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Avionic systems engineers design and develop aircraft and spacecraft avionic instrumentation. They also conduct research to address problems associated with flight safety systems, landing gear and electronic navigation systems.

The average yearly pay range for an avionics engineer is over $100,000, and for good reason. Today’s avionics system engineers have a difficult task — integrating a diverse range of functionally complex components, provided by multiple suppliers, into a system that’s reliable enough to ensure consistent aircraft performance and passenger safety.

They also need to understand and meet numerous regulatory operating systems protocols, including ARINC 653, ARINC 429, CAN and ARINC 664.

ARINC 429, for example, is used to relay some extremely serious messages that have to do with airline protocol and air safety. Some of the critical messages that are conveyed using this protocol are:

  • Normal Operation (NO) indicates to the receiver that data in this word is considered to be correct data.
  • Functional Test (FT) indicates to the receiver that the data is being provided by a test source.
  • Failure Warning (FW) indicates to the receiver that a failure has occurred that has caused the data to appear to be missing or suspect.
  • No Computed Data (NCD) indicates to the receiver that data is missing or inaccurate for a reason other than failure. A common instance of this would occur when autopilot commands read as NCS because autopilot is not activated.

Creating a well-integrated, robust systems architecture requires engineers to generate an Interface Control Document (ICD), which is a large spreadsheet that gathers data and inputs from multiple avionics system suppliers and accurately reflects all system components interactions and interdependencies, including hardware and software redundancies, messaging hierarchies, data inputs and numerous communication switches.

To produce this document, engineers must ensure that all inputs are not only accurate, but consistent with one another. This requires tedious manual checking and rechecking; if a modification is made in one component, it must be verified against hundreds of other inputs.

You can learn more about avionic systems engineering. Tonex offers Avionic Systems Engineering Crash Course, a 4-day curriculum that covers a comprehensive training of theories, technical, certification requirements, and the technologies applied in avionic systems.

Tonex also offers nearly four dozen other Aerospace & Defense Engineering Training courses.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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