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Over the past several decades, the MIL-STD-1553 networking technology has found use in a number of military and aerospace platforms, including applications on aircraft, ships, tanks, missiles, satellites, and even the International Space Station. In developing software applications for these platforms, the use of modern, open networking standards such as TCP/IP is often preferable. The Internet Protocol (IP) provides communications routing, and the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) provides reliable delivery to the application level. Furthermore, higher-level protocols such as the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), etc. can be utilized in a TCP/IP environment. Though these open communications standards are preferable for many situations, the MIL-STD-1553B standard does not immediately lend itself to TCP/IP communications. One of the reasons for this is the fundamental difference between the MIL-STD-1553B networking standard, which relies on a bus controller to control communications and other data link layer networking protocols such as IEEE 8023 (Ethernet) which are Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) networks, and are thus decentralized. Despite differences in MIL-STD-1553B networking and more traditional data link layer networking protocols, there is nothing fundamentally preventing IP communication over a 1553 network. We have implemented a method of encapsulating IP datagrams within MDL-STD-1553B data messages that allows for transparent use of Internet Protocol (IP) APIs at the application level. Our system allows traditional 1553 messages to also be transported over the network, and even allows traditional messages to take a higher transmission priority over IP traffic. We analyze the advantages of such a system and the performance level we achieved with our implementation of this concept.
Date of Publication: Mar 2005