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WASHINGTON — For the first time, the U.S. Air Force updated the software code on one of its aircraft while it was in flight, the service announced Oct. 7.
And there’s a surprise twist: The aircraft involved wasn’t the “flying computer” F-35, the mysterious B-21 bomber still under development, or any of the Air Force’s newest and most high-tech jets. Instead, the service tested the technology aboard the U-2 spy plane, one of the oldest and most iconic aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory.
On Sept. 22, the U-2 Federal Laboratory successfully updated the software of a U-2 from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which was engaged in a training flight near Beale Air Force Base, California, the Air Force said in a news release.
To push the software code from the developer on the ground to the U-2 in flight, the Air Force used Kubernetes, a containerized system that allows users to automate the deployment and management of software applications. The technology was originally created by Google and is currently maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
For the demonstration, the U-2 lab employed Kubernetes to “run advanced machine-learning algorithms” to the four flight-certified computers onboard the U-2, modifying the software without negatively affecting the aircraft’s flight or mission systems, the service said.
“We need to decouple the flight controls, the [open-mission systems], all the air worthiness piece of the software from the rest of the mission [and] capability of [that] software so we can update those more frequently without disrupting or putting lives at risk when it comes to the flying piece of the jet or the system,” Chaillan said then.
originally posted by: LABTECH767
a reply to: Masisoar
I am no aviation expert or even a computer expert but that seems to me to be just damned lazy, it is a serious security issue as well.
If they are broadcasting information then that information can be intercepted, a little time later it can be reverse engineered and codes and binary's cracked, this gives any potential hostile a window by which they can then hack craft in flight.
A purely idiotic solution in terms of military or civil aviation, all updates should and MUST be done via a hard-line connection on the ground to avoid such potentially catastrophic security holes.
Whomever dreamed this up needs to have there security status reviewed AND it is just so that they can be lazy about updating, cheaper by employing less engineers to do the job and while it will be faster it will also be open to interception and that gives the enemy a chance to use the same system to upload whatever they want to your air craft.