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ARINC 686

ROADMAP FOR IPV6 TRANSITION IN AVIATION

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Organization: ARINC
Publication Date: 19 June 2020
Status: active
Page Count: 59
scope:

This document represents the consensus of industry. This document describes airline objectives (air and ground side when possible) towards the development and introduction of IPv6.

There are three distinct elements considered:

1. The applications (for addressing aspects)

2. The communication network(s) over which the applications are running (for the IP protocol level itself and associated features)

3. The physical link(s) the network(s) interface to (as part of IP protocol may usually also impact them) as shown in the following figure

Note: The physical links are also referred to as communication media or subnetworks.

This document addresses the communication network(s) (the second element of the figure above). However, the other layers will be directly impacted by the IPv6 transition (e.g., because they may carry or manage IPv6 format addresses, implement translation, etc.).

In terms of aircraft domains, this document fully applies to the Airline Information Services Domain (AISD) and the Passenger Information and Entertainment Services Domain (PIESD).

Communication services in the Aircraft Control Domain (ACD), which at the time of this writing does not implement IP protocols, are expected to be IPv6 only. The specifications of this domain are already being defined by ARINC Report 658 and ARINC Specification 858.

Whatever the aircraft domain, the main focus of this document, the communication network level, shall be considered in an end-to-end perspective, allowing to connect an aircraft hosted application to a ground enterprise network hosted application.

Therefore, the following network elements are viewed to be in scope:

• Airborne local network segment

• Air-ground network segment (including the link service provider)

• Ground network segment (including service providers networks, Internet, Enterprise networks)

IPv6 Standards Development Approach

The development of IPv6 standards will be approached in two steps.

Step 1: Transition from IPv4 to IPv6 Overall Strategy

The outcome of Step 1 is covered by this document, ARINC Report 686. This document describes the overall strategy the aeronautical industry is recommended

to apply to efficiently manage the transition, and the roadmap inclusive of a detailed technical scope for the standardization of full IPv6. The roadmap includes a timeline for elements to be standardized in Step 2.

Step 2: Development/Update of ARINC Standards for Full IPv6 Support

The ARINC Standards managed by the Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) will be identified in Section 5.0 of this document, along with IPv6 impact.

As in Step 1, monitoring of worldwide IPv6 deployment will continue in the Step 2.

Purpose

At the time of this writing, ARINC Standards for airborne equipment and air-ground interoperability are based on Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) (e.g., ARINC 664, ARINC 822A, etc.)

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) deployment is growing in all domains around the world:

• IPv4 addresses are all distributed in major parts of the world

• Addresses can be obtained on a second-hand market only

• Around 25% of worldwide traffic is now full IPv6 (end 2017) versus less than 1% five years ago (end 2012)

Current aircraft systems are IPv4 capable only; however, ground equipment migration to IPv6 could impact aircraft to ground communication (service provider network to connect radios, ground network services to exchange data). Airborne communication systems will need to be modified to ensure connectivity with a mixed IPv4/IPv6 ground infrastructure.

This document provides recommendations so that the aircraft air-ground connectivity may be possible:

IPv6 is current technology where planning is needed to support the migration (e.g., when an airline will not be able to obtain a public IPv4 address for its ground servers or leverages IPv6 capability).

In order to support this transition and prepare the future in a harmonized way amongst all aeronautical industry actors, the purpose of this document is to assess the overall impact, dependencies of transitioning to IPv6, and to reduce the overall impact of migration.

A common IPv6 strategy for aircraft connectivity is defined to:

• Anticipate the current capability in the coming product developments

• Manage the IPv4 to IPv6 transition (including IPv4 remaining addresses and "second-hand market")

• Recommend candidate end-to-end solutions in the case where IPv4 and IPv6 coexist

• Identify the security issues and provide recommendations to mitigate them.

• Recommend a work program to include time frame

• Plan for address allocation and management

• Prepare for when the sunset date is reached

• Outcome of this step is common understanding of strategy in the form of presentation materials and meeting reports

• Identify ARINC Standards to be updated to include IPv6

A second step will deliver the standard updates required to support this strategy and, in particular, to make the airborne systems fully compatible with IPv6.

Document History

ARINC 686
June 19, 2020
ROADMAP FOR IPV6 TRANSITION IN AVIATION
This document represents the consensus of industry. This document describes airline objectives (air and ground side when possible) towards the development and introduction of IPv6. There are three...

References

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