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Modular avionics for light vehicles in aeronautics

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The purpose of MALVINA was to define and validate a new generation of avionics communication system, based on an open architecture, for single pilot IFR light aircraft and helicopter operations.


The MALVINA project aimed at enhance European light aircrafts and helicopters through the following points:

  • design standardization of light aircraft/helicopter core avionics architecture in order to allow easy integration of equipment coming from several manufacturers;
  • light aircraft/helicopter operational safety enhancement by reducing pilot workload (allowed by the use of displays which shall allow in turn the use of enhanced man machine interfaces);
  • aircraft/helicopter cost reduction for ownership and maintenance;
  • flexibility of evolution and retrofit improvement for the manufacturer and the owner;
  • weight and power consumption reduction of on-board equipment;
  • light aircraft/helicopter European industry possibility to penetrate a worldwide market dominated by the USA.

The research has defined a standard for an open architecture based on automotive components for low cost manufacturing.

The following topics have been discussed:

  • detailed requirements were published, gathering safety, fault tolerance, certification and maintenance aspects,
  • communication architectures have been drawn (one for serial product and one for demonstrator), based on a TTP network, and including main avionic equipment such as PFD, VMD, GPS, RMUs, NAVs, COM, Transponder, Sensors,…)
  • a demonstrator has been put out, based on the architecture previously defined. Power distribution network, communication network, interface boards, stimuli source and avionic equipment constituted this demonstrator.
  • system performance have been tested.
  • standard dissemination has been made through public events attendance and mailing.
  • market analysis have been published in order to assess industrial exploitation possibilities.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research (DG Research)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Due to consortium members withdrawal and resources allocation problems, the implemented demonstrator finally gathered four of the ten initially planned equipment. However, the goal of MALVINA could be reached: testing the performances of the designed system.

System performances have been tested at 85%. It gave the following main results:

  • components used are based on industrial standards or come from automotive market, and open architecture is respected in hardware design;
  • equipment dedicated software (AS) is independent of the network technology (OS);
  • the generated code can be level A certified;
  • heterogeneous equipment can coexist and exchange data on a network;
  • the whole system is compliant with power consumption limits, reconfiguration times and power-on phases (self-test) required in avionics standards;
  • all safety features (Consistent message delivery, Time-triggered activation, Bus guardian at least independent from its interface controller by its clock oscillator, Robust membership service, Fault tolerant global clock synchronization) are implemented on the network;
  • all required data for IFR/VFR flying are provided to the pilot;
  • network data can be downloaded to an external PC;
  • system composability is respected.

Although MALVINA project had not reached 100% of initially planned activities, the most important features could be checked:

  • In terms of Safety, MALVINA demonstrator and Eurocopter studies prove that such a network can be used in aircraft or rotorcraft equipment architectures without any degradation. Moreover, backups features, as well as equipment communication improvement can enhance safety by providing system reconfiguration in case of failure. At last, the software tools used have the capability to be level A certified and can integrate different levels of applications. Moreover, aircrafts and rotorcrafts bus architecture implementation bring more reliable avionics and allow introduction of modern man/machine interfaces (flat panel displays) in light aircraft, thus contributing to General Aviation safety.
  • In terms of Certification, a MALVINA-like architecture has to be standardized by aeronautics authorities to fully benefit of a network architecture. When a TTP frame standard will be officialized, as ARINC standard is actually, cockpit customisation and system upgrades could be easily performed


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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