Snapshot: How you can master the challenges of aircraft network design

By Olga Secerov

The following is a snapshot of the white paper “Optimizing aircraft network design for communication”. If you like what you read, you can find out more about this topic here.

Communication networks are a critical aspect of modern aircraft. Ever-more sophisticated avionics and electrification increases complexity, which in turn boosts demands on aircraft network design to a level that breaks traditional document-based processes and tools, even when managed digitally. Innovating product features is not enough; there is also a pressing need to innovate processes and tooling to catch up with the accelerating pace of digital transformation. Today’s leading organizations have to be able to redefine themselves at a faster and faster pace.

However, most companies are still trying to use yesterday’s tools and processes to develop tomorrow’s highly complex products. It’s becoming increasingly clear the aerospace industry is ripe for disruption, particularly in the area of inner-cabinet communication design.

Why optimize aircraft communication network design?

In the past, companies could rely on processes that were based on documents as deliverables, which were tedious but simple to manage. But design complexity is increasing. In today’s aerospace products, each function breaks down into multiple systems influencing tens or even hundreds of thousands of interactions, which must be identified and managed. Such complexity cannot be handled with spreadsheets and document-based processes, even if such documents are managed digitally.

If you consider these systems are handled by different suppliers, it is even more complex and challenging. Today many systems, functional models and legacy wiring and networks from different platforms must be combined and integrated into a single architecture. Components and functions may need to move, and the implication of these actions must be measured and assessed to ensure they are technically and financially viable. Meanwhile, products encompass more content and components, which means the need for new network capabilities is growing. As the number of signals increases and new systems and functionality are added, these signals must be shared on the network without significant changes to the network’s size.

Automate aerospace network design, optimization and verification

Siemens Capital Network Designer can help design ‘right-sized’ communications networks with detailed timing analysis, optimize and verify network designs to ensure quality and accelerate development, and deliver accurate communication network implementation.

Aircraft manufacturers looking for well-integrated, model-based systems engineering (MBSE) solutions that allow data to flow naturally between domains invest in Capital. The Capital advanced timing analysis feature assures consistency and delivery, reducing development costs and risks.

Today’s in-aircraft network design needs to be created and verified throughout the entire communication system. With home-grown tools and processes, most errors are detected in the integration and test phases, significantly increasing the costs of already expensive programs. Checking data consistency and protocol violations at design time and understanding behavior such as worst-case end-to-end timing ensuring validation testing is not finding design error states is getting more and more important, too.


Capital Network Designer for Aerospace→ Accelerate design of networks with guaranteed delivery

Read the White Paper→ Optimizing aircraft communication network design

Watch the Webinar→ Avionics data communication network

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at