Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-3120

Power Line Communication Techniques for Multi-User and Higher Data Rate Applications in an Aircraft 2009-01-3120

Power Line Communication (PLC) is considered one of emerging technologies for the Next Generation Aircraft. Power lines can be used as an internal data exchange media within aircraft subsystems, such as the Electric Power Distribution System (EPDS). PLC is a term which describes the use of existing electrical power lines to provide the medium for a high data speed networks to replace extra cables, thereby reducing the installation cost and net weight in aircraft wiring.
This paper reviews different multiple access techniques and advantages/disadvantages of each technique using power line networks as a data communication medium. Power line channels include various types of noise and interference hence there are major challenges when communicating over power lines. A designer must consider the limitations in the power line communication channels such as propagation factor, impedance mismatch, noise and electromagnetic compatibility. This paper review focuses in particular on the data link Layer, which consists of both Media Access Control (MAC) and Logical Link Control sub-layers.
MAC Layer protocols can be split into fixed access protocols like Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and dynamic access protocols like Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA). The Logical Link Layer deals with the error control mechanisms like Forward Error Correction (FEC) codes. Non-linear channel characteristics make equalization very complex and expensive for high speed data rates. The multiple access technique for use on power line should have the ability to overcome nonlinear behavior without the need for a highly complicated equalization. This paper presents the system design factors and feasible protocols for multi node and high speed data in an aircraft.


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