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Commercial protocols in aerospace applications present designers with challenges of balancing the standard against special needs of the application. In the physical layer, the cables used for Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, USB, IEEE 1394 and others are a prime example of this balancing act. The standards for these protocols detail electrical and structural requirements for the cables. One goal of standards is to characterize cables with enough specificity that they can be confidently plugged into the application.
While the idea of composites and their use in the aerospace and defense industry is well established, new capabilities and new material formulations make the use of composite electronic enclosures deserving of another look. Replacing metal enclosures with composites gives you all the mechanical and electrical benefits of metal, but with the added bonuses of lower weight, corrosion resistance, and lower costs.
While composites have been embraced for structural applications, their proliferation into electrical and avionics systems has been slower. Here we discuss how advances in high-volume composite manufacturing for enclosures and EMI shields are enabling companies such as TE to offer significant electrical system advantages.
As commercial aircraft offer more services to passengers—from video on demand to Internet access—the interconnection backbone delivering services to each seat must accommodate the higher bandwidth requirements. At the same time, aircraft manufacturers are looking at plug and play solutions that install easily, are robust and reliable, and require little or no maintenance. Given the life span of commercial aircraft, a physical layer that can accommodate future upgrades to electronics is equally desirable