Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Satisfying Interoperability, Portability and Maintainability Requirements of Safety-Critical Avionics Systems by Utilizing Model-Driven Software Development


Nagehan Pala Er
Ph.D. Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Safety is a crucial quality attribute for avionics systems therefore criticality levels of applications guide the avionics system design process. Federated avionics architecture requires running applications whose criticality levels are different on separate hardware units. ARINC-653 is a software specification for space and time partitioning in safety-critical real-time operating systems. ARINC-653 compatible real-time operating systems enable Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) architecture which allows running multiple applications of different criticality levels on the same hardware. Time and space partitioning of applications are configured using XML files, which conform to a common XML schema defined by the standard. As the complexity of the system rises, management and understandability of the XML configuration files become more and more error-prone. The proposed work addresses the problem of integration of different applications using a Domain Specific Language (DSL), which is intended to be more understandable and manageable compared to XML language. Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) is utilized to define the ARINC-653 meta-model. The models conforming to the ARINC-653 meta-model are transformed to UML models by applying model-to-model transformation rules. We also transform the ARINC-653 models to their corresponding HTML documentation. Multiple applications with different criticality levels and their interfaces are defined in the ARINC-653 models, which satisfies the interoperability requirement. ARINC-653 models are not dependent on specific real-time operating systems and this makes them portable. The changes made in the ARINC-653 models are automatically applied to UML models and HTML documentation, which improves the maintainability feature.

Keywords: Avionics, safety-critical, real-time, ARINC-653, integration, domain specific language, model-driven software development


DATE: 09 April, 2012, Monday @ 16:20