of at least 4.0 at the end of this phase of the project. A TRL of 4 means the SAVI VIP would be shown to be effective (validated) in a laboratory environment with demonstrations to be applied to an early prototype (of the VIP) on sample problems that show its potential but are not necessarily representative of real systems. A TRL of 5 goes one step further and adds credibility by showing the VIP is effective in a “relevant environment” and that this early prototype VIP can be applied with demonstrable gains to system integrations “representative in scale and complexity of real systems”. Optimistically, AFE 59 S1 could allow the overall average TRL to reach 4.5 if both subsystem and system pilot projects can be successfully completed during 2011. The key to this level of success will be having adequate resources available to complete both types of shadow projects during AFE 59S1 and to provide a full enough set of Use Cases to adequately demonstrate effectiveness of the VIP in comparison to actual ongoing development projects.
  • AFE 71s1: Semiconductor Wearout Software - Supplement 1
    This AFE will expand the capabilities of the existing integrated circuit reliability tool developed under AFE 71 - Reliability Prediction Software using FARBS and MaCRO. The focus of this expansion will be to develop prediction capabilities at 65nm and 45nm technology nodes and increase the number of “functional groups” used for semiconductor device analysis from seven developed in AFE 71 to nineteen. Validation activity will focus on in-house testing as relatively few products are fabricated at 65nm and the time period for 45/40nm deployment in the field is less than two years.
  • AFE 72s1: Mitigating Radiation Effects on Avionics Systems - Supplement 1
    This project continues the work of establishing a set of guidelines that will enable participating companies to mitigate atmospheric radiation effects on current & future aircraft avionics systems and electronic devices. Radiation sources may be the atmosphere where aircraft are operated or other sources in the avionics environment. Of primary concern in this most recent work are establishing testing and analysis procedures to accurately account for the effects of energetic neutrons. This is largely in response to growing concern that shrinking device geometries have led to effects that render established mitigation technologies ineffective.
     
    This work was begun under AVSI project AFE 16 project and was continued in AFE 72. The rapid change of device technologies creates a situation in which devices are often designed into new systems before accurate susceptibilities can be established through testing or from field data. Thus this AFE 72s1 project is necessary to continue to evolve our understanding of the impact of radiation effects on avionics systems safety and reliability. This new project definition includes:
    • Continued cooperative effort with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC-107 committee to develop and update "Standard for the accommodation of Atmospheric Radiation Effects (SEE) within Avionics Electronic Equipment; Parts 1-5.”
    • Definition of SEE susceptibility and how it relates to safety and reliability in electronics used in aviation. Complete the development of an appendix to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard ARP4761 – System Safety Assessment Guidelines – “Atmospheric Neutron Single Event Effects Analysis of Complex Electronic Systems.”
    • Work with other groups such as working groups of RTCA, Inc. and IEC to ensure that radiation issues are properly considered as part of the operating environment. This may lead to incorporating material in standards such as RTCA DO-160 and 1309, and IEC TS62239.
    • Continue to refine a roadmap toward the ultimate objective of establishing a cost effective test method/simulation/analysis for device level failure rates. This is a significant effort and current planning is for a 10-year timeline, which will require coordination between industry members, standards bodies, regulatory bodies, and device manufacturers.
    • Continue in efforts to address the current shortage of suitable neutron beam test facilities by working with current source providers and by collectively voicing industry concerns and requirements.
    • Analyze test data and field data to determine the effects on failure rates that are attributable to the step from the 120 nm technology node to the 90 nm process node.
    These objectives are organized into several tasks in the 2011 program. Some of these tasks will be assigned to the contractor and others to the various participants.
  • AFE 73s1: Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications (WAIC)
    The project will extend the activities of the existing AFE 73 beyond its current 2010 completion date. Due to the evolving understanding of the international regulatory process, the original objectives of AFE 73 could not be fully realized as previously planned. The project has been very successful in building the technical justification for new spectrum for WAIC systems. However, the project team found that submitting a specific spectrum request, with the requested frequency bands clearly identified, should not be undertaken until a new Agenda Item is established at WRC’12. In addition, the effort required to perform satisfactory analyses of candidate frequency bands exceeded the team’s available resources to be completed by the end of 2010. The proposed Supplement project will use the additional time before now and WRC’12 to perform detailed studies of possible candidate frequency bands taking into account their technical characteristics, coexistence with their incumbent users, and political feasibility of getting a new allocation. The goal is to have a few technically and politically viable alternatives that can be officially proposed at the ITU-R after the expected WAIC Agenda Item is approved. This will improve the chances of completing detailed official ITU-R coexistence studies in time for WRC’15/16 to consider new frequency allocations for WAIC.
     
    Similarly to the current AFE 73, the proposed Supplement will involve technical as well as regulatory/coordination activities. The technical work will take as the starting point the results of AFE 73, as expected for the end of 2010. The first part will be to select a small set of candidate frequency bands for high data rate WAIC systems. This will be done in two steps. First, a set of 15-20 bands will be down-selected from among all allocations above 15.7 GHz, using approximate selection criteria. Then, preliminary coexistence and sharing analysis will be performed on the previously selected bands, to arrive at a much smaller subset of 3-4 bands that will later proposed as alternatives to ITU-R. After the final candidate bands are identified, the more detailed coexistence and spectrum sharing analysis will be performed. This analysis will involve the newly selected 3-4 bands for HI/HO systems, a swell as the already selected candidate bands for LI/LO systems, which were previously identified during the current AFE 73. The second main technical task to be performed is preparation of draft recommendation for spectrum request for WAIC, to be submitted to ITU-R at a TBD time after WRC’12. To define the spectrum request, the on-aircraft radio propagation model will have to be updated based on the propagation data collected during the current AFE73. Using the refined propagation model the spectrum need will be defined and organized into a well written document, so that is ready for submission as soon as WRC’12 approves an Agenda Item for WAIC spectrum.
     
    The regulatory/coordination portion of the project will need to be even more energetic than so far. It will involve building multinational support to have the new Agenda Item proposal introduced to and then approved at WRC’12. In addition, political feasibility of particular frequency bands will be more carefully assessed. The overall long-term goal of the project is to best prepare the ground for (a) new spectrum allocation(s) for WAIC being established at WRC’15/16. This will enable use of wireless avionics by the entire aerospace industry, leading to more efficient and ultimately safer aircraft designs.
  • AFE 75: COTS Assurance Methods
    This Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute (AVSI) project, Authority for Expenditure (AFE) 75, will evaluate the current challenges posed by the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics items in aerospace vehicles. Although both the commercial and military segments of the aerospace market are increasingly dependent on COTS components, sub-assemblies, and in some cases even systems, there is no aerospace consensus on methods to assure their safety and airworthiness in Airborne Electronic Equipment (AEE), or on criteria to assure that those methods are used properly in design, production or support. A major characteristic of the COTS electronics market is the rapidity with which it changes, and the regular emergence of new issues that can affect AEE safety and airworthiness.
     
    RTCA DO-254A and DO-178C were developed in part to address some of these issues, but do not document specific methods or objective criteria for assurance of safety and airworthiness. Some agencies, e.g., the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), have recognized the need for additional guidance and are moving forward with possible solutions that can be utilized by the global aviation industry. The purpose of this project is to create a framework for COTS assurance by investigating COTS use in AEE, documenting safety and airworthiness assurance methods for equipment incorporating COTS-based AEE, and developing criteria for determining the effectiveness of those methods. Due to the size of the task, and the limited resources available to perform it, this AFE is limited to the investigation of COTS electronic components; although it is acknowledged there is similar urgency in addressing other classes of COTS.
     
    Participating members of the AVSI AFE 75 AEE Design Assurance Project will identify issues related to COTS component usage in AEE design, production, and support, and recommend new ways to improve aircraft certification methods specifically related to COTS components in modern aircraft. These methods will provide input for candidate regulatory policies, standards, and procedures considered for implementation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Innovative approaches to design assurance including safety and security will be considered. New documents to be used in parallel or instead of existing ones may be recommended.
     
    If the identified research is not performed, the ability of the FAA and industry to evaluate emerging, future AEE for use in advanced flight controls and avionics systems is at risk. Consequently, certification specialists will find it difficult to properly assess proposed aircraft and avionics designs that employ these technologies in flight essential and flight critical applications.
     
    This project will be participant-driven. Both industry and regulatory participants will be expected to provide the expertise needed to accomplish project objectives. Each participating organization will identify a representative to form the Project Management Committee (PMC). The PMC will plan the project content; facilitate collaboration, direct activities identified by the PMC members, document the results, and recommend methods of implementation. The industry members will identify current practices employed by the industry. The regulatory and the industry members will identify possible COTS-related electronic component issues and possible solutions including suggested methods of design assurance for avionics application hardware. The PMC will select a chairman to facilitate the work, and assure that the project objectives and deliverables are accomplished, in cooperation with the other PMC members.
     
    Results will be documented in the project reports and, if appropriate, will be included in a draft Airborne Electronic Hardware (AEE) Handbook for Airborne Systems at the direction of the project PMC. Work to be done in response to this AFE will provide criteria and methods for more complete, cost-effective solutions for safety and airworthiness assurance and certification of systems containing COTS electronic components in AEE. The work also will provide methods, processes, and criteria to verify compliance in the certification process. The handbook could provide input to a standards body or remain as a handbook for use by AFE participants.
  • AFE 80: Integrated Reliability
    This project, AFE 80, will provide the organization, coordination and oversight to create an integrated reliability prediction methodology. This will be accomplished by continuing the development of reliability prediction capabilities as identified in the AFE 74 and AFE 74S1 roadmap projects, organizing contributions from outside organizations, providing oversight to subprojects and by developing common standards for establishing new reliability models, application of models, testing, data collection and validation.
     
    AFE 80 will develop features of the roadmap that are common to all reliability modeling approaches, such as common standards for establishing models, application of models, testing, data collection and validation. AFE 80 will explore ways to assure periodic maintenance and update of the models. In addition, AFE 80 will investigate the feasibility and establish ground rules for implementing a reliability prediction methodology electronically rather than as a static, published document.
     
    AFE 80 subprojects (AFE 8x) will be instantiated, each with its own funding, membership list, objectives, schedule and deliverables. AFE 80 will provide expert support to the launched subprojects and identify the relationships between the projects and the overall roadmap priorities. In addition, AFE 80 will establish standards and guidelines for the technical content of subprojects under the direction and approval of the subproject PMC. AFE 80 will continue the evaluation of emerging technologies to identify changes in the prioritized tasks, and propose new subprojects (AFE 8x) to meet the roadmap needs.
(Last Updated: 1 Aug 2012)