−Universities and aerospace companies collaborate to develop an integrated communication, navigation and surveillance solution for use in modern aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles−

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – July 11, 2019 – The project entitled “Next-Generation SDR Avionics for Communication, Navigation and Surveillance” has obtained a Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ). The NSERC-CRIAQ Grants program is intended to give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian postsecondary institutions and to train students in essential technical skills required by industry. This international mutually beneficial collaboration is expected to result in industrial and economic benefits to Canada.

The NextGen Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Software Defined Avionic Radio (SDAR) project aims to design, develop and integrate Software Defined Avionic Modules (SDAM) into a single hardware unit through a robust and optimized architecture. The main outcome of the project is an innovative highly integrated solution for on-board Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) avionics systems that will significantly reduce cable length and the number of components in modern aircraft. Additionally, it could be easily adapted for potential aeronautical standards changes and for use in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

The project will be based on the major achievements of previous NSERC-CRIAQ projects (so-called AVIO-505 and AVIO-404). This new project aims to elevate and improve SDAR design and integration with readiness for a certifiable solution to the aviation market, while being compatible with modern avionic architectures such as IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics). This new design will cover modernized avionics functions such as VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR), Instrument Landing System (ILS), Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) In/Out, Transponder Mode-S (TMS), Wide-Band Radio (WBR) and Radio Altimeters, as a critical system for both civilian and military. Fully-integrated multimode SDAR with multi-standard RF front-end and novel multiband antenna designs will be completed in unique integrated avionics network architecture. A large variety of tests including flight tests will be planned and scheduled throughout the project for extensive validation. The challenge is to design the future SDAR architecture that can not only efficiently handle multiple critical functions, but also some advanced features such as signal integrity monitoring, authentication algorithms, degradation mitigation and fault-tolerant capabilities while keeping minimum size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) requirements.

The project will be conducted over a period of 4 years with the collaboration of university professors and researchers along with industry professionals. The universities involved in the project are École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and Polytechnique Montréal. The industrial partners include Thales Canada, Aviation Communication and Surveillance Systems (ACSS), Bombardier and SII Canada. The research and development work will be based on the expertise and experience of the Laboratory of Space Technologies, Embedded Systems, Navigation and Avionic (LASSENA) located at ÉTS.

About Thales Canada
A Canadian leader in research and technology, Thales Canada combines over 50 years of experience with the talent of more than 2,000 skilled people located coast-to-coast. With revenues of over $850 million, Thales Canada offers leading capabilities in the urban rail, civil aviation, defence, digital identity and security sectors, meeting the most complex needs and requirements of its customers across all operating environments.

About ACSS
Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) is a joint venture, with 70 percent owned by L3Harris Technologies and 30 percent owned by Thales, and is managed by L3Harris’ Aviation Systems segment. ACSS designs and manufactures products for all aircraft and helicopter segments, and supports products for air transport and regional airlines, business aviation, and helicopter, General Aviation (GA) and military aircraft operators. ACSS produces avionics systems that increase safety, situational awareness and efficiency for commercial and military flight operators. More than 75,000 ACSS products are operating in commercial, corporate and military aircraft.

About Bombardier
With over 68,000 employees, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.
Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in 28 countries as well as a broad portfolio of products and services for the business aviation, commercial aviation and rail transportation markets. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, Bombardier posted revenues of $16.2 billion US. The company is recognized on the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

About SII Canada
SII Canada is a dynamic company based in Montreal and Toronto (http://www.siicanada.com/en). We support our clients with cutting-edge expertise in IT, Engineering, and with innovative and flexible methodologies to always go beyond expectations. From 2 people in 2015 to more than 120 today, SII Canada’s incredible results are due to an exceptional and dedicated team of engineers. This swift growth resulting in 400 projects and more than 50 clients, over the course of 4 years, is supported by the SII Group’s 40 years experience world wide and our local experts in specific technologies.

The LASSENA ( https://lassena.etsmtl.ca/spip.php?lang=en), directed by Prof. René Jr. Landry since 1999, has more than 20 years of experience in research areas tightly linked with digital signal processing, algorithm and electronic design. In terms of training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), over the last 5 years, LASSENA has trained over 103 undergraduate students from several countries, 45 Masters, 14 PhD, 8 professional and 7 post-doc fellows consisting of special lectures (individuals, lectures at ÉTS and other universities), industrial R&D project collaborations and research internship in industries, etc.

The Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (CRIAQ) is a non-profit organization established in 2002 with the financial support of the Québec government. Its mission is to increase the competitiveness of the aerospace industry, and enhance the collective knowledge base in aerospace through improved education and training of students.

For further information about NextGen MIMO SDAR project, please contact:

Xavier LOUIS, the project industry leader
Technical Lead at Thales Canada

René Jr LANDRY, the project university leader
Professor at ÉTS

See also other related news:

L’ÉTS amorce un projet de recherche majeur
Nouvelle génération de radio logicielle avionique pour avions et véhicules aériens sans pilote

[FR] – https://www.etsmtl.ca/nouvelles/2019/entrevue-rene-landry/

ÉTS launches a major research project
Next-Generation Software Defined Avionics Radio for Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

[EN] – https://www.etsmtl.ca/en/News/2019/Entrevue-Rene-Landry

[FR] – http://interface.etsmtl.ca/le-laboratoire-lassena-recrute-maintenant/