ARINC 661 Widget Creation

Tailored HMI tools and services for developing ARINC 661 widgets and more.

Challenges & Trends

The ARINC 661 Specification defines an overall architecture along with many sub-components to facilitate the creation of interactive displays. The first of these components is the Cockpit Display System (CDS), a rendering engine dedicated to presenting graphical information. Naturally, a display system would not be much without its associated logic which is handled by a separate element called the User Application (UA). The link between these two pillars is the ARINC 661 Runtime Protocol, which carries events that are generated through user interaction to the UA and brings requests to display new data back to the CDS. Finally, the contents of the displays, from graphical elements to possible groupings of these components, are defined by using a finite set of components called the widget library.

The first concern when creating ARINC 661 displays is creating the definition files that describe the contents and layout of each layer that will be displayed in the system. While ARINC 661 clearly defines the XML format for definition files, manually editing such files is prone to human error. The natural follow-on step is the ability to convert the XML definition files to the binary format that is required by the CDS for execution. Lastly, graphical widgets need to be created.

The Solution

Presagis offers a VAPS XT ARINC 661 solution for customers wishing to develop their displays in conformance with the ARINC 661 standard.

This solution allows the user to:


  • Use the out of the box ARINC 661 widgets provided by VAPS XT
  • Define more ARINC 661 standard widgets that are not yet offered by VAPS XT
  • Create extended widgets based on the ARINC 661 standard
  • Layout the ARINC 661 widgets to create the HMI application to be used by the Cockpit Display System (CDS)
  • Generate the Binary Definition File (DF) based on the ARINC 661 standard
  • Generate the CDS by using VAPS XT Code nGEN
  • Create the User Application (UA) by using the VAPS XT code skeletons and helper classes
  • Perform data connection between input and output objects
  • Perform rapid and iterative testing of HMI applications using VAPS XT ARINC 661 runtime mode