A typical aircraft is equipped with a set of interacting systems that are combined to enable the aircraft to perform a particular role or set of roles. The systems that provide primary power and sources of energy have been described by the authors in detail (Moir and Seabridge 2008) as have the avionics systems that enable the aircraft to operate safely in controlled airspace (Moir and Seabridge 2013) and the military avionic systems or mission systems that enable a military aircraft to perform its role (Moir and Seabridge 2006). Each of the systems will have its own particular design requirements, and its own constraints and design drivers; some systems will stand alone, others will be integrated with one or more systems. They all have to be combined to provide the complete aircraft with the capability to perform its role.
The systems of an aircraft must also be designed to meet stringent design targets such as low mass, low power consumption, high performance, high accuracy, high integrity, high availability, and low cost, and must meet stringent safety targets. Some of these aims are conflicting; all of them are challenging to meet. In addition to the basic aims there are a number of ‘design drivers’, which are described in Chapter 4. This chapter will briefly describe the characteristics of the systems to illustrate the diversity of system implementations and design considerations.
The term ‘system’ is used in many ...