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Avionics Development System 2nd Generation

A Custom-Made-Suit off the Shelf

For the A380 new generation aircraft project, TechSAT has completely overhauled its System Integration Bench (SIB) design. The focal point regarding the design of modern testing technology is the capability to easily grow with and swiftly adapt to specifications still under development. To cope with such demands, the company has come up with a core test system concept that is strictly committed to the principles of modularity and standardization, therefore promoting the use of industry and open standards as well as COTS solutions whenever possible. Customers can choose from a copious catalog of standardized components, which are then supplemented by all special-to-purpose devices required to accomplish the optimum solution for the unit under test (UUT).

Thanks to the modular approach (see ADS2-SIB Architecture), which allows maximum flexibility regarding configuration and production schedule, it is possible to design and build the test and integration rig in parallel while the UUT is still in development. This saves time and money as it reduces the gap between UUT development and integration considerably. New customer requirements or specification modifications can be accommodated with little effort. Even last minute changes as late as two weeks before delivery have been handled successfully by TechSAT The average delivery time for medium-range SIBs supporting multiple UUTs usually ranges from six to nine months from specification to the on-site acceptance test.

Due to the high degree of standardization and modularity, SIBs can be easily downsized, expanded, or adapted to fit new or changed requirements. The application scope ranges from low-profile systems to highly demanding military projects requiring outstanding real-time performance, highest accuracy, and full electromagnetic compatibility.

An invaluable asset of the SIB is the integrated Avionics Development System 2nd Generation (ADS2) software package. Its real-time features allow designers and engineers of avionics controllers to simulate the UUT environment, sensors and actuators, to switch from simulation mode to real devices operation, as well as to complete system integration, software verification, performance, and acceptance tests. Additionally, the package contains an ample set of data acquisition, error injection and analysis tools for all major avionics I/O types such as MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, CAN, Discrete, and RS232/422, including a complete AFDX® Bus Analyzer and Simulation utility for the new A380 bus protocol. A host of API interfaces supporting C, C++, Python, Tcl/Tk, Ada, Fortran, MATRIXx, and MatLab-Simulink is also provided and can be used to embed external applications for prototyping, simulation, and test. ADS2 can be employed as a single environment or in combination with other systems.

Up to now, TechSAT has completed some fifty integration rigs. The bulk went to Airbus Germany for the development and integration of the A380. Some of the benches also went to Airbus suppliers such as Diehl Avionik, Nord-Micro and Parker Hannifin (USA).

Application Scope

ADS2-SIB is an integrated real-time software environment and hardware platform for prototyping, development, integration, test and verification of avionics components and systems. Typical applications include:

  • Functional tests
  • Performance tests
  • System integration
  • Acceptance tests
  • Man in the Loop
  • Hardware in the Loop
  • Software integration

Main Features

  • Real-time system
  • Sensor and actuator simulation
  • Standardized components
  • ADS2 software
  • Interface to customer simulations
  • ICD import
  • 100% isolation of signals

50+ Systems

  • A380, A340, A320 family
  • Eurofighter
  • Embraer

SIB Architecture

The accompanying diagram illustrates the SIB hardware architecture, which is composed of the following main parts:

  • Central Control Unit, Real-Time
  • Processing & I/O Unit, Wiring
  • Matrix, and Fault Insertion and
  • Breakout Unit (optional).

Central Control Unit (CCU)

The Central Control Unit is a Linux | UNIX | Windows XP workstation serving as the primary „Test System Manager“. It hosts the ADS2 UIS, which is comprised of an ample suite of high-level applications including configuration, surveillance, visualization, acquisition, stimulation, simulation and scripting tools, all united under one common graphical user interface.

Additional workstations can be connected to the system in order to expand the simultaneous monitoring and visualization capabilities of the SIB.

Real-Time Processing & I/O Unit (RTIOS)

Via a 100bT Ethernet link the CCU is connected to the Central Real-Time Processing and I/O Unit. In its basic configuration this unit consists of a single VME crate and an RTIOS PPC CPU employing VxWorks. The RTIOS CPU holds the system’s complete real-time database and controls the real-time I/O. Additionally, it can run a limited number of real-time simulation tasks. If more simulation power is required, additional SIM CPUs can be put in at any time.

Depending on the requirements imposed by the UUT, the I/O unit can be equipped with any number and combination of I/O devices. These consist of VME I/O interface boards and module carrier boards both of which can be active or passive (i.e. intelligent or non-intelligent).

The module types used most frequently are IndustryPack (IP) modules, M-modules or PMC modules, which are mounted on the PPC CPU directly. All prevalent I/O types are supported, including the new AFDX® high-speed data bus.

A list of the supported I/O types is given on the back of this sheet. If the number of slots provided by one VME crate is not sufficient, additional VME crates can be appended. Each of these crates requires one RTIOS CPU of its own as well as high-speed interconnections between the various RTIOS CPUs.

Two stand-alone SIBs can be linked together using a high-speed data link interface. Control is provided by one master SIB.

Wiring Matrix (WMx)

The WMx provides for the mapping of the standard VME resources and the signals required by the current UUT. It consists of four modular components:

  • Signal Resource Connector Panel
  • Signal Conditioning
  • Switch Unit (optional)
  • UUT Connector Panel

Signal Resource Connector Panel – The VME I/O device signals are fed to the Signal Resource Connector Panel on the Wiring Matrix via wiring harnesses. Both the wiring and the Signal Resource Connector Panel are modularized and standardized, facilitating

Signal Conditioning Unit (SCU) – The Signal Conditioning Unit (SCU) is designed as a modular plug-in card system mounted in a 3U or 6U card cage (or a combination of both). The SCU, used for signal adjustment, can also accommodate sensor and actuator simulations or their real counterparts, if needed by the UUT. These real devices are also connected to the WMx.

Switch Unit – If the SIB contains both simulated and real devices, the WMx is equipped with a Switch Unit to switch from device simulation to real device operation, and vice versa. The Switch Unit has a modular design allowing for future expansion.

UUT Connector Panel – The UUT Connector Panel provides the connections to the controller. Again, a modular design has been chosen to allow for future expansion.

In large systems the Wiring Matrix is accommodated in a separate rack, the „Matrix Rack“. In smaller systems the Central Real-Time Processing & I/O Unit and the WMx usually share a common rack.

Fault Insertion & Breakout (FIBO) Unit

Optionally, the SIB can be equipped with a Fault Insertion & Breakout (FIBO) unit. For error injection, monitoring, and self-test purposes avionics test and simulation systems require both manual and automatic access to each individual signal line connecting the test system with the UUT. The FIBO offers both a modular breakout panel and numerous software-controlled error injection functions. See FIBO for detailed information.

SIB Specifications Supported I/O


  • Full duplex switched Ethernet
  • UDP data exchange protocol
  • Error monitoring (SNMP)
  • Download/upload (TFTP)
  • Recording of full data stream (redundancy enabled/disabled)
  • Raw data recording
  • Monitoring
  • 1 microsecond timestamp resolution


  • CAN 2.0A - 2.0B protocol support83 KBaud bis 1 MBaud speed
  • Scheduled and asynchronous transmissions
  • Sampling & FIFO receive mode
  • Raw & signal data I/F
  • Data replay
  • Data acquisition


  • Emulation of 1 Bus Controller and 32 RTs per CCA
  • Raw or message data acquisition and trigger system
  • 2 External trigger inputs, 2 outputs
  • Error statistics


  • Up to 16 receiver and 16 transmitter per CCA
  • 100 Kbit and 12.5 Kbit data rates
  • Transmit schedules with up to 256 labels with different update rates per channel
  • Error injection and detection per label
  • Data replay
  • Data acquisition


  • Up to 32 full duplex channels per CCA
  • Bit rates from 300 Baud to 115 KBaud
  • Configurable record format
  • Transmit schedules with up to 256
  • Messages with different update rates per channel
  • Data replay
  • Data acquisition


  • All common types of analog I/O
  • All common types of digital I/O
  • Custom high-precision digital | analog VME front ends for maximum accuracy and performance (24-bit ADC, 16-bit DAC, Sine Wave Generator, Frequency Counter and Detector, et al.)
  • Large number of different I/O types through use of IndustryPack I/O modules
  • High channel density, for example 192 digital TTL level channel, on one CCA


  • Digital to Synchro
  • Synchro to Digital
  • 16 bit resolution
  • 1 arc-min accuracy for SID channels
  • 30 arc-sec accuracy for DIS channels


  • Programmable outputs
  • 16 bit resolution

RSS – Resistive Sensor Simulation

  • Simulation of PT 100 | 500 | 1000, NTC, PTC, or Potentiometers
  • Automatic in-system offline calibration
  • High speed and high channel count versions
  • High density application (10 channel) per 6U PCB


  • Ethernet GPIB controller
  • Up to 14 GPIB devices

Open and Industry Standards

User workstation(s)

UNIX | Windows XP | Windows 2000 | Linux

External simulation host(s)


EEE 1003.1 + 1003.4

User Interface System (UIS) GUI

X-Windows / MOTIF

VME processing

POSIX / VxWorks

IEEE 1003.1 + 1003.4

ADS/2 software

C, C++, Python, Tcl/Tk

User programming language support

C, C++, ADA, FORTRAN, MATRIXx, MatLab - Simulink, Python, Tcl/Tk

Command + Control Network Protocol


ADS/2 system backplane

VME bus

IEEE 1014-1987

ADS/2 system local I/O

PCI bus

IEEE P1386

Modular Discrete I/O

IndustryPack (IP)


Supported Platforms

User Interface System Workstation     

  • PC ix86 with Linux
  • PC ix86 with Windows XP | 2000
  • SUN Sparc running Solaris 2.7
  • HPPA running HPUX 10.20, HPUX 11
  • PC ix86 with FreeBSD 4.0

Real-time I/O Server     

  • Motorola Power PC 7410 | 7455 | 7457 running VxWorks

Simulation Host     

  • Motorola Power PC 7410 | 7455 | 7457 running VxWorks
  • SUN, SGI, HP workstation
  • Pentium PC - Windows XP | 2000, Linux, UNIX
  • Support for other platforms can be easily added