ZubAir teams up with RTI for developing flight data access technology

Roger Coda
Dr. Junaid Zubairi

Dr. Junaid Zubairi

Efforts to modernize flight data tracking have taken a big step forward, thanks to ZubAir Data LLC, a start-up and client of the Fredonia Technology Incubator, and its industry affiliate Real-Time Innovations (RTI), a major software framework company for autonomous systems.

ZubAir, founded by Fredonia Department of Computer and Information Sciences Professor and Chair Junaid Zubairi, teamed up with RTI Connext DDS, of Sunnyvale, Calif., to provide the real time data connectivity framework for its Flight Data Tracker System, which aims to transmit vital black box data in real-time to ground-level sensors in addition to storing it in the “black box” on the airplane. The specific Connext DDS features integrated with the ZubAir system include topic-wise transmission, ranges, encryption, authentication and Quality-of-Service (QoS).

The new patented ZubAir system uses a unique data transmission method that more rapidly processes information while eliminating rogue data and therefore ensures faster, safer data flow.

During initial testing conducted in early 2021, ZubAir’s data transmission aligned with the publisher-subscriber model of the RTI Connext system. Subsequently, data was published to the RTI Connext databus under specific topics from one publisher, as well as allowing subscriptions by multiple subscribers. Values were restricted within the permitted range so that rogue data could be located easily.

Additionally, Connext DDS offers fine-grained security capabilities that enable ZubAir to control the access permissions to the data. Specific aircraft engine and single-topic data were bound with real-time QoS and transmitted and received, imposing the real-time QoS limits within the specified time bounds.

RTI’s software supports important avionics standards. Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) is an open avionics environment for all military airborne platform types. DO-178C is the primary standard for commercial avionics software development. Connext DDS is certified as FACE conformant and has supporting COTS RTCA DO-178C certification evidence.

Individually, these offer a proven, low-risk path to end user FACE conformance and DO-178C safety certification. ZubAir and RTI will continue working together to advance the Flight Data Tracker System.

“The next target is to implement the software on the computing platforms in aviation and test the whole system for successful data transmission,” said Dr. Zubairi, who patented the Flight Data Tracker technology. ZubAir will continue to develop the integrated product further and plans to work on providing it on standard aviation RTOS (real time operating systems).

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