FLIGHT TEST MONITORING OF AVIONIC FIBRE CHANNEL NETWORKS FOR RECORDING AND TELEMETRY
AuthorZettwoch, Robert N.
AffiliationThe Boeing Company
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AbstractThe F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft program is currently flight testing a Fibre Channel Network (FCN), which will initially replace certain Avionics Systems’ MIL-STD-1553 communications. The Advanced Mission Computers and Displays (AMC&D) and the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) RADAR are replacing their MIL-STD-1553 counterparts to fulfill performance enhancements and growing data requirements. The maximum amount of data that can be transferred between these systems is significantly increasing. Each remote terminal on a MIL-STD-1553 bus can transmit or receive approximately 1Mbps. Each node on a FCN can simultaneously transmit and receive 1Gbps. With a Fibre Channel Network Switch (FCNS), multiple systems can communicate concurrently, thus increasing overall system throughput even further. Several other systems will be replaced in the near future utilizing the FCNS. The Fibre Channel Interface Unit (FCIU) was designed for the F/A-18E/F AESA program as a nonintrusive way to monitor multiple nodes, extract node specific information, and record this information using conventional on-board recorders. In order to reduce the risks associated with developing hardware and software concurrently with the Avionic System’s protocol, the FCIU was developed as an upper-level-protocol (ULP) (layer FC-4) independent device. Two big advantages of ULP independence are the avoidance of complex protocol programming for each different type of monitored network system and the non-intrusive nature of the FCIU connection to the FCN. This facilitates the quick installation of the FCIU to monitor any FC network and the FCIU IRIG-106 PCM type output lends itself to be integrated quickly into a typical Flight Test data recording or telemetry system.
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