• Influx Technology

Application: ReXgen IMU as a Flight Data Recorder - CANaerospace Protocol

Existing multi-role mini aircrafts lack a robust data logging system capable of record all events that have occurred during a flight. Our customers are able to log all CAN network data in the air, while also taking advantage of the ReXgen 2’s in-built IMU chip for accurately studying flight dynamics. Data can be decoded using CAN DBC files to also measure engine performance.​


This is a practical example to set up the ReXgen 2 as an inflight black box data recorder, where the logger is in the air recording flight data on CANaerospace protocol.​


(Find out more about the ReXgen 2)


The Benefits of Using a Black Box Data Recorder

Engineers and customers within the aviation industry generally use black box data recorders for productivity benefits.​

Below are some of these benefits alongside relevant CANaerospace parameters:

Flight Path Analysis

  • What was the route taken?

  • What are the challenges were the challenges within the path taken?

  • What were the weather conditions?

  • Was the planned flight path followed?

Knowing the flight path is very important because this will help in analysing engine performance, weather conditions and behaviour of the vehicle at different altitudes.



Fuel Efficiency Calculations

  • How much fuel?

  • What is the duration of fuel use?

  • How much fuel is consumed at average altitude?

Knowing the fuel consumption is an important aspect to help determine the efficiency of the engine.




Network Monitoring

  • What critical data must be monitored?

  • Are there any malfunctions?

  • Are there any changes in critical parameters?

Every aspect of the flight's system on the network needs to be monitored (pro-actively) and data stored for post-flight analysis.






Software Examples - Flight Path Analysis

You can easily set up free dashboards to visualise your flight path. The inbuilt 6-axis IMU sensor in our ReXgen 2 IMU data loggers allow you to track the flight path without any additional modules.



Flight Data Recorder: Step-By-Step Guide


1) Consider your Data Flow

  • Ground Run - Aircraft Ground Running is a term generally used to describe the operation of some or all of the engines of an aircraft, whilst on the ground, to functionally check the operation of either engines or aircraft systems. [1]


  • Flight Data - Operational Flight Data Monitoring is a quality assurance process and has a vital Safety Management dimension. (OFDM) offers an efficient solution to this challenge. [2]


  • Landing Data - It is the vital data that is being monitored when the flight is prepared for landing; as the flight is prepared for landing, many safety-critical systems are activated, such as landing gear.


  • Taxying - Taxi time is the amount of time an aircraft spends in movement on the surface of an airport. For the scope of this application, It is only focused on departure taxi-time (or taxi-out time), which is the time between an aircraft leaving a terminal gate and taking off from an airport. [3]



2) Selecting the Hardware


a) What is recommended?


For this application, we would highly recommend our ReXgen 2 IMU.


b) What type of connector is available in the vehicle?

  • DB9 - ReXgen 2 is supplied with a standard DB9 connector.

  • Other types - Other connectors exist and in this case we recommend identifying the pin-out. After this, you can find an open-wire matching adapter and create your own custom cable. Optionally use our DB9-generic adapter.

  • Raw wiring harness - In some cases, you may prefer to log data directly from the CAN wiring harness.

c) Do you need to log multiple CAN buses?

ReXgen2 supports up to two can buses that can be logged simultaneously. Now you can use CAN0 for the vehicular network and CAN1 for analog instrumentation with a wide range of K-series instrumentation, or any other make. (Learn more about the K-Series)


d) Do you need to track your vehicle?

Our ReXgen2 IMU comes with a 6-axis IMU sensor and GNSS embedded onto the board itself, so now there is no need to be worried about additional instrumentation for tracking.


3) Log the Trial Run Data

To understand that you have the right set of parameters for your test, it is recommended to do a trial run before proceeding to the fully-fledged test.


All our ReXgen 2 devices are equipped with micro-USB connectors, so connect the USB to your PC. Then, have a look at the Live Data.


4) Collections of Data and Analysis

Once the test is complete and the aircraft is back to the hanger, you can connect the USB to the ReXgen 2 device and start analyzing the data by exporting it into various formats with our freely distributable ReXdesk Software. (Learn more about ReXdesk)


Export formats:




References:

[1] https://sofemaonline.com/blog/entry/why-engine-ground-running-training-is-of-critical-importance-for-aircraft-maintenance-engineers

[2] https://skybrary.aero/index.php/Flight_Data_Monitoring_(FDM)

[3] https://towardsdatascience.com/predicting-aircraft-taxi-time-6c4eaa402d77






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