Contract covers research for comprehensive approach to identify and address
aircraft cybersecurity threats for aircraft certification and operational safety

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, September 15, 2016 – Astronautics Corporation of America has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to research and develop a comprehensive approach to identify and assess potential aircraft cybersecurity threats as they relate to aircraft certification and continued operational safety.

The research project will include the development of an efficient, timely, and repeatable process that identifies system security vulnerabilities, threats, and safety risks, including risk-mitigation information. The researched approach will support the FAA’s development of aviation policies, regulations, and training requirements to ensure flight safety and the security of aircraft network systems from cyber-attacks.

“Astronautics is a leader in fielding airborne servers and connectivity equipment.  Astronautics understands that safety and privacy of data transmitted to and from the aircraft is vital, and that is why Astronautics is also a leading provider of cybersecurity systems to the industry.  We look forward to working with the FAA on this project,” said President of Astronautics Corporation of America Chad Cundiff.

The endeavor will be completed in a three-stage process. The first stage includes developing a mature Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) framework.   In this stage, Astronautics will adapt its pre-existing cybersecurity processes to support the implementation of the FAA aircraft system information security/protection and SRA framework.

During the second stage, the  SRA methodology will be applied to model Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) systems. ACARS is a digital datalink system for transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground stations via air-band radio or satellite. Based on the SRA subject results, Astronautics and the FAA will collaborate to refine the SRA methodology.

The third stage includes applying the refined and approved methodology to a second SRA model that will be defined at a later time.

All work will be performed at Astronautics Headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, using systems and software engineers from the current cyber team and in-house development and cybersecurity labs. Astronautics will collaborate during this research and development effort with the FAA, FAA-designated organizations, and aviation and information security partners with whom Astronautics has established relationships.

“The selection of Astronautics to work on this project is validation of our decades-long investments in aircraft connectivity and cybersecurity for both civilian and military aircraft,” Cundiff said.


About Astronautics Corporation of America

Astronautics Corporation of America, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of avionics equipment and systems for the commercial and military aerospace industry. Key product areas include electronic primary flight displays, engine displays, mission computers, electronic flight bags and certified servers for airborne applications. Services include system integration and custom software for critical applications. Since its founding in 1959, Astronautics has been providing tailored engineering solutions to help clients achieve mission success.