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Top Tips for Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards for Aerospace Electronics!

By Date posted: Last updated: April 12, 2021
Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return” – Leonardo Da Vinci

How true is that! Man has always been fascinated by the idea of flight and he pushed his human ingenuity to experience the magic of flying. There were some impressive and undeniably great human achievements mankind has recorded once he started to explore the frontiers of space. Right from the first Sputnik voyage mission to the recent Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, the possibilities of the aerospace industry are limitless, and listing anything here would just be a drop in the ocean!

And these incredible space-based systems depend on electronics and PCBs whose quality should be beyond what we see quite often in commercial electronics products. Undoubtedly, one needs high-quality, reliable PCBs for aerospace applications and the security of the PCBs and components is of paramount importance. So, how can you meet this high bar set for aerospace electronics?

If you are wondering how to meet the high precision requirements, how to implement the processes to build high-quality aerospace electronics, let us reveal some secret tips that would do the purpose!

What are the Aerospace Electronics Essentials?

The aerospace electronics industry is not immune to the constant evolution of electronics systems and PCBs. Many compact-sized with high capability systems have made their way into the mainstream and putting PCB manufacturers and designers on their toes to adapt to the rapid changes. There has always been a greater emphasis on the reliability of devices.

PCB developers need systems that can successfully meet the requirements and handle the challenges of the aerospace industry. Some of the essentials are software, hardware, and services. The hardware materials should be of high-quality and be able to work relentlessly for extended time periods. You need to optimize the component selection as well to overcome any delays in cost and efforts.

The software essentials in the aerospace industry should offer seamless interoperability between the PCB components with the functioning of the mechanical, thermal, and electrical simulations. They must reduce your development time. Services essentials should have the ability to maintain high standards and build quality products for aerospace electronics.

What things does one need to consider while working on Aerospace Printed Circuit Boards?

The development of aerospace systems needs a long time and since they need to withstand and perform without glitches in outer space, extra care and attention are inevitable. Especially, the cost and effort that goes into building a mission are massive and any failure or a glitch is going to put the entire mission in jeopardy dashing the hopes of so many technicians, engineers, and other personnel involved closely with the project.

There are also man-based missions where some aerospace systems carry personnel whose safety is crucial. The environmental conditions are also different, and the equipment and its components should be tolerant to any extreme conditions. Any issues that chip in when they are millions of feet away from the air would be difficult to handle.

There have been rapid developments even in the process of satellite and space exploration vehicles’ development and deployment. Unlike earlier, when there were only Government based missions, even the commercial enterprises are making a foray into this industry.

Tips for Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards for Aerospace Electronics

Are you a noob in space technology or searching for ways to transition from the old school model? We’ve got everything you need under one roof. Let’s dive in!

  1. What standards and regulations are applicable to the aerospace industry?

    Aerospace systems are prone to extreme or unusual climatic conditions. They are expected to work irrespective of the environment they are in! Any anomaly or glitches would create havoc and can take down the entire project. So, there have been certain guidelines and regulations that every space-based system should comply with to work and operate seamlessly and with zero errors. The deployment time should be as per the aerospace industry to avoid any potential collision with space debris. Aerospace or Military Grade PCB Assemblies should also adhere to AS 9100 that uses ISO 9001 standard as the base and there are also a few other SAE standards covering many aspects of the manufacturing. Knowledge of these standards that are applicable to the space-based boards is important.

  2. Optimize the Components for higher durability and reliability

    Aerospace industry electronics should work with utmost precision otherwise it would have serious repercussions on the entire project. Component selection forms the foundation of any aerospace electronics product. You need to rely on high-quality components that can withstand the space environment, be available for future production as well. Make sure no counterfeit components are used in this process as this would destroy the whole project in the long run. Any delays and interruptions can be dealt with efficiently if you have made the right component selection. This would have an impact on the lifecycle as well and no substandard components find a place in the aerospace systems.

  3. Your PCB designs should have simulation capabilities

    Your design software tool capabilities play a key role in electronics manufacturing and assembly. It is even more crucial when it comes to designing aerospace electronics. The boards that are required in the space-based systems are usually complex with multiple integrations with other boards. For this, you need to have a multi-board design and the ability to simulate the board’s response to varied conditions. For instance, the one that can simulate temperature and power variations is desired. If it performs finite element analysis of the strength, then it’s highly beneficial.

  4. Additional Testing required to make your board flight-ready

    PCB assembly testing includes a series of tests like ICT testing, Flying probe testing, functional testing, and so on. But when it comes to PCBs and electronics for your aerospace systems, you need to go beyond a notch and look for additional testing if required. Your space-based testing requires specialized testing to make sure if it delivers reliable performance all the time. This is crucial since space-based systems are prone to atmospheric turbulence during the deployment phase. Therefore, you need to test all conditions to confirm the functioning of the system.

Still unsure? Do you have any further queries? Wait! We are not done yet!

Collaborate with an electronics contract manufacturer that helps you to meet your goals

It’s all about quality! Your CM should be able to meet aerospace industry requirements to achieve the desired quality standards. And it’s no easy to find one! So, focus on their portfolio to know about the quality control methods and processes at the CM. Do they have the expertise to manufacture high-quality and durable boards? Do they have experience working in the aerospace electronics industry vertical? The quality control operations of your CM are under the scrutiny of QMS. This element of choosing the right CM that can assist you in meeting the applicable industry regulations decides the entire process.

Conclusion

Aerospace Industry has been helping humans to achieve what was once unbelievable! It has been pushing its limits to new horizons providing an incredibly diverse and rewarding experience to humanity. The quality, security, and reliability of the PCBs and components are paramount for building sturdy and strong aerospace electronics. To achieve this, you need to have a qualified partner for your build. Mer-Mar Electronics has been one of the pioneers in the aerospace electronics industry. You can check out the PCB services to see if it fits your requirements.

As circuit board manufacturers in USA, We continue to innovate new ways to make PCBs more versatile, sturdy and reliable, the aerospace industry will benefit as well. We understand the custom needs of our customers and offers an exclusive service to help them with their electronics projects. Our consistent quality and quick turnaround time endear itself to our customers, who look at us as a one stop-shop for all their PCB requirements. Get in touch with us if you have any questions or requirement related to our Printed Circuit Board Assembly Service.

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