Software Data Loader Using Ethernet Interface
|Publication Date:||30 June 2007|
Purpose of this Report
This document provides general and specific design guidance for the development of software data loading equipment for all types of aircraft. The primary purpose of data load is to upload loadable software parts to airborne computers. A secondary function of data load is downloading data from airborne computers. Software data load functionality generally falls into the following categories:
• Portable Data Loader (PDL) for loading equipment on the ground or carried onto aircraft to perform onboard loading.
• Airborne Data Loader (ADL) for installation on aircraft to perform onboard loading.
• Data Load Function (DLF) is software that performs the data loading.
This document defines data loaders designed to load avionics equipment over a high-speed interface using an Ethernet network protocol. This document defines media interfaces and protocol requirements specific to all data load functions, whether portable or airborne. This document also describes the desired capabilities of data loading equipment and the standards necessary to ensure interchangeability of equipment and mass storage media.
Earlier 615A reports defined a rigid description of an Airborne Data Loader (ADL) and a Portable Data Loader (PDL) as hardware/software implementations. The term "Data Loading Function" or DLF is defined in this report to generally define a data loading function implemented as a software module which may execute in hardware installed onboard the aircraft or on portable computer equipment carried onto the aircraft by maintenance personnel or used in the shop.
This edition of the report recognizes that portable data loaders are increasingly based on COTS ruggedized PC hardware that hosts a software-based data loading application. General requirements for a PDL are provided which can be applied to COTS or purpose-built PDLs.
Form and fit interchangeability is specified and expected for the ADL, but not specified for the PDL where maximum flexibility of hardware implementation is desired.
Avionics equipment that is loadable over the ARINC 429 data bus will continue to be loaded by data loaders defined by ARINC Report 615. ARINC Report 615A is also being used to load avionics over other avionics buses using elements of the Ethernet protocol (e.g., ARINC 615A over AFDX; ARINC 615A over CAN Bus).
Equipment manufacturers should note that this document aims to encourage them to optimize the characteristics of the data loader; ease of use, cost, maintenance, performance, weight and size. They are at liberty to accomplish this objective by means of design techniques they consider to be the most appropriate as their customers are interested primarily in the end result rather than the means employed to achieve it.