Since 2005, DornerWorks has played an important role in several design phases of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Our Solution

We helped develop the Common Computing Resource (CCR), which is a dual CPU, dual FPGA, and dual ASIC board running full ARINC653 partitioning used as the main computing resource for the entire aircraft. During development, our expertise in Virtutech Simics enabled our engineers to emulate the AFDX communications and identify and resolve issues in the software. Our testing led to us improving several key pieces of the software including significant enhancement to the ARINC-665 data-loader.

Our team members were instrumental in developing a redundant fault tolerant design, general purpose DMA engines, and a UART, all targeted for an ARINC 653 partitioned operating environment. We were also the system architects for the multiple CPU interface for the ASIC. Context specific hardware exception handling to support/ allow different behaviors. ISR was rewritten to allow AltiVec handling for some partitions and not for others.

Proper routing of exceptions into AE653 partitions and ensuring the guaranteed separation of the partitions was another design aspect. Designed into the AE653 was a mechanism to ensure that the module Operating System and health monitoring application were running by implementing a two level software watchdog timer system. Our engineers expert knowledge of BSP and AE653 ensured it did not impact system timings. We performed the required analysis of OS and unpublished data structures to identify key parameters and areas then worked with WindRiver to ensure stability of these structures.

Additionally, tests were written by our staff to ensure DO-178B level A compliance and DER acceptance of the changes. Data on the 787 Dreamliner V&V shows that DornerWorks produced very high quality tests, resulting in a first pass correctness rate of 96% compared to a rate of 52% produced by some of our competition. Our quality yields the lowest overall cost, saving around 30% when compared to others who have less effective systems.

In another phase of the 787 Dreamliner, we were asked to create a system definition and the resulting VHDL and identify discrepancies between the board layout and the simulated board layout.

We provided the customer with a simulated environment in order to test the 787 Cabinet Airflow Mechanisms and sensors including the main cabinet and mini-cabinet that housed the GPMs and PCM (managed the Airflow through the cabinets to prevent damage from overheating). The system included a single board computer (PIC 8-bit processor). The black box interfaces included pressure input, voltage levels, and current level GPIO PWM. They developed a SAM test equipment widget allowing simulation of error and fault conditions that were otherwise difficult or costly to test within the airflow system. The SAM widget also simulated the output of the airflow equipment during nominal conditions if desired.

"The members of your team are consistently highly regarded. That is why we do not hesitate to send difficult technical tasks to your team. I am not sure what you guys are doing to attract the top talent, but we sure like the results."
- Engineering Manager