Digital Avionics Handbook  book cover
3rd Edition

Digital Avionics Handbook

ISBN 9781138076983
Published April 13, 2017 by CRC Press
848 Pages 340 B/W Illustrations

SAVE $17.99
was $89.95
USD $71.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

A perennial bestseller, the Digital Avionics Handbook offers a comprehensive view of avionics. Complete with case studies of avionics architectures as well as examples of modern systems flying on current military and civil aircraft, this Third Edition includes:

  • Ten brand-new chapters covering new topics and emerging trends
  • Significant restructuring to deliver a more coherent and cohesive story
  • Updates to all existing chapters to reflect the latest software and technologies

Featuring discussions of new data bus and display concepts involving retina scanning, speech interaction, and synthetic vision, the Digital Avionics Handbook, Third Edition provides practicing and aspiring electrical, aerospace, avionics, and control systems engineers with a pragmatic look at the present state of the art of avionics.

Table of Contents





Section I: Evolution of Avionics: Safety and Certification

Evolving Avionics

Uma D. Ferrell and Thomas K. Ferrell


Roy T. Oishi and Ann Heinke


Myron Kayton

Global Positioning System

Christopher J. Hegarty, John M. Foley, and Sai K. Kalyanaraman

Fault-Tolerant Avionics

Ellis F. Hitt

Electromagnetic Environment

Richard Hess

Vehicle Health Management Systems

Philip A. Scandura, Jr.

Cockpit Voice Recorders and Data Recorders

Scott Montgomery

Certification of Civil Avionics

G. Frank McCormick

System Safety and System Development

Marge Jones

Understanding the Role of RTCA DO-160 in the Avionics Certification Process

Donald L. Sweeney


Thomas K. Ferrell and Uma D. Ferrell

RTCA DO-178C/EUROCAE ED-12C and the Technical Supplements

Thomas K. Ferrell and Uma D. Ferrell


Randall Fulton

Section II: Avionics Functions: Supporting Technology and Case Studies

Human Factors Engineering and Flight Deck Design

Kathy H. Abbott

Head-Mounted Displays

James Melzer

Head-Up Display

Robert B. Wood and Peter J. Howells

Display Devices

Thomas M. Lippert

Vision Systems

Steven D. Young, Lynda J. Kramer, and Randall E. Bailey

Speech Recognition and Synthesis

Douglas W. Beeks

Terrain Awareness

Barry C. Breen

Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS II)

Steve Henely

Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast

Joel M. Wichgers

Flight Management Systems

Randy Walter

Electrical Wiring Interconnect System

Michael Traskos


David G. Vutetakis


Randy Walter and Christopher B. Watkins

Boeing B-777 Avionics Architecture

Michael J. Morgan

Boeing B-777

Gregg F. Bartley

New Avionics Systems

Peter Potocki de Montalk

Airbus Electrical Flight Controls

Pascal Traverse

Section III: Avionics Development: Tools, Techniques, and Methods

Electronic Hardware Reliability

P.V. Varde, Nikhil Vichare, Ping Zhao, Diganta Das, and Michael G. Pecht

MIL-STD-1553B Digital Time Division Command/Response Multiplex Data Bus

Chris de Long

ARINC 429 Digital Information Transfer System

Paul J. Prisaznuk

RTCA DO-297/EUROCAE ED-124 Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) Design Guidance and Certification Considerations

Cary R. Spitzer and Leanna Rierson

ARINC Specification 653, Avionics Application Software Standard Interface

Paul J. Prisaznuk

Time-Triggered Protocol

Mirko Jakovljevic

Digital Avionics Modeling and Simulation

Jack Strauss, Joseph Lyvers, Terry Venema, and Andrew Shupe

Model-Based Development with AADL

Julien Delange and Bruce Lewis

Mathworks Approach to MBD

Bill Potter, Pieter Mosterman, and Tom Erkkinen

Esterel SCADE Approach to MBD

Jean-Louis Camus

Model Checking

Tingting Hu and Ivan Cibrario Bertolotti

Formal Methods

Ben Di Vito

Navigation and Tracking

James Farrell and Maarten Uijt de Haag

Section IV: Conclusion

Next Frontier

Mark G. Ballin


View More



Cary R. Spitzer (deceased) earned degrees from Virginia Tech and George Washington University. After serving in the US Air Force, he joined the NASA Langley Research Center, where his work contributed to the first satellite-guided automatic landing of a passenger transport aircraft as well as the B-757 ARIES flight research platform. In 1993, he founded AvioniCon, Inc., an international avionics consulting firm. Active in the RTCA, AIAA, and IEEE, Cary received the Airline Avionics Institute Chairman’s Special Volare Award, AIAA 1994 Digital Avionics Award, and IEEE Centennial Medal and Millennium Medal. He held two US patents, published more than 40 papers, and authored several books on avionics.

Uma and Thomas Ferrell are cofounders of Ferrell and Associates Consulting, Inc., a certification and software safety consultancy serving the aerospace industry. They have over 50 years of combined experience in training, project management and recovery, certification project support, and related research, and are frequently sought out to help with new and novel technologies and methods where traditional certification approaches break down. Uma earned degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Bangalore University. She has held senior technical positions at Reliable Software Technologies, The MITRE Corporation, General Sciences Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation. She has also contributed to the engineering of large-scale, mission-critical scientific information systems for NASA, NOAA, and the FAA. Thomas earned degrees from Northern Illinois University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and George Mason University. He has held senior technical positions at Science Application International Corporation, Iridium LLC, and the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. Additionally, he has served as a private sector advisor to the FAA at ICAO and in various leadership capacities for a number of RTCA committees. Uma and Thomas have collaborated together on numerous industry efforts, aviation engineering courses, jointly authored papers and conference tutorials, and the FAA’s Service History Handbook (DOT/FAA/AR-01/116).


"The third edition of Digital Avionics Handbook, edited by Cary Spitzer, manages to achieve a remarkable balance, satisfying a wide range of readers needing to understand modern avionics. Readers of the second edition will not be disappointed by the increase in subject matter, while the clarity of explanation and inclusion of up-to-date material is retained. ... Quite simply, this is the best book on avionics currently available. ... a comprehensive guide to the avionics used in the current generation of civil and military aircraft. The contributors to the book are well known in their respective fields and the editor has managed to ensure consistency of style and explanation throughout the book."
—Prof. David Allerton, CEng, FRAeS, from Aerospace, September 2015

"Digital Avionics Handbook has been the base bibliography of my master’s course at UPC Barcelona-Tech for the last five years. This new edition updates the information with the latest advances in avionics in modern aircraft. Starting from the initial avionics systems, which support pilot aviation capabilities, and following with the navigation and communication functionalities of modern aircraft avionics, the book now adds the recent developments on air traffic management avionics systems. Modern tendencies of digital avionics, such as convergence of CNS, are presented in the book with examples of the commercial aircraft that integrates them. The best description of federated architectures and of the IMA concept can be found in this book. The complete avionics cycle [is addressed]: from the aviation function requirements to the final certification process. Hardware, software, and human–machine interfacing of the avionics devices are covered in detail in the book. The new edition also introduces futuristic and innovative technologies and tools such as retina scanning, speech recognition, simulators, model checking, formal methods, etc."
—Prof. Cristina Barrado, Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona-Tech, Spain

"… a single, trusted text series compiling the concise knowledge of a diverse collection of uniquely specialized subject matter experts [that] provides a convenient and indispensable resource for any flight test engineer or research pilot, as well as for technical personnel involved in design, production, or maintenance."
—Dr. Seamus McGovern, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

"... provides in-depth coverage of a broad range of topics that are essential for a complete understanding of the role of electronics in modern aircraft. ... The book covers all the major areas. ... It addresses critical subsystems (e.g., health management, data recorders, and displays) as well as safety certification topics. ... The new edition of this classic reference truly delivers the goods. Along with excellent coverage of communication, navigation, and surveillance systems, the book provides the reader with much-needed material on modern issues such as model-based design, vision, and speech recognition systems."
—Dr. Michael S. Braasch, Ohio University, Athens, USA