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Loading Software to Engine Controls in the Field FREE

[+] Author Affiliations
Scott F. Beecher, Bret G. Lynch

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, East Hartford, CT

Paper No. 97-GT-016, pp. V004T15A003; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/97-GT-016
From:
  • ASME 1997 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition
  • Volume 4: Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy; Ceramics; Structures and Dynamics; Controls, Diagnostics and Instrumentation; Education; IGTI Scholar Award
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, June 2–5, 1997
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7871-2
  • Copyright © 1997 by ASME

abstract

With the advent of electronically alterable memories in electronic gas turbine engine control systems, there is now the opportunity for updating software in the field. Field loading provides a means to economically correct problems or introduce enhancements to system operation through the electronic control. In this paper we describe the characteristics of high integrity reprogramming systems used to update engine controls in-the-field.

Pratt & Whitney Aircraft supports two methods for in-service reprogramming of Electronic Engine Controls (EECs), These two methods are PC Laptop based loaders and ARINC loaders. This discussion will focus on the capabilities provided to support in-the-field reprogramming of engine controls. The flexibility, integrity, and the benefits of field reprogramming provided by these software loading systems will be explained. These reprogramming systems provide a PC based application and ARINC based systems for either on-wing reprogramming or on-board reprogramming directly from a flight deck device to the EEC.

The PC Loader reprogramming utilities allow field personnel to reprogram engine control application software and/or constants and configuration information using a suitably equipped IBM PC or compatible computer. These utilities are intended to be operated per Service Bulletin authorization only. They require a PC compatible computer (presumably a laptop model) with 2 UART interface cards, an interfacing cable, and the new software to be loaded. The rigor and manner of the integrity checks to ensure proper loading of the control is essential to an acceptable loading system.

There are two types of ARINC-based loaders: on-wing loaders and on-board loaders. Both types enable the operator to upload application, trim, and/or configuration software to the engine control. Additionally the ARINC 615 device allows operators to download fault and configuration data from the control. Each type of loader uses a specially formatted file to control the sequence of operations involved in a data loading session. The on-wing loader utilizes a specially designed portable data loader which connects directly to the EEC via dedicated cabling through the control’s ARINC connectors. This type of data loader contains software which communicates via an ARINC 615 protocol to a peer software entity running on the EEC. The on-board loader uses the aircraft’s central maintenance computer system to communicate with the EEC over the aircraft’s ARINC 629 data bus. It also operates using a peer-to-peer communication protocol with the EEC. The ARINC 629 loader requires no extra equipment or cabling, nor does it require the EEC to be accessible for attachment of cables.

Copyright © 1997 by ASME
This article is only available in the PDF format.

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