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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Aeronautics projects > VICTORIA: a new generation of aircraft electronics systems
Graphic element VICTORIA: a new generation of aircraft electronics systems
    18-06-2001
 

The need for electronics on-board long- and medium-range airliners has grown significantly in recent years. Given the increasingly congested conditions at airports and in our skies, airline crews require navigation, control and communication resources that are both more deeply integrated and more technologically sophisticated. At the same time, airlines are seeking to enhance the in-flight services available to passengers, implementing computer-based solutions at every level.

On-board Information Systems (OIS) are now essential equipment on all transport aircraft, playing a critical role in aircraft safety and efficiency. Systems and equipment, including OIS, represent more than 30% of civil aircraft development costs and are a major element in the aircraft development cycle. Systems also serve to differentiate the US and European aircraft manufacturing industries. While Europe has always been a dominant player in this field, the introduction of the Boeing 777 and subsequent versions of the B737 raised the level of competition. Now industrial players on both sides of the Atlantic are looking to set new winning international standards.

Being the best in aircraft electronics
 

Being the best has become an important goal for the European aeronautics industry, and a test of its ability to work collaboratively. The VICTORIA project is a prime example. Launched in January 2001, VICTORIA's main objective is to design, prepare and validate a new system that would integrate all on-board functions for commercial airliners, including both flight and passenger management systems.

According to Joseph Huysseune, Director of Advanced Studies at Thales Avionics and VICTORIA Project Manager, the concept of Integrated Modular Electronics (IME), is key. IME means that individual hardware and software modules can be removed and replaced interchangeably. "VICTORIA builds on the work accomplished in the NEVADA and PAMELA projects," says Huysseune. "Under those projects the feasibility of IME was established and appropriate technologies were selected. But VICTORIA is unique in both its size and scope, bringing together no less than 33 partners, including a variety of companies, R&D centres and universities from ten European countries."

VICTORIA will prototype an overall cabin, cockpit and utilities system as well as an on-board information system, including passenger and crew electronics services, establishing new open standards for on-board electronics in all of these areas.

 
A range of virtual services for passengers
 

Capitalising on the results of the European ANAIS project, VICTORIA will also define an In-Flight Cabin System (IFCS) standard, comprising a set of virtual services for a variety of aircraft configurations. These services would include e-business, airline information, audio/video-on-demand, internet and phone access, all provided at the passenger's seat.

"VICTORIA will culminate," says Huysseune, "with the setting up of an experimental validation platform, bringing together all the newly developed hardware and software components."

The main day-to-day beneficiaries of the resulting improvements will be the passengers, who will enjoy an enhanced, safer and more economical flying experience. At the industrial level, for Europe's Aerospace community, the deployment of a completely new OIS architecture will mean far-reaching changes in the way suppliers work, and in the sharing of tasks and roles across the supply chain.

 
Being the best in aircraft electronics
A range of virtual services for passengers
   

Key data

The development of intelligent and flexible manufacturing methodologies and the exploitation of advanced materials are among the main priorities for the Growth Programme's key action in New Perspectives in Aeronautics.

Projects

VICTORIA : Validation platform for integration of standardised components, technologies and tools in an open, modular and improved aircraft electronic system;
NEVADA : New avionic/electronic evaluation and demonstration on aircraft;
PAMELA : Prospective analysis of modular electronic integration in airborne systems;
ANAIS : Advanced network architecture for in-flight cabin systems (future aircraft optimised cabin systems).

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