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Avionics activities at avionics and simulation are exclusively devoted to the aircraft programs of Airbus and ATR. They provide aircraft manufacturers with first-rate information in the fields of electronics and airborne software.


Electric Flight Controls

On the A320 - the first commercial aircraft in the world to be equipped with an electrical flight control system - Avionics and Simulation designed the software for the EFCS secondary computer. The success of the A320 electrical flight control system led Airbus to extend this system to new products in the range, creating an entire family of aircraft around an identical flight control and cockpit concept.

On the A330 and A340 family, Avionics and Simulation designs the hardware and software of the FCPC (Flight Control Primary Computer) and is responsible for its production; it also designs the software of the FCSC (Flight Control Secondary Computer).

In addition to launching a more powerful version of the primary computer (FCPC) of the electrical flight control system for the A340-500/600, Avionics and Simulation designs and series produces the new secondary computer (FCSC).

The three primary computers (FCPC) and two secondary computers (FCSC) which form the A340 and A330 electrical flight control system are placed between the pilot's controls (sidesticks, rudder pedals) and the control surfaces of the aircraft, whose movement they control and monitor.

On the A380, Avionics and Simulation designs and manufactures the hardware and software of the primary and secondary Flight Controls (FCGU and SEC). Avionics and Simulation also develops a FCDC function which is integrated into IMA Modules.

On the A400M, Avionics and Simulation designs and manufactures the hardware and software of the primary and secondary Flight Controls (FCGU), and the BCM (Back Up Control Module).

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Warning Systems

The flight warning system has always been a highly specific aircraft system, directly addressing cockpit ergonomics and the man-machine interface.

Designed to acquire numerous data from all the aircraft systems, its main functions are the computation and preparation of aural warnings (sounds and voice messages) and visual warnings (texts, memos, procedures etc).

Present on all aircrafts in the Airbus and ATR range, warning management has evolved and improved through the different generations of airborne equipment: MWC (Master Warning Controller) and MWP (Master Warning Panel) for the first A300 aircraft, then the FWS (Flight Warning System) with successive generations of the FWC (Flight Warning Computer) on wide bodies, then the single aisle aircraft, the long range family and finally the A380 and A400M.

For single aisle and long range Airbus aircraft, the complete system also integrates two other major items of equipment produced by Avionics and Simulation:

  • the SDAC
  • the ECP

It should be noted that the FWC and SDAC for the A319/A320/A321 range were completely renovated in 2000.

On the ATR, this warning function is integrated by the MFC (Multi-Function Computer) produced by Systems and Services.

On A380 and A400M, the Avionics and Simulation involvement consists in the development of a function which is integrated in IMA Modules.

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Centralized Maintenance

The centralized maintenance is a new concept defined for the A320 and which has been developed on Airbus' long range programs.

The CMC (Central Maintenance Computer) on the A330/A340 is connected to all the aircraft systems, and its purpose is to retrieve information supplied by the BITE (Built In Test Equipment) of these systems and to provide the most accurate and reliable diagnosis possible on the condition of the aircraft.

Avionics and Simulation also develops a function that is installed in the NSS for the A380 and A400M

The aim is to facilitate the work of the airline maintenance operators, both at the main base and at line stops.

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New Communication System

Because of the growth in air traffic, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) decided to re-organise air navigation system integrating aircraft and ground infrastructures.

The AIM-FANS program was launched at the beginning of 1996 by Airbus to control this transformation in air traffic communications, navigation, surveillance and management systems.

ATSU (Air Traffic Service Unit) is the cornerstone of this program, at the heart of communications between the aircraft, the air traffic control centres and the operational centres of the airlines.

Installed on both the single aisle (A319/A320/A321) and long range (A330/A340) aircraft, this equipment is completely new and modular; it first entered into service in December 1998 with the A340.

On the A380 and A400M, this functionality has been developed through a function installed in an IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) module.

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Integrated Modular Avionics

Avionics and Simulation has been strongly involved in the Integrated Modular Avionics program since the beginning, and was the leader for research programs that were at the origin of IMA.

Integrated Modular Avionics is a new concept allowing to separate hardware and software developments thanks to a standardised software interface (API). Thanks to this interface, functions development can be run independantly to modules development.

On the A380 and A400M, Avionics and Simulation designs and manufactures IMA shipsets. This represents five Core Processing Input output Modules (CPIOM) and eight Input Output Modules (IOM) for each aircraft.

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Radome

Radome is the protective dome for radar antenna and has been adapted to the aerodynamics of the fuselage nose.

The conception of such a unit is subject to radar optics requirements. These are high transmission, low reflection, low absorption and small boresight errors.

Materials used are aramide (kevlar) and hybrid (quartz) layers for the A320 radome and hybrid (quartz) layers for the A340 radome. Avionics and Simulation also develops radomes for A380 and A400M.

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