White Papers

Intelligent Edge Technologies for Aviation

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1 A Strategic Model for Modern Aviation Systems 1 "Exponential Growth of System Complexi ," System Architecture Virtual Integration Program, Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute, retrieved April 23, 2021 2 "Design and Acquisition of Soware for Defense Systems," U.S. DoD Defense Science Board, February 2018 Shifting functionality of onboard aviation systems to software rather than using traditional hardware approaches makes them more cost-efficient, flexi- ble, and future ready. Intelligent edge technologies are essential to take full advantage of this transition. Longevity is critical to the cost-effectiveness of civilian and military aviation systems. To extend their lifespans, it must be possible to update those systems as needed, both to maintain and to add function- ality. The inherently more dynamic nature of software-based versus hardware-based systems supports continuous updates and system modernization. As a result, the level of software-defined functionality in aviation systems has grown steadily over time. Maintenance based on installing code rather than system boards is simpler and more cost- effective, which makes incremental changes possible for more granular control and heightened cyber resiliency. Growing software capability is accompanied by increased software complexity. The Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute reports that, for decades, source lines of code deployed in both civilian and military aircraft have been doubling in number about every four years. 1 In the context of avionics for specific military aircraft, a recent steep growth trend is illustrated in Figure 1. 2 Source lines of code (SLOC) in aviation systems double about every four years.

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