Reconfigurable integrated modular avionics.
Integrated Modular Avionics standardises hardware and software platforms of Line Replaceable Modules
(LRMs) and other system components in order to reduce the overall cost of system development.
operation and maintenance. Several identical processing units within a cabinet. and fast communication
media in the form of a backplane bus introduces further possibility of reconfiguring the system in terms of
changing the applications performed by particular core LRMs.
In this thesis a study into Reconfigurable Integrated Modular Avionics is presented. The main objectives
of the project were to investigate the benefits, and feasibility of, employing autonomous dynamic in-tlight
reconfiguration of the system as a means for providing fault-tolerance. In this approach, allowing
processing modules to change their function permits the system to share the redundant modules as well as
sacrificing less important avionics functions to sustain the more critical applications.
Various architecture examples are reviewed in order to establish a system design that would support
reconfiguration at a minimal cost. Two modified ARINC 651 architecture examples are proposed for
implementation of dynamic in-flight reconfiguration. The benefits of reconfiguration are identified with
the use of Markov state space analysis, and are found to be substantial with respect to the reduced number
of redundant processing modules required to implement the system functions within the safety
Suitable reconfiguration schemes are identified, and the most promising one is formally specified with the
use of the Vienna Development Method. The safety properties of the scheme are shown based on the
specification. In order to study the feasibility of autonomous dynamic reconfiguration, the scheme is
implemented into two distinct systems, and the results of the practical observation of the system
behaviour are presented and discussed.
As the project was sponsored by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, a number of certification issues related
to reconfigurable avionics systems are identified and discussed based on the practical implementation and
previous theoretical analysis.
It is concluded that dynamic in-flight reconfiguration of avionics systems can lead to substantial savings
in terms of the reduced number of required core LRMs, and greater fault-tolerance than traditional