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Switched Ethernet Testing for Avionics Applications

By: Ken Bisson and Troy Troshynski, 2007


Switched Ethernet is being implemented as an avionics communication architecture. A commercial standard (ARINC664) and an aircraft vendor specific implementation known as Avionics Full Duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX) have been developed that define the topology and use of Switched Ethernet in an avionics application.. In avionics applications, the movement of data between devices must take place in a deterministic fashion and needs to be delivered very reliably. All aircraft flight hardware needs to be tested to be sure that it will communicate information properly in the Switched Ethernet network. The airframe manufacturer needs to test the integrated network to verify that all flight hardware is communicating properly. Design verification testing and maintenance testing are required to perform data communication level verification of Switched Ethernet architectures for avionics applications to ensure that all communication is deterministic and reliable. A practical implementation performing the required tests is discussed.

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