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Fibre Channel Testing for Avionics Applications

By: Bill Fleissner and Gary Warden, 2007


Fibre Channel is being implemented as an avionics communication architecture for a variety of new military aircraft and upgrades to existing aircraft. The Fibre Channel standard defines various network topologies and multiple data protocols. (Refer to the T11 website at www.t11.org.)

Some of the topologies and protocols (ASM, 1553, RDMA) are suited for avionics applications, where the movement of data between devices must take place in a deterministic fashion and needs to be delivered very reliably. All aircraft flight hardware must be tested to ensure that it will communicate information properly in the Fibre Channel network. The airframe manufacturer needs to test the integrated network to verify that all flight hardware is communicating properly. Continuous maintenance testing is required to ensure that all communication is deterministic and reliable.

This paper provides an overview of a Fibre Channel avionics network and protocols being used for avionics. This paper also discusses a practical implementation of avionics- level testing and testing challenges associated with these applications. 

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