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Q: What is ARINC 661?
A: The Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC), an international body of airline representatives leading the development of avionics architectures, formed the ARINC 661 Working Group to define the interfaces to the Cockpit Display System (CDS) used in all types of aircraft installations. The standard is called ARINC 661 - Cockpit Display System Interfaces to User Systems. The primary objective is to minimize the cost to the airlines, directly or indirectly by accomplishing the following (from the ARINC 661 - Cockpit Display System Interfaces to User Systems ):

• Minimizing the cost of changing or adding new avionic systems to the extent it is driven by the cost of CDS development

• Minimizing the cost of adding new display functions to the cockpit during the life of an aircraft.

• Minimizing the cost of managing hardware obsolescence in an area of rapidly evolving technology.

• Introducing interactivity to the cockpit, thus providing a basis for airframe manufacturers to standardize the Human Machine Interface (HMI) in the cockpit.

ARINC 661 defines two external interfaces between the CDS and the aircraft systems. The first interface is the interface between the avionics equipment (user systems) and the display system graphics generators. The second is a means by which symbology and its related behavior is defined. A user application is defined as a system that transmits data to the CDS, which, in turn can be displayed as visual graphical information to the flight deck crew. A user application can also include software or hardware that receives input from interactive graphics managed by the CDS. The CDS provides graphical and interactive services to user applications within the flight deck environment. When combined with data from user applications, it should display graphical images to the flight deck crew.

ARINC 661 defines an interface between the CDS and user applications (UA) and assumes that the application that controls the interface is within the CDS. On the other hand, ARINC 661 does not specify the "look and feel" of any graphical information.

eNGENUITY Technologies has been a member of the ARINC 661 Working Group since its inception.  Recognizing that ARINC 661 is a significant departure from the current way that aircraft OEMs and their suppliers work together, Engenuity Technologies has developed a powerful set of tools that will facilitate collaboration and integration between OEMs, CDS suppliers and User Application developers.  eNGENUITY's VAPS XT 661 toolset facilitates the development of ARINC 661 compliant applications and offers flexibility to define whatever look and feel is required for the graphical information.


Q: In which type of application would I use
the VAPS XT 661 editors rather than VAPS Designer?

A: The two products address different application requirements - the VAPS XT 661 editors are specifically optimized for ARINC 661 HMI applications.  VAPS XT 661 targets users who need to create objects (widgets) and cockpit displays that comply with the ARINC 661 aviation standard.  It allows users to define the graphical representation and behavior of widgets according to the look & feel specified by any given aircraft manufacturer's Style Guide.


Q: Is VAPS XT 661 based on the same architecture as the existing VAPS?
The VAPS XT 661 is built on an advanced Object Model based architecture.  This powerful underlying technology supports flexible declaration, definition, creation, and introspection of objects and their behaviors. The Object Model is a generic representation of information and is highly extensible.  All files used by the Object Model are in XML format. 


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