Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ASHLEY Report Summary

Project ID: 605442
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: France

Periodic Report Summary 3 - ASHLEY (Avionics Systems Hosted on a distributed modular electronics Large scale dEmonstrator for multiple tYpe of aircraft)

Project Context and Objectives:
The IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) concept proposes an integrated architecture with application software portable across an assembly of common hardware modules. This architectural approach has been developed in the past 20 years and is now implemented in state-of-the art current commercial aircraft (first generation IMA, or IMA1G).
The FP7 collaborative project SCARLETT defined a new generation of IMA components with a view to improve performance and address all types of aircraft. SCARLETT introduced the breakthrough Distributed Modular Electronics (DME) concept and defined building blocks of the 2nd generation of IMA (IMA2G) by concentrating its effort on the Aircraft Control Domain (ACD).
To make the most of DME potential, ASHLEY will carry out research on top of the existing state-of-the-art and focus on the following areas where most innovations are expected:
• Extension of DME concepts and solutions to other aircraft domains especially the Aircraft Information System Domain (AISD or open world) and the cabin domain, leading to the definition of DME security components
• Extension of DME common remote I/O management resources to Secondary Power Distribution and additional Time and Safety Critical aircraft systems such as High Lift,
• Multi-domain, secured Data Distribution services to streamline aircraft data distribution
• Development of an efficient system designer oriented IMA2G Tooling Framework solution that remains compliant with IMA2G industrial and certification constraints.
• Development of a generation of digital smart actuators and sensors, including those based on new advanced photonics technologies.
These innovations will be supported by advanced processes, methods and tools developed to enable an efficient implementation for future aircraft programmes. They will be validated on the ASHLEY Large Scale aircraft representative Demonstrator by integration of a set of representative applications for avionics and open world.
Thus, ASHLEY will consolidate and integrate the results of SCARLETT and several national collaborative research projects to achieve demonstration of the most advanced building blocks available today in a whole aircraft-level platform.

Project Results:
The ASHLEY project is built around a process-oriented WBS, starting from the consolidation of project requirements, followed by the definition of DME components and functions specifications, leading to development, then verification, to end up with validation through demonstration and project results (i.e. assessment and exploitation).
The project is divided into four main steps as follows:
• Step 1: Project Requirements activities
• Step 2:
o High TRL stream of research (leading to the demonstration of a set of aircraft representative functions on top of DME components), covering the Specification, Development, and Verification Phases.
o Transversal set of activities covering the Advanced Studies, Certification and Standardisation activities (targeting a lower TRL).
• Step 3: Assessment activities (as a preparation of project results)
• Step 4: Project results.
The step 1 of the project is complete. It consisted in consolidating the project requirements. The scope of the 6 demonstrations and of the Large Scale demonstration was defined. High-level requirements were derived for the DME platform and components (including basic SW and middleware, network elements, remote electronics...), for the Avionics and Open World applications software (i.e. the applications provided by the function suppliers), and for the test scenarios and test beds infrastructure (including all tools for investigation, measurements, validation ...). High-level requirements were also derived for the Tool Framework that will support the IMA2G enhanced process. Last but not least, orientations were provided to the Certification and Standardisation studies, as well as for the academic studies.
The scope and methodology of the project assessment were defined, and required assessment utilities produced.
The step 2 of the project is almost complete.
The ASHLEY Tool Framework and related integrated tools were specified, implemented and tested. The tool framework concept was validated. The demonstrated level of maturity of the seamless tool chain is TRL5.
The development of DME platform technologies and resources is complete. Processing and network resources, remote electronics, photonics solutions for avionics systems, Power Line Communications data bus, open world solutions for operator domain, avionics data distribution service, SW components for smart components... are available.
The development of aircraft representative functions is almost complete (ventilation, high lift, power distribution, fuel, landing gear, maintenance, flight warning...).
The test rigs have been set up for each demonstrator.
The IMA training and support was delivered to Function Suppliers, Demonstrator Managers, Module Integrators, and Network Integrators.
Most of the advanced studies on topics of particular importance and relevance to the project were achieved.
A survey on IMA certification and standardisation was performed. The list of certification requirement documents and standards needed to be compliant with intended ASHLEY extension of DME was produced. The list of certification & standardisation topics to be handled in the project was consolidated. Technical exchanges are ongoing with EASA to evaluate ASHLEY proposed solutions against certification requirements.
The External Experts Advisory Group (EEAG) met 3 times to support and to industrially validate the activities and results of the project. The selected topics were “Usage of modelling technology for platform development” and “Avionics DataBase Distribution Service”.
Ongoing dissemination activities allow communicating the results of ASHLEY and informing about the project as widely as possible, in particular thanks to the ASHLEY public Forum and market place held at Filton in October 2016.
As a conclusion, the technical and scientific progress of the ASHLEY project is as planned in order to achieve the objectives of the project at the end. The results achieved in the third period are a good basis for a successful project completion in September 2017.

Potential Impact:
ASHLEY will be a valuable asset on the IMA2G path to address future aircraft program.
Innovations will be tackled at different stages with one common objective to improve the current IMA2G distributed platform solution. This IMA2G platform shall be “technologically attractive” to cover most of avionics systems needs while improving the aircraft development and its global performance. Main ASHLEY technical innovations will cover the following axes:
• The implementation of the smart components is considered as a real innovation. Indeed, this association of processing intelligence and network connection on a Sensor or Actuator could have a significant impact at the aircraft level (improvement of maintenance diagnostics failure analysis, optimisation of aircraft wiring, simplification of maintenance operations...)
• The introduction of the new passive optical technology requiring no power supply, and the use of Power-by-Light is considered as a real step beyond with the following main advantages: reducing weight at aircraft level, installation simplification (through increase in routing options), higher MTBF, safe behaviour in flammable environment.
• The introduction of a dedicated avionics power line communications solution allows the use of the power distribution system for both power and data thus opening the door for a reduction in weight, volume and complexity of the aircraft wiring along with reduced installation and maintenance costs.
• The properties of the Remote Control Electronics (RCE) (e.g.: time critical, high integrity...) into IMA2G architecture will probably overcome limitations identified for flight safety critical functions, will allow hosting such systems and extend the IMA usage on aircraft.
• Data Bases are mainly used in aircraft systems (Flight Management System, Airport Operation Function, Terrain Awareness Warning System, Flight Warning System...) are often exchanged from one system to another. To avoid any overload on the traffic or data errors, a central Data Base System will be studied and implemented. At first, ASHLEY project will permit deep architecture analysis of this functionality considered as an innovation at platform level. The use of the Data Base Service with representative avionics systems will definitively assess the performance of the concept in a real demonstration.
• Still on the objective to cover the most of avionics systems needs and to reduce the number of Part Number at aircraft level, ASHLEY will innovate by using IMA2G components in domains other than Avionics. Several communications means are available on an aircraft (e.g.: Inmarsat SATCOM, High data rate SATCOM, 3G/4G ground services, other Air-to-Ground network...). ASHLEY will permit to develop and test dedicated Open World applications to assess the IMA2G platform communication properties and to improve data security robustness.
• To ensure these new technological concepts will have a chance to be on board of an aircraft, they should also be easily integrated in an industrial organisation. A further Innovation in ASHLEY will be in the definition of new process of working, including all the IMA actors, offering efficient tools that will permit significant gains on overall design time.
• For innovations which Technology Readiness Level is not mature enough, ASHLEY project will orientate studies on specific topics of particular importance and relevance to the IMA2G platform (including approaches and methods, architectures, techniques and tools from aviation and other domains).

By undertaking research and technology development with a close global market perspective, ASHLEY will be a catalyst to the establishment of European leadership in the aviation sector, while leveraging the European position in the harmonisation of standardisation and certification processes globally.
The strong research focus of ASHLEY research activities, using a unique multidisciplinary team, will contribute to strengthen the technological and scientific background of Europe. As such, ASHLEY will not only contribute to create an image of Europe as a producer of advanced technological results, but will also create the leverage for future research works.

List of Websites:


Sonia WASSILIEFF, (R&T Sales Manager)
Tel.: +33 561193589


Record Number: 195473 / Last updated on: 2017-03-13
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top