Time-accurate Middleware for the Virtualization of Communication Protocols


Communication between devices in avionics systems must be predictable and deterministic, and data must be delivered reliably. To help the system architects comply with these requirements, network protocol standards like ARINC 429 and AFDX were created. Even though the behaviour of each component in a network is well defined, it is still necessary to test extensively every applications before deployment. But physical test benches used in the aircraft development process are complex and expensive platforms. In order to limit the need for physical tests, we propose a time-accurate middleware for virtualizing communication protocols that can be used to replace physical tests with simulations. We specified three formal models of AFDX networks that take into account temporal constraints with different levels of precision. We also developed a prototype for a network virtualization middleware based on the AFDX protocol specification that provides an easy-to-setup environment for testing network configurations. Finally, we used formal models together with virtualization in order to define runtime monitors for checking whether the behavior of the middleware is time-accurate with respect to a real system.

Research Report 18126, LAAS