The challenges of globalisation, extended enterprise and collaborative working environments mean that manufacturers need to develop systems in different locations around the world. In the field of real-time embedded systems, constraints concerning latency and the robustness of the data exchanged often mean that systems need to be able to adjust and validate the data in close proximity to the source.
In order to respond to these challenges, AIRBUS launched a vast virtualisation programme for test facilities in 2013. The SWING solution is part of this programme. SWING is a generic interconnection gateway that enables embedded systems distributed over remote sites to communicate via intranet or internet. The performance and reliability of the SWING system make it possible to remotely connect to and synchronise systems in real time via the network, by simulating a wired connection. The product’s features enable systems and test facilities to be configured, operated, tested and maintained remotely.
The SWING system consists of a set of industrial PCs connected to the LAN network, on the one hand, and the embedded systems, on the other. Its modular, generic architecture, based on COTS solutions, already makes it possible to exchange AFDX, A429, Ethernet, analogue and discrete data. Scalian has been working with AIRBUS since 2014 as an equipment supplier for the SWING system. Scalian was in charge of the system architecture and set up a multidisciplinary team to integrate and develop the hardware, software, network modules and the communication protocols.
The product was delivered at the end of 2018 and is used by AIRBUS every day to connect its systems based in Toulouse and on 4 sites around Europe. Future system upgrades will open it to new communication protocols, and allow it to be integrated into the virtualised validation chain and qualified for validating certified critical systems.