Saturday, 1 October 2022

Do You Know Airbus 320 Memory Size is How Much Times Smaller than Your Smartphone Memory Size & What is PCMCIA Card / WEFA system (WIRELESS EXTENSION FOR ACMS )-: The Aviation

 Do You Know Airbus 320 Memory Size is How Much Times Smaller than Your Smartphone Memory Size & What is PCMCIA Card / WEFA system (WIRELESS EXTENSION FOR ACMS ).

Hello everyone,
Welcome to my new blog, today I want to discuss about aircraft data and memory system as we know that  aircraft all systems are integrated under Flight Management System (FMS). Basically It is a technical brain that navigates modern airplanes safely through the flight phase. In many ways, it’s like the GPS for a car with waypoints programmed in between the initial point and the destination. In that system FMS allows the airplane to hook up that routing with the autopilot and maintain the heading and attitude. 

Let me tell you that FMS database is binary, and its capacity is reported in “words”, one “word” being equal to 2 bytes. Although FMS is the critical component of the entire auto-flight system since it is responsible for performance, navigation, and integration of all components of the auto-flight system, its memory size is extremely small. Little do people know, that back in the day FMS was 192 kilowords (around 400 kilobytes). 

It is about 2,500 times smaller than RAM (Random Access Memory) of a modern smartphone!
To top it off, to this day most of data is transferred to an aircraft with a floppy disk. Although recently portable data loaders (PDL) with USB have started to appear in the market, transferring data via a portable floppy drive to a floppy disk and then from the floppy to the aircraft via portable data loader is still the most common and universally accepted way. 
Even big airlines, for example, the biggest airline in Lithuania, Avion Express, is using this method.
In its evolution, FMS has had various sizes and capabilities. It can be as small as 400kb for earlier FMS software and eventually increasing up to 20 Mb for the most recent FMS upgrades. However, with the evolution of air navigation and complexity of airspace, this capacity milestone should soon be passed.

Abbreviations -:
1. FMS - Flight Management System 
2. AIDS - Aircraft Integrated data system
3. DMU - Data management Unit 
4. FDIMU - Flight data interface and management Unit 
5. GSE - Ground support Equipment 
6. SAR - Smart Access Recorder
7. SSMM -Solid State Mass Memory
8. PCMCIA - Personal Computer memory card International association
9. DAR - Digital AIDS Recorder
10. PDL - Portable Data Loader 
11.  ARINC - Aeronautical Radio Incorporation

Table of contents -: 

‌what is ACMS 
‌What is CVR
‌what is FDRS
‌What is FDIMU .
‌What is PCMCIA Card .
‌Why PCMCIA card is mandatory to change .
‌What is WEFA .
‌Why A320 neo is don't require PCMCIA Card .
‌Advance format of PCMCIA Card & WEFA.
‌ED48: Airbus A320 family Flight data interface & management unit
‌ED49:B737 family Flight data interface & management Unit 
‌ED35 & ED36: Quick access recorder & aircraft condition monitoring system

‌Aircraft condition & monitoring system (ACMS)-:

‌A/C condition & monitoring (ACMS) objective The  objective  of  the  ACMS  is  to  monitor  and  to  report  engine  &  aircraft  system parameters  in  order  to  support  aircraft  maintenance,  to  perform  trend  and exceedance  monitoring,  to  support  flight  operations,  for  FOQA/FDM  monitoring  or  for in-depth T/S analysis, among other applications. The  ACMS  is  mainly  controlled  by  the  DMU  equipment,  or  DMU  part  of  the  FDIMU equipment,  together  with  the  use  of  other  ancillary  recording  equipment  (optional QAR  LRU  used  in  DAR  function)  and  other  aircraft  system interfaces  (MCDU,  MDDU, ACARS MU/ATSU,..). For  this  purpose,  the  ACMS  acquires  characteristic  system  data  and  provides  the operators  with  performance  and  trend  information  as  well  as  indications  of  incipient deviations of any system conditions  from normal:-- Predictive  monitoringto  identify  anomalies  before  real  failure  occurrence and  anticipate  maintenance  actions  aiming  at  preventing  and  minimizing incident/accident occurrences. Condition-based  monitoring to  provide  performance  and  trend  information (Engine  Condition  monitoring,  APU  health  monitoring,  A/C  systems  and Structure monitoring).

Cockpit voice & datalink recording  (CVRS) objective -:

The  CVRS is  designed  to  record  audio  data  (cockpit  crew  voice  communications, audio  signals,  ambient  noises),  as  well  as,  for  the  newly  proposed  architectures, datalink communications  ( Air-to-Ground , Air-to-Air CNS/ATM  digital communications  and  crew  actions)  in  order  to  meet  the  applicable  mandatory recording  requirements. The  audio  and  datalink  recording  is  also  performed  by  means  of  specific  avionics hardware  and  software  equipment  (CVR  equipment,  cockpit  instruments,  and  relevant source  systems  equipment),  and  wiring  installation  (with  suitable  source  connections and  pin  programming  activations).

Flight  data  recording  (FDRS)  objective -:
The  purpose  of  the  FDRS  is  to  record  a  set  of  relevant  flight  parameters  required  to accurately  determine  the  aeroplane  flight  path,  speed,  attitude,  engine  power, configuration  and  operation  in  order  to  support  the  accident/incident  inquiries.  The FDRS  is  designed  in  compliance  with  the  mandatory  recording  requirements  from Authorities  (civil  aviation’  regulatory  agencies)  to  enable  operators  to  fulfil  their operational  Regulations  (e.g.  EU-OPS  (JAR-OPS),  FAR121.344,  and  other  national regulations). The  recording  is  performed  by  means  of  specific  avionics  hardware  and  software equipment  (FDRS  equipment,  source  systems  equipment),  and  wiring  installation  (with suitable  source  connections  and  pin  programming  activations). The  scope  of  FDRS  has  been  extended  throughout  the  years,  as  a  secondary objective,  to  support  and  optimize  flight  operations,  by  facilitating  access  to  the  FDR data  and  by  increasing  storage  capacities  by  the  use  of  additional  recording  means and  devices  (e.g.  QAR  data  recording).

What is FDIMU (Flight Data Interface and Management Unit ) -: 
The AIDS consists of the DMU-part of the FDIMU and an optional Digital AIDS Recorder (DAR). The DMUpart is the central part of the AIDS and is reconfigured via Ground Support Equipment (GSE). The DMU-part is a high-performance avionic computer specialized for the acquisition of ARINC 429 DITS data and associated processing. The multi tasking architecture allows processing of various tasks in real time. 

Also integral part of the FDIMU is a Smart Access Recorder (SAR). Its function is based on a nonvolatile Solid State Mass Memory (SSMM) module which is used to store flight data. Its Sophisticated datacompression algorithms ensure efficient usage of the limited capacity of the SSMM.
Mostly A further integral part of the FDIMU is the PCMCIA interface. This interface is able to accept rotate and solid state ATA disks to store SAR data, DAR data or generated AIDS standard reports.

The FDIMU can record AIDS data either by the use of the DAR, the SAR or the integrated PCMCIA interface. The storage medium of the DAR is a magnetic tape cartridge or an optical disk while the SAR stores the data in a solid state mass-memory. To store data through the PCMCIA interface, an PCMCIA card in MS DOS format is necessary. To read out the SAR data, use a floppy disk for the PDL or an PCMCIA card for the PCMCIA interface.

The FDIMU (DMU-part) has different communication interfaces for operator dialogue and ground communications. The operation of these communication channels is usually programmable. For example, reports can be either printed, transmitted to the ground through ACARS or retrieved with a floppy disk through the PDL. This shows that each airline user can setup the FDIMU to support the airline specific-data-link structure satisfactorily.

(1) Physical Specification of the FDIMU
The FDIMU is a rectangular casing box according to standard ARINC 600 - 3MCU.
The unit box has cooling in/outlets on the top and on the bottom.
(2) Electrical Specification of the FDIMU
The FDIMU is supplied by main power 115 AC - 400 HZ. The unit consumption is less than 40W.
The unit is transparent to power interrupts of less than 200 ms. For longer power interrupts, the unit operation stops and the FDIMU perform a cold start after power is supplied.
(3) Mechanical Description of the FDIMU

The front panel of the FDIMU consists of:
· A carrying handle
· An access door to get access to a test connector, a PCMCIA insertion slot and an SAR switch (the SAR switch is used to backup the SAR and reports memory while the unit is momentarily removed).

The test connector is used for:
· PDL connection
· Maintenance test equipment connection (dialogue with PC fitted with PTE software).
The rear has:
· A connector with three blocks marked TP, MP, BP
· A back-up batteries box for SAR memories (three cells AA-3.6V - 2.1 AH type).

The FDIMU (DMU-part) software is structured in 3 levels:
· Level 1 = Boot Software
· Level 2 = AIDS System Software
· Level 3 = AIDS Setup Data Base.

ED48: Airbus A320 family Flight data interface & management unit

It is Adapted to the specific requirements of the Airbus A320 family, the ED48 FDIMU combines mandatory flight data acquisition and high performance monitoring capabilities into a single unit. The Highly reconfigurable, the ED48 meets the aircraft operators and MROs' needs. Inaddition to flight data monitoring (FOQA/ MOQA), the ACMS provides troubleshooting for system fault conditions such as electrical power, pitot heater, pneumatic system or engine trim failures. Also Safran Electronics & Defense has also certified on the A320 the wireless version, which allows the secure transmission of flight data from the aircraft to the ground station.  

ED49:B737 family Flight data interface & management unit

This is Dedicated to the B737 family, the ED49 DFDAMU is a brand new generation of aircraft condition monitoring system (ACMS). Highly reconfigurable, the ED49 meets the aircraft operators and MROs' needs. Inaddition to mandatory flight data acquisitionthe ACMS provides troubleshooting for system fault conditions such as electrical power, pitot heater, pneumatic system, engine trim failures, or theprogrammation of any of CFM56 aservices around fuel saving and prediction of unscheduled maintenance. 
With Fully exchangeable with previous ED47 unit, the ED49 can be used either as original equipment or mid-life upgrade of any Boeing 737 family's ACMS. TheSafran Electronics & Defense has just certified in STC (supplement type certificate) the wireless version of the ED49, called ACMS WR (Wefa Ready), which allows the data transmission in 3G.

ED35 & 36: Quick access recorder & aircraft condition monitoring system

This is all Dedicated to Embraer ERJ, E-Jets & ATR the ED35 & 36 auxiliary flight data acquisition & management unit offers several key improvements in both safety (QAR/DAR) and maintenance (ACMS) fields. The Highly reconfigurable, theED35 & 36 provide to the aircraft operators and their MROs accurate ACMS reports and exhaustive records on the QAR. On Analyzed through aSafran Electronics & Defense's powerful Analysis Ground Station, these records allow the operators to run advanced flight safety analysis and trend performance monitoring.

What Is PCMCIA CARD (Personal Computer memory card International association) -:

The integrated PCMCIA interface contains an optional DAR recording function. With this function you can store SAR generated files and AIDS standard reports. Also it is possible to emulate a data loader function. When you use these functions, you must put an PCMCIA card in the PCMCIA interface.

WEFA -: 
How WEFA works -: 

The WEFA is composed of the WEFA station (ground software application) and WEFA card (Smart PCMCIA Card). Also While the aircraft is flying, the data collected by the ACMS (Aircraft Condition Monitoring System) are stored in the WEFA card. On that time As soon as the aircraft is on the ground a communication initializes between the WEFA card and the WEFA station installed on the airline server, through a 3G+ connection, using available mobile network.

The Collection your aircraft data with no effort The huge benefit of WEFA is to allow a continuous and fully automated recovery of aircraft data without human manipulation, reducing costs, delays, and risks of data loss. Mostly cases Aircraft data is available right after landing, enabling pilot's air safety reports investigation right away, while allowing a data recovery rate of 100 %.
The Plug & play in existing ACMS unit WEFA card replaces existing PCMCIA card No extra weight ,No additional equipment Fast wireless transfer of all types of flight data. AlsoAll flight data (QAR, DAR, SAR and reports) transferred in a few minutes through 3G+.

Certification on -: 

1) Boeing 737 NG Family

2) Airbus A320 and A320neo family

3) ATR42 and ATR72 200/300 and 500 series

4) ATR42 and ATR72 600 series 

◆ These are WEFA card key features -: 

Embedded 2 Gb CompactFlash

Accessible SIM card slot

Including a USB connector for easy access to computer (initialize, monitor activity, access aircraft data)

LEDs for diagnostics

3G+ wireless module

WEFA station key features -: 

Easy configuration of WEFA card transfer policy. 
The WEFA card and SIM management is include Monitoring of WEFA fleet activity with automatic notification in case of any issue
Direct access to latest transferred data.

◆What is WEFA system Wireless Extension For ACMS/Aircraft Condition Monitoring System -: 

this system allows airlines to remotely manage their flight data using a secure Internet connection, and therefore plan ahead for maintenance operations. These Featuring a "plug and play" design, the WEFA system calls on the secure radio transmission of maintenance data collected in flight by the FDIMU (Flight Data Interface Management Unit), also supplied by Sagem.

The core of the WEFA system is based on a 3G radio network for data transmissions between aircraft and with airports. It is also offers extensive processing capacity for data from the aircraft's avionics suite &  prior to transmission to the ground to speed up maintenance operations. It calls on Sagem's proven encryption expertise.

These Sagem's WEFA system meets the emerging needs of the air transport industry, since it supplies data for preventive maintenance, improving flight safety and enabling airlines to lower their operating costs.

Basically A pioneer in aircraft monitoring and maintenance systems, Sagem supplies Aircraft Condition Monitoring Systems (ACMS) on the Airbus A300, A310, A320, A380, A400M and A350 XWB.