The AERTEC technology company is leading an aviation research project as part of the disruptive cockpit concept that is redefining today’s aircraft design by integrating more technology into cockpits. The project’s idea revolves around the use of digitisation as a means of facilitating and safeguarding the tasks of all the professionals involved in flying an aircraft. This project, called AS-DISCO (Audio Suite for Disruptive COckpit Demonstrator), is funded by the European Clean Sky 2 aeronautics programme, the most ambitious in the European Union.
The project AS-DISCO automates operations that are now being executed manually by pilots, reducing their workload and allowing them to concentrate on tasks that require human judgment, experience and skills.
Its primary goal is to digitise the handling of audio communications between flight crews and ground personnel, which up to now has been manually executed by pilots. AERTEC has responded to this technological challenge by designing integrated modular avionics (IMA) software, as per the ARINC653 standard, that includes all the features needed to automate cockpit procedures by integrating a novel, software-defined radio (SDR) into innovative human-machine interfaces (HMI).
By automating the voice and data communications, for example, that occur between flight crews and control towers at airports, this technological solution will reduce the high density and overlap of flight crew tasks and allow pilots to focus on tasks that require their judgment, experience and skill. According to Benjamin Colomer, the project leader, “AS-DISCO relies on innovation and process digitisation to reduce crew workload, improve the situational awareness of pilots and help them in their operations in the cockpit of the future“.
AERTEC is developing a series of models to verify the proper performance and response of the software in different scenarios using the MBSE (model-based systems engineering) methodology, and applying test-based model (TBM) and software-in-the-loop (SIL) to the entire system. This allows engineers to test the application without having to be in the real environment, and to make any relevant modifications iteratively.
AERTEC has already delivered a fully-functional first version of this software, and at the end of this year, it will present a second version to the project’s Topic Manager, the leading European aircraft manufacturer.
The AS-DISCO project is another of the significant innovations and developments being led by AERTEC in the avionics sector and in the design and manufacture of critical on-board systems for the aerospace industry, where it has extensive experience.
The research that yielded these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, as part of the Clean Sky 2 H2020-CS2-CFP09-2018-02 call for proposals for the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, under project No. .