Exploration of Fibre Channel as an Avionics Interconnect for the 21st Century Military Aircraft
Hendricks, Shawn P.
Duren, Russell W.
McEachen, John C.
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Avionics architectures are evolving from "Federated" systems consisting of highly specialized black boxes connected together via MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 data buses to "Integrated" and "Distributed" architectures. These new architectures contain high data-rate sensors, parallel processors, and shared memory with high levels of integration. These systems require a new interconnection system that overcomes the limitations of older standards. One such interconnection system is Fibre Channel. This thesis evaluates Fibre Channel as avionics interconnection standard. It begins by defining the requirements and measures of performance for an interconnection system suitable for the new avionics architectures. The requirements address technical performance, affordability, reliability, sustainability, and maintainability considerations. The Fibre Channel standards are then compared to the requirements for the avionics interconnection system. In order to perform a technical performance evaluation of a switched fabric avionics interconnection system, a computer simulation model was developed. The OPNET Modeler% tool from OPNET, Inc. was used to model the components of an advanced avionics system. The results of this simulation demonstrated that Fibre Channel meets all the performance requirements of an avionics interconnect
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