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Security, Internet Connectivity and Aircraft Data Networks

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3 Author(s)
N. Thanthry ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wichita State University, 1845 N. Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260, USA. ; M. S. Ali ; R. Pendse

Internet connectivity, which was in experimental stages only a few years ago, is a reality today. Current implementations allow passengers to access the Internet for pleasure, and, in some cases, secure VPN access is provided to corporate networks. Several researchers are looking at the possibility of the existence a total of three networks: passenger network (PN), crew network (CRN), and the control network (CON). Researchers envision an architecture where these three networks will co-exist in an airplane. The available Internet connectivity can be utilized for transporting flight critical information like cockpit flight data recorder (CFDR) data, digital tight data recorder (DFDR) data, cockpit voice recorder (CVR) data and controller pilot data link communication. In addition, the internet connectivity could also be used for other safety mechanisms like video surveillance and remote control of the flight. Security is one of the major concerns that affect the successful deployment of aircraft data networks (ADN) and other safety features. Several studies have been carried out to secure the network using firewalls and intrusion detection systems but so far no study has focused on securing the communication channel (between the aircraft and the ground station) and its impact on the ADN. The scope of this research is to determine the viability and need of a security mechanism. The research will also focus on the performance of different security architectures and determine their usability in the framework of an ADN

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 11 )