The AEROSPACE Electrical Systems Expo took place on April 1 – 3, 2014 in Long Beach California and drew the usual suspects. There was a good representation from all parts of the aerospace electrical systems field and the supporting vendors. Overall, the year-to-year technology innovations appear to be more of an evolutionary improvement rather revolutionary changes.
Below are a couple of points highlighted during the discussions that have value for the aerospace wire community:
Handling next generation of high speed data connectors
The presentations on Thursday showcased back-to-back discussions with a focus on handling high-speed data. It is clear that the existing standards for addressing the needs of high vibration environments are not sufficient. If you examine the MIL-STD-38999, a connector is permitted to lose circuit connection for 1 microsecond (additionally, the standard does not specify permitted frequency for these interruptions). For a 10GHz system, the break of even a microsecond can mean the loss of kilobits of data.
Eye Pattern Monitoring Technique
Both Glenair and Smiths Connectors developed their own test procedures for addressing the questions of the industry. The common theme and technique between the two was the eye pattern monitoring (an example of which is shown in the “Degraded vs. Clean Signals” figure). The concept of the eye pattern monitoring technique was developed to visually compare the signal through the connector subjected to heat and vibration, with that of the same signal going through an undisturbed system. The figure clearly shows the impact that environmental conditions have on the signal integrity as it goes through the connector.
An interesting new product that has come out from DIT-MCO is their latest in circuit analyzing technology. In a partnership with Universal Synaptics, DIT-MCO has released an intermittent fault detection platform. This platform called Voyager is capable of testing up to 512 simultaneous data points. The claim is that the system can detect intermittent faults to less than 50ns.
The product is an extension to the testing capabilities of DIT-MCO harness testers. This is another tool to help users troubleshoot their systems in the hope of eliminating or at least reducing the No Fault Found (NFF) situations. Annually, NFFs costs Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul professionals millions of dollars in unneeded parts, shipping, and downtime for aircraft.
If you are interested in aerospace electrical systems, please read Visual Inspection of Electrical Wiring for Aerospace.