Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Time Triggered Architecture (TTA)-Safety technology for aerospace, automotive, energy, railway and industrial domains

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Ground-breaking safety-relevant technology used in safety-relevant data communication has successfully been developed within European Union (EU) funded research projects. Applications range from controls for airplanes, latest generation premium passenger cars, up to industrial equipment such as control for off-shore wind power turbines and many others.
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Disclaimer: This is a guest blog - the author is not from the European Commission.

Researchers from academia, research institutes, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and industry cooperate and sustainably ensure Europe’s leading position in high-tech developments and deployment of new technologies into production programs. The European community significantly benefits through high-value chain employment and economic growth and persistence in this area.

Through numerous European projects, these technologies have been developed and refined (e.g. TTA, PDCS, DSOS, DEVA, SETTA, FIT, DECOS, NEXT-TTA, GENESYS, INTERESTED (funded by EU FP6 and EU FP7-ICT Programme) and many ARTEMIS (Joint Technology Initiative) projects like INDEXYS, ACROSS, CRYSTAL, EMC2, POLLUX, etc.). Now, their results are being commercialised by – for example – TTTech Computertechnik AG (TTTech), a spin-off from the Vienna University of Technology. The company has an outstanding record in developing and deploying the TTA based technologies in the automotive, aerospace, energy, railway and industrial domains.

Time Triggered Architecture (TTA) can be interpreted as a technological principle applied in cutting-edge communication technologies needed for the design of so-called safety-relevant systems. TTA based data communication used for controlling safety-relevant systems such as autonomous parking and driving as well as highly sophisticated driver assistance like automatic lane keeping in cars, railway signalling, controlling major functions in aircrafts and many other applications in different industrial domains.

The developments were selected for some of the world's most advanced products. Taking its origin at Vienna University of Technology and the SME TTTech, their TTA-based designs for aerospace safety-relevant data communication controls are used in the Airbus A380 today. The mega-liner has already flown more than 5 million passengers across the world, using EU-funded Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The A380 relies on TTA-based control equipment developments for the highly reliable cabin pressure control system. Other examples have made their way across the pond like the TTP data communication platform applied in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s electric and environmental control systems. Each Dreamliner has an electric power demand to drive the highly safety-relevant electrical and electronic systems equivalent to the electric power demand of a small city. Further examples are primary flight controls for the Embraer Legacy 450/500 and the new Bombardier CSeries commuter passenger aircraft. TTA has even made its way into manned space flight for the next generation of the“space shuttle”,. All this is part of a success story about more than thirty years of EU-funded research, which has led to development and world-wide commercialisation of TTA-based communication technologies.

TTTech’s communication technologies “Time-Triggered Protocol -TTP” and “TTEthernet” have already become world-wide accepted standards and are used in numerous embedded computer applications for production programs. In the most recent Audi A8 and A7 sedans, the flagship models of Europe’s largest automotive manufacturer Volkswagen Group, TTTech has successfully implemented highly safety-relevant data communication and control systems using product developments based on EU funded R&D project results.

Safety-relevant systems for embedded computer control systems in airplanes, manned space flight, cars, trains and other industrial applications use TTA-based technologies and rely on their robustness and availability. The new TTA-based technologies spread over many different industrial domains and conquer more and more applications securing Europe’s sustainable market position as technology leader world-wide.

Time-Triggered Architecture (TTA) has been presented as a success story from EU funded research projects, during the conference: Cyber-Physical Systems: Uplifting Europe's innovation capacity, 29-30 October 2013, Brussels

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