Astronautics lands FAA cybersecurity contract

Research project to establish framework for identifying threats

The Astronautics BP5 electronic flight bag is a form/fit replacement for the Boeing 787 that will enable the storage of more information, including detailed charts, maps, documents, and databases.

Milwaukee-based Astronautics Corp. of America has received a contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop an approach for identifying potential cybersecurity threats to the electrical systems in aircraft.

The nine month 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.

“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 Chad Cundiff, Astronautics president.

The project will involve three stages, starting with the development of a safety risk assessment framework. The framework will then be applied to test a model aircraft communications addressing and reporting systems, which are used to transmit short messages between aircraft and ground stations via air-band radio or satellites. The third phase will apply the methodology to a second model to be defined at a later date.

Astronautics will lead the work on the project from its Milwaukee offices, but will also collaborate the FAA, local universities, and other government agencies.

The company declined to provide the value of the contract or whether it would lead directly to any additional hiring. Astronautics did say it is always looking for additional staff.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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