This paper introduces a Software Defined Network (SDN) framework for airborne connectivity; defining an aircraft as an airborne node providing combined secure cockpit and cabin access. This SDN framework facilitates vendor and media agnostic communication link selection (satellite, cellular, or any other communication-link type) to the aircraft SDN platform. This SDN framework creates secure separation and delivery assurance while employing open architecture principles to accommodate future evolutions of aeronautical communications links. This approach facilitates the integration of any available link and satisfies manufacturer design requirements by mapping the Software (SW), not the hardware (HW) platform, to aircraft design and configurations.

Based on this SDN architecture, this paper presents SW techniques that can be implemented at the airborne SDN platform and the ground gateway to insure that the wireless commercial links used in this open architecture meet reliability, delivery assurance and timing requirements for cockpit traffic. The paper demonstrates simulation results of using network coding to ensure that cockpit sensitive traffic can use commercial infrastructure even under adverse conditions such as high packet loss while meeting cockpit traffic Quality of Service (QoS) requirements….Read more

Posted by Rockwell Collins