State-of-the-art wireless technologies: problems of application onboard an aircraft

Computing machinery, complexes and computer networks


Gurevich O. S.*, Kesselman M. G.**, Trofimov A. S.***, Chernyshov V. I.****

Central Institute of Aviation Motors named after P.I. Baranov, CIAM, 2, Aviamotornaya str., Moscow, 111116, Russia



Many realizations of wireless technologies found application in various technology areas. Intensive search process for the trends of wireless systems and units implementation, allowing rapidly gain an appreciable economic effect, commenced in aviation industry. Expert judgments reveal that wireless technologies implementation will allow develop highly efficient aircraft control, monitoring and diagnostic systems of new generation, reduce weight and size by 20–40%, increase reliability and reduce system’s maintenance cost by 5–8 times. The onboard wireless sensor network application in onboard systems, not critical for the flight safety, can be considered successful.

Wireless technology application in such mission-critical systems as flight or engine operation control is associated with a number of contradictory requirements. Thus, the reliable data transfer between network nodes at a speed of 30–100 Hz and accounting for the signal decay requires transceivers power increase onboard an aircraft. However, onboard wireless units power supply from standalone power sources, prevention of radiation effect on neighboring radio channels and electronic equipment requires low energy consuming.

The article analyzes materials of foreign firms on studying the possibility of wireless systems based on protocols of IEEE 802.11 standard application onboard an aircraft.

The results of studying the possibility of narrow-band wireless data transmission at the frequency of 868 MHz in wireless aircraft engine automated control system are presented. Experiments were conducted on laboratory complex CIAM with various variants of central radio module shielding by fuselage, and wireless sensor shielding by the engine nacelle, and various distances between them.

The article shows that with complete screening simulation and distance of more than 13 m the information channel errors occurred, and from the distance of 15 m complete loss of connection took place. The wireless information channel failures were not observed for the other variants of shielding in the survey distance of 30 m.

The main problems of applying wireless technologies in the aircraft onboard systems are as follows:

– ensuring reliable wireless data transmission with the required rate and at a predetermined distance; ensuring electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of wireless sensor network with onboard avionics systems under tough operating conditions on and aircraft and engine;

– reducing power consumption of wireless electronic devices for control and monitoring systems, as well as the system for technical condition diagnostics of an aircraft and engine.


wireless aircraft engine control system, wireless sensor network and the sensors, transceiver, radio channel


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