Avionics Network Performance and Reliability in the Air

AIT Flight Test Solutions for ARINC-429, MIL-STD-1553, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel Avionics Network Testing

Testing High Speed Avionics Networks Onboard and in Flight

The latest airborne avionics systems employ high speed Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks with speeds up to 10Gbps.

As a result, flight test programs for these systems acquire and record enormous volumes of data for post-flight analysis. Or, data is transmitted from the aircraft to a ground station for live real-time monitoring and analysis.

Whether recorded onboard or live-streamed over PCM to the ground, reliable onboard avionics Ethernet and Fibre Channel interfaces and systems are required for data acquisition, aggregation, and recording.

AIT is a leading industry supplier of COTS-embedded avionics interfaces for MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, Fibre Channel, and ARINC 664/Ethernet. In support of the latest high speed stores interfaces, AIT also provides a full complement of HS1760 and AS5653 products including HS1760 Switches, Network Terminal, and Network Controller interface modules.

For newer embedded avionics systems that are required to support field-updateable software using standard ARINC 615A loaders, AIT provides ARINC 615A software development kits for multiple real-time operating systems (RTOS). These field-tested COTS software solutions save the avionics system designer time and resources with both ARINC 615A Target and Loader functions.

The following applications cases provide real world evidence of how AIT products and expertise has solved thorny onboard avionics network test requirements.

In-Flight Network Test Applications

Learn how AIT’s avionics network data acquisition, data aggregation, data recording, and telemetry products provide flight test solutions for Fibre Channel, Ethernet (up to 10G), MIL-STD-1553, and ARINC 429.

Onboard Embedded Avionics Interfaces

AIT’s ruggedized board-level PMC and XMC avionics network interfaces deliver reliable, easy to integrate solutions supported by a wide range of Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS).

Embeddable ARINC 615A Data Loader and Loadable Target Software

Read about one onboard network equipment supplier who has embedded AIT’s ARINC 615A target software to easily update its proprietary system software on a regular basis right alongside other routine avionics updates. [Link to ADLTS well]

Onboard HS1760 Weapons/Stores Applications

The HS1760 Aircraft/Store Electrical Interconnection System brings much-needed data throughput improvements to carriage stores aboard military aircraft. AIT Fibre Channel network interface and switch solutions ease the integration task.


Flight Test Data Collection, Recording, and Transmission

As the complexity of aircraft and its avionics continues to grow, a successful flight test is increasingly critical. Successful execution depends on reliable data acquisition and aggregation—whether recorded on board or transmitted to the ground in real time.

For MIL-SPEC-1553 networks, AIT’s Ethernet Bridge and Data Logging Module monitors and streams captured to data logging systems, flight test recorders, and telemetry gateway systems.

Recording for Post-Flight Analysis

As the capacity and speed of avionics networks grows there is ever-more data being exchanged onboard the aircraft. Flight data recorder capacity becomes a significant flight test constraint.

Given these recorder storage and bandwidth issues, it’s increasingly important to select only the relevant flight test data, while filtering out unneeded data. Selective traffic capture is a key feature of AIT’s Ethernet and Fibre Channel Flight Test solutions.

Transmitting Live Flight Test Data

For live flight testing, a subset of avionics system data is transmitted via telemetry to the ground. This live streaming capability is usually part of the same onboard system that is monitoring the overall avionics network data.

In most cases, multiple onboard monitoring devices will be transmitting data via Ethernet to a telemetry gateway that converts network data parameters to a PCM stream suitable for transmission to the ground.

   Flight Test System with Telemetry Gateway

AIT Data Aggregation Solutions

When using an active network tap, two ports are required to monitor each location on the network, leading to a large number of required monitor interfaces. This requires a monitoring device able to aggregate multiple inputs into a single (or small number of) data streams for recording or live transmission to the ground.

Since avionics networks may be Ethernet, Fibre Channel, or both, the aggregator must be able to timestamp monitored data in order to reconstruct information accurately for post-flight analysis.

In addition, the aggregator must be able to capture, select, and output data to a PCM interface and/or telemetry gateway.

AIT’s Avionics Network Data Aggregator (ANDA) is a high-performance, ruggedized, flight-certified network data aggregator system capable of monitoring, selecting, and aggregating both Fibre Channel and Ethernet data from multiple input streams for forwarding to data recorders and/or telemetry interfaces.

Network Data Aggregator

Learn more about Avionics Network Data Aggregator


Avionics Network Data Aggregator

Captures Avionics Network Data from 1 & 10 Gbit/s Ethernet and Fibre Channel for Data Recording and Telemetry


AIT’s Avionics Network Data Aggregator (ANDA) is a high-performance, ruggedized, flight certified network data aggregator system capable of monitoring, selecting, and aggregating Fibre Channel and Ethernet data from multiple input streams for forwarding to data recorders and telemetry interfaces. The ANDA provides can support up to (16) 1 Gbit/sec optical inputs (Fibre Channel or Ethernet), (6) 10/100/1000 BASE-T copper Ethernet inputs, and (2) 10 Gbit/sec optical Ethernet inputs. All captured data can be selectively forwarded to in-vehicle data recorders via Ethernet and selected data parameters can simultaneously be formatted for Telemetry output over PCM.

Key Features:

  • (16) Optical 1 Gbps Inputs (Ethernet or Fibre Channel)
  • (6) Copper 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Inputs
  • (2) 10 Gbps Optical Ethernet Inputs
  • (2) 1 Gbps Copper Ethernet & (2) 10 Gbps Optical Ethernet Telemtry LAN interfaces
  • (2) PCM Outputs
  • IRIG-B & IEEE 1588 Time Synchronization
  • Small Package 11.26″ X 5.35″ X 5.04″
  • MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461F, & MIL-STD-704A

Integrating Onboard Embedded Avionics Interfaces

Embedded network interfaces are a key component of avionics systems attached to high speed avionics networks.

AIT’s ruggedized board-level interfaces available in PMC and XMC form factors deliver reliable, long life cycle solutions for avionics systems attached to MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 data busses as well as Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks.

Network interfaces must be simple to integrate into avionics system software. AIT network interface drivers deliver straightforward integration into the Real Time Operating System (RTOS) environment with minimum time and effort.

AIT supplies device drivers for a wide range of RTOS environments including VxWorks & VxWorks 653, QNX, LynxOS, and Real Time Linux variants.

Explore AIT’s MIL-STD 1553 and ARINC 429 Interfaces in detail.


1553 PMC form factor

1553 XMC form factor

 429 PMC form factor

 429 XMC form factor

Ethernet and Fibre Channel Interfaces

AIT also supplies embedded network interfaces for Ethernet/ARINC 664/Fibre Channel network environments.

XMC form factor

Loading Target Software with the Embeddable ARINC 615A Data Loader

Inflight Internet connectivity and extensive entertainment options have become widely used among airlines seeking to provide a positive passenger experience.

Gogo Commercial Aviation is a leading supplier of inflight Internet and entertainment systems. Several airlines requested that Gogo be able to update its Auxiliary Computer Power Unit (ACPU)— the heart of its In-Cabin Network—using the same software updating process and Portable Data Loaders (PDLs) used to maintain other onboard systems such as FMS Navigation Database [LINK: Home–>Apps–>AGM&O].

An Onboard Internet Network

Gogo met this requirement using AIT’s embedded ARINC 615A Loader and Target Software in its ACPU.

Many airlines already own PDLs as well as a standardized software updating process. They—and many other AIT customers— have adopted the ARINC 615A Embedded Data Loader and Target Software for onboard systems.

The ARINC 615A data loader software suite of software can be integrated into user applications to support ARINC 615A‐1, 615A‐2, and 615A‐3 load operations.

Learn more about 615A Embedded Loaders & Software Targets


Software Libraries for 615A Data Loader & Target Applications

The AIT Embedded Data Loader and Target software development kits (SDK) provide support for ARINC 615A operations in software libraries which can be embedded into avionics systems and are supported on multiple operating system platforms. The SDKs include executable libraries with well defined and documented application programmer’s interfaces (API ). Sample applications (source code) are also included with the SDKs.

Loader Key Features

  • High Level C/C++ API for A615A Operations
    • UPLOAD
  • High Level C/C++ API for TFTP
  • Full support for ARINC 615A-1, 615A-2, & 615A-3
  • Available for Windows & Linux (other OS on request)
  • Optional embedded data loader web server available
  • Command Lin Data Loader application also provided for scripted/batched operations
  • Source code sample applications and complete user’s reference documentation provided.

Target Key Features

  • Complete ARINC 615A software data load Target side software solution
  • High level C/C++ API’s for easy integration into existing avionics software
  • Complete documentation and source code samples provided
  • ARINC 615A-1, 615A-2, and 615A-3 supported
  • Portable to multiple host platforms
    • Windows
    • Linux (CentOS, Ubuntu, MonteVista)
    • VxWorks
    • Others on request
  • Compatible & Tested with multiple ARINC 615A data loaders from multiple manufacturers

Integration Tools for MIL-STD-1760E/HS1760 Avionics Interfaces

MIL-STD 1760 ensures data interoperability between military aircraft and undercarriage stores—their onboard weapons platforms.

Adopted in 2007, MIL-STD 1760E defines an adaptation of a Fibre Channel-based high-bandwidth data bus—FC-AE-1553—which itself is an adaptation of MIL-STD 1553 for Fibre Channel.

In order to meet H1760E/HS1760 requirements for both product design and field applications, avionics and system suppliers have turned to AIT for H1760E test equipment as well as well as ruggedized, flight-ready network interfaces and switches. Explore H1760E/HS1760 in greater detail.


H1760E/HS1760 Test System Design and Implementation

Compared to MIL-STD 1553, the FC-AE- 1553 data protocol enables much larger data transfers and a larger addressable range of terminals (and sub-addresses) at much higher data rates. Additionally, FC-AE-1553 uses a new physical layer interface, which is incompatible with MIL-STD-1553. This means that ordinary MIL-STD 1553 test equipment (TE) is unsuitable for testing H1760E/HS1760 networks.

AIT provides PXI Express-based test equipment to test Network Controller (NC) and Network Terminal (NT) functions of the FC-AE-1553 data bus, including the ability to host that AS5653 SFP transceivers that interface to HS1760 75Ω coax.

AIT HS1760 test equipment supports both point-to-point and fabric topologies.

SAE AS5653-Compliant Network Interface

The AIT interface module (XMC) can function as:

  • One Network Controller (NC) Node and One Network Terminal (NT) Node
  • Two Network Controller (NC) Nodes
  • Two Network Terminal (NT) Nodes

Learn more about AIT’s HS1760 Network Controller/ Network Terminal NICs



SAE AS5653-Compliant Network Controller/Network Terminal NIC

Three Configuration Variants available:

XMC-HS1760-NCNT: One Network Controller Node and One Network Terminal Node

XMC-HS1760-NCNC: Two Network Controller Nodes

XMC-HS1760-NTNT: Two Network Terminal Nodes


  • AS5653 Compliant FC‐AE‐1553 NIC
  • 64 MB onboard buffering per channel
  • All data/control paths covered by ECC or CRC checks for single event upset mitigation
  • Unsolicited data path for handling Fibre Channel link service or non‐FC-AE‐1553 traffic
  • x4 PCIe interface to NIC interfaces, with a chaining DMA controller for data movement
  • Common C API interface for both NC and NT
  • BB_Credit = 3
  • 75 Ohm single‐ended coax interface – TNC connectors
  • 1.0625 Gbps  

HS1760 Fibre Channel Switch

A four-port non-blocking Fibre Channel Switch meets MIL-STD 1760E and AS5653 standards. 


cPCI-1760-NCSW-2: Two Port Fibre Channel/MIL-STD-1760E Network Interface Card


  • Integration of Up Fibre Channel and Down Fibre Channel interfaces
  • Embedded Network Controller (NC) with four priority levels
  • Two F/AE ports for communication to external devices
  • Internal four port non‐blocking fabric switch for communication between NC and external devices
  • Four port non‐blocking Fibre Channel Switch
  • Meets the requirements of MIL‐STD‐1760E and AS5653 standards
  • Acyclic Command Insertion and Deletion