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Design tool takes on aerospace network architectures

19 May 2014

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Mirabilis Design Inc. has released the VisualSim Avionics Full-duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX) library that is used by designers and architects in the area of avionics systems development to model AFDX-based avionics networks.

The blocks of this library can be integrated with other VisualSim libraries including hardware architecture components, software components, and Ethernet to construct the full avionics system. It can also be used to analyse the architecture of a multi-protocol bridge and AFDX switch SoC.

"In the last year, the demand for AFDX-based system design has been growing rapidly," said Deepak Shankar, founder of Mirabilis Design. "Being a new technology with lots of possibilities, we felt there is considerable need for aerospace engineers to acquire a design tool to understand AFDX and to optimise the network topology. This library will help identify system bottlenecks, test the reliability, and construct a visual prototype of the full avionics systems."

AFDX modelling IP library is an extension to the existing Ethernet, VME, and 1553 library set focusing on reducing effort of modelling complex avionics data networks. Using Mirabilis Design's AFDX library, one can model high-level system bus and assemble various sub-system modules such as instruments, autopilot, and ABS that are connected to the data communication network. This enables users to quickly evaluate the architecture of avionics network architectures and run feasibility tests to improve performance, management of power consumption, and obtain system configuration details for implementation.

AFDX switch

AFDX library is fully integrated with VisualSim hardware architecture library and VisualSim networking library. VisualSim AFDX library supports full duplex, double redundancy, high performance, and deterministic/non-deterministic response time. The main elements of AFDX network library are:

AFDX end-systems: The AFDX end-system is the sub-system which is embedded in each avionics system's equipment connected to the network.

AFDX switch: Each VisualSim AFDX switch has filtering, policing and forwarding functions with more than 4,096 virtual links. The AFDX switch can operate in any topology including a star. Users can configure AFDX switch module based on the requirement by varying parameters.

AFDX virtual links: AFDX virtual links are part of the VisualSim library block and are defined as unidirectional logic path from the source end-system to all of the destination end-systems.

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