This project established fundamental definitions of commercial airplane environments to be used in many different applications. The objective was to measure actual local operating conditions along with the measured sever operating condition of systems in commercial airplanes to refine the environmental requirements for design and operation of systems in the airplane. This refinement allowed suppliers to produce more robust, more reliable, and lower cost avionics.
This project consisted of multiple studies.
Study 1- Thermal and humidity conditions inside the pressure vessel
Increased use of commercial components with narrower operating temperature ranges required a better understanding of the operating environment. The information was necessary for systems designers to define requirements with adequate margins, but without over specification and the resulting design cost impact. Results were used to update RTCA DO-160 requirements.
Study 2- Thermal and humidity conditions outside the pressure vessel
Lack of real thermal and humidity data for certain locations of the airplane or misuse of requirements led the designers to use unrealistic requirements for all operating conditions, leading to costly designs for airplane systems. This study led to a better understanding of the real operating conditions outside of pressure vessel and was used to update RTCA D0-160.
Study 3- Airplane power quality at the system LRU
Lack of definition on power transient conditions at the LRU level led to designs that experienced intermittent operation resulting in the no-fault-found (NFF) condition. Suppliers and airlines spend significant revenue attempting to determine the root cause of the NFFs. The power buses were continuously monitored and provided power system information not previously available to the industry. It allowed suppliers to produce more robust, higher reliable, and lower cost avionics. Results were used to update RTCA D0-160 requirements.