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Transmission in Aircraft on Unique Path wirEs

Tags: Air

State of the Art - Background

This project aims at simplifying the electrical architectures of the aircraft and reducing the length and mass of the cables installed by introducing PowerLine Communication (PLC) or Power over Data (PoD) technologies inside the aircraft. Both technologies aim at supplying power and data on the same cable.


The main objective is to provide a fully optimised avionic architecture for power and data transmission (mixing aircraft power and communication networks) that will demonstrate, on System Integration Benches (SIB), the feasibility of transmitting power and data on unique path wires.

The TAUPE avionic architecture will provide the same required functionalities as the current applications without jeopardising the overall safety and without adding complexity to the system design.

From the resulting TAUPE fully optimised avionic architectures, which mix electrical and communication networks, the project will also deliver specifications for harness wiring and network equipments, and requirements for systems qualification that will allow easy and secured power and data transmission on unique path wires.

TAUPE is targeting Technological Readiness Level (TRL) 4: component and breadboard validation in a laboratory environment, where the basic technological components (optimised Chipsets, adapted repeater, customised modems, wiring network and specific bridges) are integrated in SIBs to demonstrate that the components and the breadboard are working together for specific reference applications.

Description of Work

The approach is to respond to the following three challenges:

- aircraft environment;

- functional and safety requirements;

- transmission.

The proof of concept will be carried out on two reference applications which are representative of the different transmission configurations:

1. the Cockpit Display System (CDS), from Thales Avionics, an avionic application considered as safety critical for future aircraft;

2. the Cabin Lighting System (CLS), from Diehl Aerospace, a core application targeting high-speed transmission for future aircraft.

Two complementary technologies will be implemented:

- the Power over Data (PoD) technology;

- the Power Line Communication (PLC) technology.

These technologies have proven their efficiency and reliability in the transmission of power and data on the same cable for surface transport and domestic applications.

Two SIBs will be used for validation of the electrical power quality, communication signal and functional communication (protocols):

- the Cabin Mock-Up (provided by EADS Deutschland);

- the Copper Bird (provided by Hispano-Suiza).

Expected Results

The TAUPE results will show:

- a systems weight reduction with a ratio of between 2 and 4 for the same functionalities (300 kg approx. saved on the A320), and an impact on fuel consumption and CO2 and NOx emissions with around 180 tonnes of fuel saved per day for the current A320 fleet;

- a simplification of the cabling maintenance (only one harness to maintain) resulting in an impact on security, cost and time with 20% of maintenance time saved (and a 40% reduction in maintenance costs) on the A320;

- a simplification of the cabling system with 50% less cables deployed compared to the reference applications, resulting in an impact on space allocation for cabling, cost, complexity and a reduction of delay in assembly lines;

- a cost-effective retrofit which will allow current airline fleets to implement new functionalities easily, thus saving 30% of retrofit time for the A320 (60% of retrofit costs saved).

To guarantee the full exploitation of results, the TAUPE assessment and validation will take into consideration the following:

- safety (design robustness able to meet certification requirements);

- industrialisation and the related costs;

- portability to other applications;

- a contribution to the definition of electric and telecommunication standards.