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Common Engine Software Interface (FADEC) Component



OBJECTIVE: Develop data models, architectural concepts, and components for use in developing a common avionics to engine interface, including data modeling for general Full Authority Digital Engine Controller (FADEC) interfaces to the avionics suite. The intent is to have common reusable software for engine controllers that are Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE) Units of Portability (UoPs) and that also meet airworthiness or security requirements unique to the US Army. This would ensure that as engines are updated that integration with respect to the avionics suites in use by the Army is simplified and streamlined and also that the data model for common engine information is complete. 

DESCRIPTION: The US Army is developing an Improved Turbine Engine that will upgrade the current engines on Black Hawk and Apache platforms and pave the way for Future Vertical Lift (FVL) engine programs. Modern engines utilize FADEC technology, which is complex and highly specialized, thus it is highly unlikely that in competitive engine procurement a common FADEC will be procured for future engines. It is likely that FADEC technology will be used and upgraded as an ongoing improvement for the Army both in modernization and in new program development. While it may not be possible to fully isolate change for integrating future FADEC technology (e.g. reuse a common FADEC on any engine), the information from the engine is brought forward into the avionics suite for use by various software applications and for display to the crew. This data represents a subset of the total complex data that a FADEC or other engine controller requires for that unique function. The common data required by the typical avionics suite to interface with FADEC may benefit from a common data model and one or more software components that abstract the complexities of a specific engine and specific FADEC. Ideally, a common abstraction layer for engine interface could be built including common FACE Conformant Units of Portability (UoP)s that will ease the integration burden on platforms with disparate avionics suites receiving upgraded engines. Appropriate data rights to the key interfaces, including the data models and architectural artifacts for integration, will be desired and discussed post award to ensure reuse of the key interface definitions is enabled for non-proprietary information and data. It is not the intent of the Government to possess rights to prior innovations that may be leveraged or any proprietary products or developments. Classified proposals are not accepted under the DoD SBIR Program. In the event DoD Components identify topics that will involve classified work in Phase II, companies submitting a proposal must have or be able to obtain the proper facility and personnel clearances in order to perform Phase II work. 

PHASE I: Design and demonstrate innovations related to common engine interface technology, including abstraction of FADEC or engine controllers that would reduce the integration cost and complexity for modifications or replacement independently of the avionics or engine. Common actions such as weight and balance, fuel calculations, master caution and warnings, engine performance display to the crew, and vehicle health monitoring depend upon common information from the engine. The Phase I approach should fully identify key data elements and the architectural approach to a common engine software interface, including the specification of one or more FACE UoPs that will be constructed in Phase II. 

PHASE II: Develop a fully functional prototype working with at least two commercial FADEC implementations and two avionics suites to demonstrate cross-platform implementation of the same data model. An acceptable demonstration may be in a lab environment with representative FADEC emulators, thus avoiding cost associated with vehicle integration or flight testing; however, the demonstration must include partnership with multiple actual FADEC vendors to ensure that the solution is not unique to a single specific vendor. 

PHASE III: The small business is expected to demonstrate a clear marketing plan for dual-use in civil aviation. FADEC components are common in the civil aviation market, thus the problem set represented by this SBIR has significant commercial potential. The developer should demonstrate a plan to obtain funding from non-SBIR government and private sector sources to transition the technology into viable commercial products 


1: Future Airborne Capabilities Environment (FACE), Hardware Open Systems Technology (HOST), DO-178, DO-254, ARINC 429, ARINC 664, Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX), ARINC 653, ARINC 661, Risk Management Framework (RMF), DoDI 8500.01, DoDI 8510.01, MIL-STD-882E, SAE ARP 4754, SAE ARP 4761

KEYWORDS: FADEC, ITE, Improved Turbine Engine, Engine Controller, FACE, IMA, AFDX, Cybersecurity, Information Assurance, OFP, RMF, Risk Management Framework, HOST, MBSE, Integrated Modular Avionics, Software Airworthiness, Software Assurance, Design Assurance, Model Based Systems Engineering, Avionics Software Development, Intrusion Detection, Security Monitoring, Auditing, RTOS, Safety-Critical 


Mr. Matthew Sipe 

(256) 313-0440 

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