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Printed Circuit Boards for Planes/Aerospace and Military Applications

Ever seen a PCB (printed circuit board) of a radio or computer, the one with interconnected electronic components? No? Well, it is a board that contains pads and lines that electrically interconnect in various points together, or rather connect components and connectors to each other. Circuit boards allow signals and power to be channeled through physical devices easily. With the help of solder, components on the surface of a PCB are electronically interconnected.

Solder is a metal, which aptly serves as a strong adhesive on the components. You can find PCBs in devices such as sophisticated radars, pagers, beepers, and even computer software. Because of their different uses, PCBs come in different designs, shapes and sizes. Printed circuit boards for planes, for instance, have more sophisticated designs that are invented to comply with the ever-growing functionalities of airplanes. Designing PCBs for aviation is not as easy.

Printed Circuit Boards in Aviation

For starters, their designs have to be more robust which calls for implementing specific layout and design techniques. Crafting circuit boards for planes is a demanding and time-consuming task. Special attention is given to the thermal management of the PCBs while special designs and layout techniques are considered for high-frequency RF components. So, to make PCBs for aerospace devices, essential designs and layouts are considered so as to make them superior.

That means designers have to define proper board materials, specify precise drill charts, keep neat assembly notes, maintain stack up recommendations for the layouts, add extra cushions for mechanical dimensions and holes, use proper termination methods, and perform pre-layout simulations. Designers of circuit boards for planes also have to verify impedance calculations, keep a shield on signals, separate ground planes, and power, and then keep right aspect ratios.

Reasons for the Special Designs and Layouts

Other requirements that are put into consideration by designers of circuit boards for planes include the designs of PCBs should have extra cushions of current, and also use correct mill-spec components. It is indeed a demanding process. The mil-spec components are mostly used on aerospace PCBs designs because they have very tight tolerances. For the record, the extra cushions of current are used in order to beef up the current in the circuitry.

Because of the sensitive nature of components found in planes, PCB applications are crafted with circuitry that can aptly handle three amperes. Why? Circuit boards for planes call for a maximum load of two amperes only. So a three ampere circuitry can handle vital applications in a PCB meant for planes. In case of an anomaly or excessive spike, the extra margin can easily handle everything. All these designs and layouts play a key role in making the PCBs for the aviation industry more robust and efficient.

PCB Glossary

  • Entry Material

    A thin layer of material composed of phenolic, aluminum foil, or paper that is placed on top of the panel prior to drilling to improve drill accuracy and prevent burrs and dents.

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