Airbus is one of the main aircraft manufacturers and is part of EADS, a major company in the field of aeronautics, space and defence. Our products line, which is composed of a wide range of single-aisle aircraft (100+ seats) up to the largest passenger aircraft in the world, the A380, gives a good overview of the scope of our industrial activities. The Airbus expertise in the technical domains in line with its sector of activity is widely acknowledged. This is particularly due to the amount of its involvement and efforts in terms of R&T. Development of avionics equipment is part of the core activities of the group, and more particularly Airbus France, the French subsidiary of Airbus. Airbus France is regularly leading research activities on the definition of highly deterministic numeric cores architectures dedicated to safety critical applications (e.g. electric flight control systems, also called “fly-by-wire”) and the definition of associated methodologies for WCET analysis. Research activities in the area of highly deterministic digital core architectures have, until recently, always been performed internally with the occasional support of French research laboratories. However, the volume and complexity of this research has been strongly increasing over the last years, in particular due to increasing levels of electronics integration and increasing needs for processing power, calling for an ever-increasing processor architecture complexity, while still being able to guarantee a WCET for supported applications. Moreover it is not obvious that it will be possible at all to increase processing power of single processors forever, due to the more and more incomputable nature of performance enhancements processor makers are forced to resort to. The consequence is that Airbus France is highly interested in multiprocessor architectures and probabilistic WCET estimation. Indeed, probabilistic WCET estimation could prove satisfying both for certification as long as the failure rate is adequately justified and small enough, and from an economical perspective in terms of development costs and permitted technologies.
Main tasks attributed in the project.
Airbus France will perform a case study both as a means to evaluate and orient other technical work packages and in order to assess the certifiability of a probabilistic method for safety-critical avionics. Airbus France will also provide key support to the other Work Packages.