Aircraft and Subsystems

A400M Systems Engineering Support

The Airbus A400M is a multi-national four‑engine turboprop military transport aircraft.  The A400M features a fly‑by‑wire flight control system and a full glass cockpit.  One segment of the aircraft’s avionics suite is the Network Server System (NSS) used to support flight and maintenance operations.  The NSS communicates with other A400M avionics systems through a combination of interfaces, including AFDX, A429, and discrete signals.  The NSS provides hosting support services and APIs for customer‑ and ACA‑developed applications that reside on the NSS and are used in the operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the aircraft.  The system also provides a common interface and support software for upgrading avionics systems and for upload and retrieving mission data and logs.  The NSS secures system (and other avionics) access by validating personnel credentials and also performs periodic system data integrity checks.


5‑D Systems engineers have supported multiple aspects of the A400M NSS project in both systems and software engineering roles.  Our staff integrated with the ACA staff to provide a seamless and single team face to the ultimate customer, Airbus. 


In our systems engineering role, 5‑D led or supported the engineering effort for the NSS and three other major project deliverables.  Our tasking included analyzing, defining, allocating, and reviewing system requirements; performing design trade studies; generating interface control documents and system design documents; defining and documenting Built‑In Test functions at the card and box levels; writing and validating test cases and procedures; performing system test; and identifying and resolving system performance issues.


As part of our software engineering role, 5‑D led the implementation and delivery for the NSS Tool, a set of development and simulation tools used by the customer to verify their software’s capabilities performance prior to integration with the NSS.  In addition, we managed the NSS software architecture team and defined and tracked the Agile software development cycle used for the NSS software suite development.  Our third software engineering role was the management, development, and verification of software‑based system test tools for formal system verification testing.  Our tool suite included hosted application simulators, avionics simulators, and special purpose system feature test tools.   

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