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USB Interface to Avionics Databuses Versatile and easy to use Portable Easily accessible Host-controlled or stand-alone Controlled via USB or serial (RS-232) Interface API and driver software included Graphical software available DSP Core: 100MHz Memory: 1 MB Time-Tag: 32-bit; Selectable range/resolution USB Interface: USB Rev. 1.1 compliant; Speed: 12 Mbps; Plug-and-play RS-232 Interface: 9-pin D-sub connector; Speeds up to 115.2 Kbaud Software: Easy-to-learn API; Drivers: Windows 98/Me/2000; Optional graphical interface (CoPilot) Size: 178 x 140 x 39 mm; 7 x 5.5 x 1.5 in. Power: 6 V DC (115 V AC adapter supplied)
Ballard Technology’s BUSBox™ is a family of versatile avionics
databus interfaces. Through a BUSBox, any computer with a USB
or RS-232 serial port can communicate over or monitor an avionics databus. A family of over forty BUSBox models support a variety of avionics protocols and provide many functionality options.
CoPilot™, an interactive graphical user interface, or an application-specific software program may be used to control the BUSBox. A BUSBox can support one or more military and commercial avionics databus protocols. Multi-protocol
BUSBoxes provide savings and simplicity over using separate
interfaces for each protocol. A BUSBox may be upgraded later
with additional channels or capabilities. Though the BUSBox is
normally controlled through a USB or serial port, custom models are available for stand-alone operation as data converters.
The BUSBox offers many advantages over alternative avionics databus interfaces. It is plug-and-play and may be installed without opening or even powering down the computer, making it easy to share and move around between different portable and desktop computers. Using inexpensive USB hubs and BUSBoxes, a single computer can communicate with or monitor an unlimited number of avionics databuses. The BUSBox is small and can sit conveniently on the desktop, tucked away out of sight, or be mounted in various ways.
Custom gate arrays and a powerful Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
the BUSBox handle the avionics databus protocol without host intervention. The large on-board memory and flexible message buffering schemes ensure data integrity.
Only data for messages of interest need to be passed to/from the host over the USB or serial interface.
The easiest way to use the BUSBox is with the powerful, graphical program called CoPilot, available as an optional package. CoPilot supports and greatly simplifies tasks associated with defining and scheduling messages and with capturing and analyzing data.
Alternatively, software developers
can use the bundled Application Program Interface (API) that enables quick and easy development of custom applications. With only a few API calls, a program can configure the BUSBox and process messages to/from the avionics databus. Although most tasks require only a few API functions, the comprehensive
library includes a broad range of tools for specialized needs.
Models and Protocols
MIL-STD-1553: All 1553 models provide Bus Controller (BC),
Remote Terminal (RT), and Monitor operation. They support all 1553 message types. Advanced models can simultaneously operate as the BC, Monitor, and any number of RTs, and can selectively inject protocol errors.
ARINC 429: Combinations of transmit and receive channels are
available for a total of 2, 4, or 8 ARINC 429 channels. Receive channels have error and speed detection and extensive filtering. Transmit channels automatically maintain transmit intervals and allow selective error injection and concurrent aperiodic labels.
Interfaces for ARINC 708 (weather radar), ARINC 717 (flight data recorder), and the Space Shuttle are also available.
Models are available with different mixes of protocols. Some of the more popular combinations of protocols are ARINC 429 with ARINC 717, ARINC 429 with ARINC 708, and MIL-STD-1553 with ARINC 429.
The BUSBox may be easily adapted to custom requirements. A display and keypad are available.