Vortex is a Windows based Graphical User Interface that can be purchased for any of the RTX ARINC 429 product line. Requiring no programming knowledge at all, and no special knowledge of Windows, VORTEX gives the user, the ability to send and receive ARINC 429 data, on any available channel, in binary form or in engineering units. Received data can be filtered, so that only specified labels will be displayed, and all received data can be saved to a file, in a spreadsheet compatible format, for later playback and analysis.

Display of Received DATA
A separate window is displayed for each receiver channel, and all received data for that channel is displayed in that window. The data can be displayed in binary form or in engineering units. The engineering units decoding process is designed to allow the user to add, subtract or change the engineering units database, allowing the user to define their own ARINC 429 engineering unit conversions, such that new and/or special purpose engineering units definitions can be setup and used by the customer. The receiver function can filter in/out as many labels as desired. The incoming ARINC 429 data can be displayed in Continuous Display Mode (each received ARINC 429 word is displayed on a separate line, and no data is overwritten), or Update Display Mode (each label is displayed on its own line, and subsequent ARINC 429 words overwrite the previous word with the same label). In Binary form, the display can be customized to display as many binary fields as desired, with any number of bits in each field, giving the user complete flexibility to display whatever is important. Setups can be stored away so that subsequent test runs do not require the setup process to be repeated. In addition, any or all channels of received data can be stored in a file (shadowed) for later playback by VORTEX, or for analysis by any Excel compatible spreadsheet program.

Transmitting ARINC 429 DATA
The transmitting setup function permits the user to setup all available transmitters. Each transmitter can be setup independent of the others. The specific data to be transmitted, the specific repetition rate , the transmitter channel speed (high speed or low speed) and even the parity can be individually and independently setup. Data can be entered as Hexadecimal/Octal or as engineering unit parameters. A list of all available Parameter Names is presented to the user based on the Equipment ID, which can be defined independently for each transmitter channel. When the user enters the Parameter data (ie: 12,000 feet), VORTEX converts the data to binary. By pressing a button, the data can be displayed as either engineering units (parameter data) or in binary form, no matter how the data was originally entered. New Equipment IDs and new parameter conversions can be easily defined using any ASCII editor. Each individual ARINC word can be setup to automatically repeat at any rate from 0 to 1000 milliseconds.

Engineering Units Conversion
In order to do the translation between binary ARINC data and engineering units (altitude, knots, etc.), a database of translations is necessary, to define the relationship between the Equipment ID, the received label, and the translation process. This Engineering Units Database is used by both the transmitting function, and the receiving function. The Engineering Units database for VORTEX is an ASCII file, and is designed to be edited and modified by the user. New types of ARINC 429 equipment or special purpose translation functions can be quickly and easily defined, adding tremendous flexibility to the Engineering Units conversion process.

Recording Received Data
VORTEX has the ability to save away incoming ARINC 429 data from any or all receive channels, into a Shadow file, in real time, for later playback and analysis. The Shadowing function can save all received data from all received channels, or only specific ARINC words from specified receive channels. The data that is stored in the Shadow file includes, in addition to the received word itself, the channel number that the data was received on, and the time (to the nearest millisecond) that the word was received. At a later time, the Shadow playback function can take the saved Shadow file and reproduce exactly the scenario that was occurring at the time of data reception; in simulated real time, or up to 8 times faster than real time, or 8 times slower than real time. In addition, the Shadow file itself, is in a format that can be opened and viewed by EXCEL and most spread sheet programs. This makes it easy to do sophisticated sorting, and analysis on the data, without any programming.

The SPA Aircraft Emulation Option
The Serial Port Adapter version of VORTEX, can be purchased with the SPA Aircraft Emulation option (AEO). With the SPA AEO, it is possible to take a previously recorded Shadow file, and transmit the recorded data, on the SPA's output channels. Instead of bringing a large amount of equipment on the aircraft to monitor the aircraft systems and/or test new hardware/software, simply bring onboard the SPA and a laptop to record everything that occurs, on as many as 2 ARINC 429 channels. Then it becomes possible to simulate, in a laboratory environment, the original ARINC 429 scenarios as they were when the data was first recorded.

VORTEX makes is easy to perform sophisticated test scenarios or simple transmit and receive testing without any programming knowledge, for the entire RTX ARINC 429 family of products.


Graphical User Interface