Towards Higher Changeability for Airplane Cabin Software

Stefan Burger, Oliver Hummel, Emanuel Heidinger, Stefan Schneele, Wolfgang Fischer, and Matthias Heinisch


Component architectures, ARINC 653, aviation systems development, embedded systems


The development of airborne software is driven by rigorous safety requirements. Hence, it needs to be certified for adhering to safety standards set by governmental agencies, based on different criticality levels. Additionally, quickly changing technologies and the resulting obsolescence of system parts increase the need for good changeability of avionic software. However, the design of current applications in the cabin of commercial airliners is mainly focussing on safety standards and on a good adjustment to the underling hardware platforms for performance reasons. Changeability has been widely neglected so far. We see component-oriented and strictly layered software architectures as a key enabler to overcome these challenges in the future. In this paper we discuss the fundamentals of a new architectural design for airplane cabin systems, integrating established design principles for modular enterprise systems with high-reliability requirements of aviation systems. Our proposed approach reduces module coupling as well as complexity and hence increases maintainability and changeability of aviation systems. Moreover, it is fully compatible with state-of-the-art aviation standards, such as ARINC 653.

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