DornerWorks

Modern avionics companies need to check in on the health of their equipment before, during, and after every use. And when that equipment is grounded for testing or repair, limited operations can translate to a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When a top tier avionics company approached DornerWorks for help implementing maintenance and management software, they knew it had to be easy to test wirelessly, without easy access to the hardware. They also needed a detailed account of the work done on the project as it progressed.

Our Solution

DornerWorks developed multiple software modules for an aircraft health monitoring system in a series of projects. Each of these were developed in C for Linux running on a custom PowerPC platform:

  • An embedded database application that behaves as a web backend for an aerospace platform.
    • Handles security and authentication for multiple user accounts.
    • Supports multiple simultaneous sessions across multiple interfaces.
    • Uses SQLite for parametric data storage.
    • Acts as a translation gateway to access data from multiple separate system modules.
    • Connects with FastCGI to a maintenance web interface.
  • A maintenance communication application that packages and uploades aircraft operational data to be used for performance evaluation.
    • Supports configurable data requests which included data type and time range.
    • Compresses data sets and uploads to an external FTP server.
    • Interfaces with a wireless module to support WiFi and GSM connections.
  • A maintenance management application that communicates with onboard external aircraft modules to monitor module health.
    • Communicates with external modules over ARINC-664 and ARINC-429 buses.
    • Downloads and stores fault data from the external modules.
    • Manages automatic and interactive module tests.

A majority of the development in-house by developing a robust test framework, including unit and integration tests, which made it possible to test the software without easy access to hardware.

Regular meetings with the customer kept them apprised of our progress and allowed for agile development methods while still spending the majority of time in-house.

The Aircraft Health Monitoring Unit OGP is an embedded database application that behaves as a web backend for an aerospace platform. The application provides support for maintenance communication, uploading operational data to an external FTP server, accessible over WiFi or GSM networks. In maintenance management, this technology communicates with external modules over ARINC-664 and ARINC-429 buses, downloads and stores fault data, and manages automatic and interactive module tests.

Highlights

  • Application software development on embedded Linux
  • Web-based maintenance interface developed in JavaScript and PHP
  • SQLite database management
  • Backend for handling web requests through FastCGI
  • Communication with multiple external aircraft systems over ARINC 664 and ARINC 429