A proposal for a Fully Distributed Flight Control System design
Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) as successor of conventional avionics have many advantages with respect to flexibility, re-usabilty and standardisation. Systems based on IMA consist of a generic hardware platform with a standardised hardware- and software interface and dedicated functions for module management. A configuration defines how system applications are integrated to the hardware modules and is an important aspect of the IMA development process. Despite the development process for conventional avionics and due to the fact that many, probably independent systems share the same platform the development process is heavily distributed. Therefore, the integration effort causes new challenges. To reduce the complexity of the distributed configuration process, a flexible and extensible configuration engineering software framework has been developed and is presented that contributes to an enhanced configuration process. Besides the standard tasks to manage, create, modify and verify configuration data it also allows a graphical representation while dedicated im- and export functions enable to re-use existing configuration data and to integrate the new software framework transparently into an existing process. One of the central functions are early consistency checks so that at the time of integration the configuration is error-free at best. This article focusses mainly on the software architectural aspects.