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An Overview of

(Integrated Modular
Avionics) IMA Concept
ATA - 42
ATA - 42

Why IMA ?
What is IMA?
Why IMA?
Since the A300
Increasing number of software controlled systems
New functionality for performance
Flight management systems
Fuel management systems
New functionality for improved safety
Flight envelope protection
Ground proximity warning
Traffic collision avoidance
New functionality for improved maintenance
Aircraft condition monitoring
New functionality for improved passenger comfort
Cabin environment control

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Why IMA?
The Indirect Consequences
Every system = 1 or more computers / controllers
Every aircraft type = new computers
Every computer =
Airframe development and management costs
Part number costs
More wires
More power
More sources of unreliability
Increased obsolescence risk
Airline impact
Increased fault finding

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Why IMA? Traditional LRU
This implies that quantities of maintenance
spares be stored for each fleet at different places.
During the aircraft life cycle, the cost of
modifications, including parts obsolescence
mitigation and functional upgrades, becomes
even more significant for the airlines.

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Why IMA? Traditional LRU
Each computer type
is uniquely designed
for the system and
Application software
e.g. fuel control
Hardware PCBs
Operating System
Manufactured by
system supplier
Dedicated wiring for
each connection
100s km cabling per

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Why IMA?

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Why IMA?
The response
Integrated Modular Avionics
Not a specific set of technologies or components
Integration =
Multiple systems applications executed on the same computer
Data communications integrated onto a high speed multiplexed
Modularity =
A set of standard non system specific computers
Computers that can be configured to provide part of their
resources to a particular system application

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What is IMA?
IMA Variations / Proprietary Solutions ?
Avionics network
Avionics computers
Cabinet of modules, backplane, gateways
Honeywell AIMS
Cabinet of cards
Honeywell Primus EPIC
Independent modules as LRUs
Honeywell VIA

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What is IMA?
Cabinet of Modules

Functionality split between Modules:

Power Supply Modules, Gateways, Processing, IO
Inter module communications backplane
ARINC 653 Operating System
Originally ARINC 629
Single supplier . for everything
Boeing 777

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What is IMA?
Card File

Semi open architecture third party hardware

Processing, IO and gateway cards
Proprietary DEOS Operating System
Proprietary backplane
Business and Regional Jets
Embraer, Raytheon, Dornier

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What is IMA?
Independent Modules as LRU

Derivative of AIMS repackaging

Provides processing, IO and PSU in one package

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ATA - 42

Introduction to IMA,
Characteristics and
Advantages of IMA
Growing demand for Services and Products +
More complex Systems Requirements + Larger
capacity of Communication and Computation at
smaller Costs from Distributed Architectures
to Integrated Architectures.
IMA Concept:
Sharing of Hardware Many applications sharing same
Processing Unit
Reduces cost of Processors, Wiring, I/O etc.
Critical Objectives of Aeronautics / Space industries are
Reduction of Weight, Size, Energy consumption and Cost.

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Use of IMA on B777

B777 uses IMA Concept with its Airplane

Information Management System (AIMS), which
Primary Flight Display
Navigation Display
EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System) Display
Flight Planning
Performance Management
Airplane and Engine Monitoring
Communication Management
Digital Flight Data Acquisition and Data Conversion

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Distributed Architectures
Distributed (also called Federated) Architectures:
Use dedicated Computational Modules or Processing
Units for each Application.
Each Module hosts one single Application within the Avionics
EXAMPLES: International Space Station (ISS) and B767 Avionics

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Integrated Architectures
One Module hosts a number of Applications of
different criticality levels
Each Application is isolated by a robust Partitioning
mechanism specified in ARINC 653 standard.
This breaks the Module into MULTIPLE VIRTUAL COMPUTERS
each one hosting an Application.

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Integrated Architectures
Partitions working as Multiple Virtual Computers:


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ARINC 653 for IMA
ARINC 653 is a Software specification for SPACE
and TIME partitioning in the IMA Architecture.
ARINC 653 defines:
How an Operating System must guarantee a robust
Spatial (Space) and Temporal (Time) Partitioning
Standardizes Application Programming Interface (API)
API defined by ARINC 653 is called APEX Application Executive
ARINC 653 provides:
Benefit in terms of Modular Certification
Usage of Commercial Off-The-Shelf Components (COTS)

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APEX Application Executive
APEX is a general purpose interface between:
Operating System and Application software
With APEX standardized interface:
Hardware platform and Software platform can evolve
Leads to cost-effective upgrades over the life of the system.
APEX provides:
Partition Management
Process Management
Memory Management
Time Management
Inter-partition / intra-partition Communication and

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Overview of ARINC 653

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IMA Literature Overview
IMA Concept has reached its highest maturity in
Aeronautics world.
Boeing uses Common Core System (CCS) by GE Aviation.
Runs over 70 separate applications executing at separate SAFETY
CCS has resulted in elimination over 100 discrete LRUs and
saved approximately 2000 pounds.

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IMA Characteristics
IMA Advantages:
Reduced Size, Weight, Power: Reduced Hardware
means that the SIZE, WEIGHT, POWER and
consequently, COST are reduced
Federated Architecture: Supplier of each LRU responsible for
entire design (hardware and software), implementation, testing
and Certification of the Unit.
If a NEW functionality is required OR simple change in a line of
Software Code, a complete re-certification of entire LRU must
be done
IMA Concept: Applications are separated from the Base
computing platform by the APEX.
Base computing platform and Applications can be chosen from
different suppliers; airframe manufacturer have a wider range of

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IMA Characteristics
IMA Advantages:
Portability and Re-use: APEX intermediate applications
and computing platforms, standard modules for
common tasks (that could be reused by different
functions running on different platforms) could be
Modules could be produced in large scale, thereby reducing the
Incremental Certification: ARINC 653 allows
incremental Certification because hardware and
software are truly isolated.
Possible to modify a certified system by certifying g only the

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IMA Characteristics
IMA Advantages:
Resource Allocation: IMA concept utilize
CONFIGURATION Tables to allocate the shared
computing resources to the hosted functions.
By manipulating Configuration table, the System integrator has
flexibility to dynamically manage Spare resources to each
individual hosted function.
System integrator is able to vary, within certain limits, the resource
allocation for a given hosted function in the future OR add new
hosted functions without the necessity of adding new computing
In Aviation, because of Certification issues, the resource
allocation is not made while system is utilized in service.
However, it can be dynamically re-allocated through updated
system configuration data.

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IMA Characteristics
IMA Advantages:
Reconfiguration and Robustness: Modules are
Software configurable.
Modules can adapt to changes in network functioning or
operating modes so that, in the event of failures, the system can
re-configure its software functions in pre-determined ways.

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IMA Characteristics
IMA Disadvantages
Complex Integration Process: Since base platform and
applications are separated, they can be provided by
different suppliers.
This aspect leads to more complex process of
System Integrator must be confident in its ability to perform the
integration process:
Increased Interface Definition and Management,
Resource Allocation and Management
System Configuration Analysis & Generation.

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IMA Summary
IMA means:
Integrated Architecture where Processor is shared by
many applications.
IMA results in:
Reduction in Weight, Size, Power consumption and Cost
IMA Architecture use ARINC 653 (Software
application) for Partitioning:
Which makes a Processor Unit working as Multiple
Virtual Computers one for each application.
ARINC 653 Partition the Hardware resources;

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IMA Summary
IMA Concept provides:
Benefit of Modular Certification
Incremental certification of any Upgrade / Software code
changes possible.
Use of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Applications /
Components from different Suppliers (rather than
dedicated designed applications / Components)

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IMA Review
Q. Integrated Modular Avionics use:
a. ARINC 429

b. ARINC 563

c. ARINC 653

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IMA Review
Q. LRU using IMA concept:
a. Have low reliability

b. Cost more

c. Provide weight saving

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IMA Review
Q. LRU designed using IMA concept
a. Have dedicated computing and I/O hardware.

b. All applications share the computing and other


c. Base module and applications must be from the same


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IMA Review
Q. IMA concept can be used for
a. Only Navigation and Flight Management Systems.

b. Only Cabin Systems

c. Any combination of Aircraft systems

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IMA Review
Q. Number of Electronic equipment on board
an aircraft:
a. Increased with passage of time.

b. Reduced with passage of time

c. Remained almost same with passage of time

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IMA Review
Q. In IMA based LRUs:
a. A fault in one application could adversely affect other

b. ARINC 653 provides software and hardware

partitions; a failure in one application does not affect
other applications

c. There is very high degree of redundancy.

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IMA Review
Q. Advantages of IMA are:
a. Reduced Hardware.

b. Reduced Size

c. Reduced Weight

d. Reduced Power (Energy Consumption)

e. Reduced Cost

f. All above are correct.

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Thanks for Your
Attention !!!
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