Avionics News October 2019 - 56

more intelligent systems in safety-critical
applications. The development, test, and
certification standards for these new
intelligent systems challenge current
approaches to assure the safety of complex
systems and will keep both designers and
regulators busy well into the next decade.

AN AVIONICS ODYSSEY
Continued from page 55

Today, a TSO reference document is
500 pages long - that's a big deal. There
are requirements for everything under the
sun - that's a challenge going forward. The
ASTM process revision is an attempt to go
in the other direction, which I think is great.
But regulatory creep is a big challenge.

Stone: There are always technical
and regulatory challenges, and I think
some of them will be within our grasp to
manage and some are a little further out
there. One of the key technical challenges
for electric-powered aircraft is energy
density and power storage systems - that's
a huge challenge to move forward on. I
don't think aviation is big enough to do it
alone. But other markets are, so the pace of
technological growth is fast right now, but
not fast enough for most of us. Those are
technical challenges.

Carrico: I think one of the hurdles we
are seeing now and will likely continue to
see for some years is a pilot shortage within
the commercial aviation industry. We also
see the growing interest in autonomous
systems to lessen pilot workload as a
solution for it.
This will impact avionics to provide new
sensors, computing platforms, and system
architectures that can safely implement

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Then, of course, are the regulatory
challenges - when you introduce
something new, especially if there is not
an established method of compliance
from a certification standpoint, that's
always an added challenge. The added
scrutiny is appropriately valid in most
cases, and they have to be worked
through.
Luster: In my experience, it's
great to come up with all kinds of new
technologies and capabilities, but unless
we have the regulatory infrastructure in
place that allows all that to be put to good
use, it's not going to go anywhere.
The FAA has to not only catch-up
with technology but take a leadership
position, and it has not proven to be good
at that. Look at how long it took to make
the final decision on ADS-B and how to
implement it.
The urban mobility industry is
talking about wanting to get air taxis
going by 2025, and there's no way the
infrastructure will be there in time for
that. What will the FAA allow and not
allow? Unfortunately, accidents will
happen. What will be the pain point to
put a stop to things?
I appreciate the lofty goals, but I just
don't see how it will be possible to get it
all done that fast.
Stewart: In order to fully realize
the advantage of technology, it will be
necessary to certify artificial intelligence
and machine learning. The path to this
isn't currently understood and will
need to be worked out by industry and
certification authorities. 
Cybersecurity will also become a
critical issue with increased connectivity.
It will be necessary to have architectures
and features that prevent cyber intrusions
and also allow simple updates to be
pushed without having to fully certify the
complete avionics functions.
Yahav: I believe the consolidations
in the aerospace industry will put too
much power in the hands of tier-one
avionics suppliers, which will result in a
lack of innovation and high pricing. q


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Avionics News October 2019

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