Circuit boards are a common part of many modern electrical systems and devices, serving as a thin, rigid board where multiple circuit elements can be embedded and connected with ease. Using a circuit board, one can better ensure proper electrical energy transfer between electrical components, as well as reduce the overall size of an assembly with compact construction. Countless electronics rely on some form of circuit board, their applications ranging from printers to modern smart devices. With the progressive electrification of aircraft, spacecraft, and other such vehicles, aerospace applications often rely on circuit boards now for the functionality of control towers, satellites, shuttles, and much more. As conditions are often intense high up in the atmosphere or within space, these printed circuit boards must be designed to take on various stressors while avoiding losses in performance or shortened lifespans.
While temperatures high up in the sky are quite low, they are nothing compared to the conditions in open space where temperatures regularly sit around -150 degrees Celsius or less based on conditions. At the same time, spacecraft and aircraft both face intensive heat as well during certain phases of their operations, so aerospace printed circuit boards must contend with extremely high and low temperatures alike. For many aerospace applications, manufacturers will utilize construction materials such as copper, aluminum, and laminate substrates which are all known for their high-temperature properties. For increased heat insulation, thermal compounds may be added to prevent heat from jumping between circuit elements as easily. As a last line of defense, fans, oxidation, and other heat-removing solutions are also implemented.
Beyond environmental conditions such as temperature and pressure, many components are also affected by the forces of vibration that result from various sources such as turbulence, moving machinery, etc. Shock and vibration can easily cause issues with sensitive electronics if one is not careful, so aerospace circuit boards are often designed with such issues in mind. For instance, instead of enacting the common soldering method to attach circuit elements, many components are installed with the use of pins. By leaving minor gaps between the surface of the board and attached components, manufacturers can ensure more stress relief.
While not a concern for aircraft, spacecraft must also deal with radiation, that of which is more prevalent in space than it is on Earth. Radiation can easily damage space equipment, so engineers will encapsulate important equipment to mitigate damage. Additionally, backups are also regularly made so that, in the case of a radiation disaster, there is always a solution to avoid having the entire operation compromised. A final solution for radiation that engineers take advantage of is antifuse technology; this allows for conductive routes to be established between transistors in a more permanent manner. As compared to more conventional materials and methods, antifuse technology is known to be more resistant to the negative effects of radiation.
With the proper printed circuit boards and protection, one can better ensure the performance and reliability of the electronic components within aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and other aerospace applications. Here at Aerospace 3sixty, we offer customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find components that have been sourced from top global manufacturers that we trust. All of the offerings on our website are ready for purchase at any time, and customers are encouraged to take advantage of our online RFQ service for the means of requesting quotes for their comparisons. Once we receive a finalized form, a dedicated account manager will reach out to you within 15 minutes to continue the purchasing process. See why customers steadily depend on us for their needs when you get in touch with a team member today!
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