CERT-SEI

Military Aircraft Systems

EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, is using AADL to model the weapon systems reference architecture for the Eurofighter. A reference architecture is a template for an architecture in a domain.

In this project they use AADL (the Architecture Analysis and Design Language standard) to model the plug-and-play architecture of the aircraft as a weapons platform. This plug-and-play architecture consists of a set of protocol layers and communication hardware ranging from a store control protocol to an avionics bus (1553) and Air Data Link (Link16).

In this context AADL modes were a useful means to model the dynamic connectivity of the weapon, initially connected physically and once fired controlled through a radio link. Modes represent alternative operational states of a system or component. For example, modes for a cruise control system may be {initialize, disengaged, engaged}, where each of these modes may involve different sets of processes, executing threads, or active connections (e.g., in the initialization mode there are no connections to sensors).

With AADL, EADS has found

  • It could capture the system at different levels of refinement and so avoided putting constraints on the actual physical architecture while defining an abstract physical architecture.
  • AADL modes were a useful means to model the dynamic connectivity of their system.
  • AADL captured the dynamics of the system at different levels of refinement without compromising predictability.

View a presentation on this experience with AADL (pdf, 607 kb).

Learn more about AADL.