The ASHLEY (Avionics Systems Hosted on a distributed modular electronics Large scale dEmonstrator for multiple types of aircraft) FP7 project was a European aerospace research program, that consolidated and built upon the work previously undertaken in SCARLETT – of which AcQ also participated – and several related national projects. The IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) concept extended the idea of Distributed Modular Electronics (DME) to new applications in an aircraft. A total of 36 organisations from 13 countries participated in this project.

AcQ was involved in the development of the ASHLEY Fuel System demonstrator. This demonstrator aimed to develop and validate several new technologies for sensing and control related to an aircraft’s fuel pumps and tanks. For this, AcQ developed a number of novel technologies:

  • A scalable and portable AFDX® IP core in VHDL and associated configuration tooling
  • A smart transducer platform; this is a small, low-power system for multiple types of sensing and actuation applications
  • A high-performance configurable I/O router, the Optical Interrogator Blade. This board gathered data acquired data from optical sensors and routed this data to AFDX®, based on the specified configuration. This board used SYSGO PikeOS® as its operating system and the configuration toolchain was fully integrated with the PikeOS® environment.

This architectural approach has evolved over the past 20 years and is now implemented in state of the art current commercial aircrafts (first generation IMA, or IMA1G). It demonstrated the most advanced building blocks available today in a whole aircraft-level platform, and introduced new innovations.

ASHLEY was a valuable asset on the path to IMA2G (Second Generation IMA) for the aircraft of the future. AcQ contributed to the development of several Smart Sensors interfaces and data conversion, including both hardware and software development.

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