Aerospace printed circuit boards are designed differently from the other PCBs used to operate smaller devices like computers and digital cameras. For aerospace and other military applications, designs should be made with the highest degree of reliability and strength, ensuring that they do not have any errors. Complicated applications like space missions must have an accurate understanding concerning how their printed circuit boards need to be designed and manufactured to improve their longevity in operation because they are used in unique and extreme operations. The Aerospace printed circuit boards are used in extreme conditions like radiations, contaminants, chemicals, and many others.
Therefore, the aerospace circuits should be carefully manufactured and must meet various stringent standards like the IPC-A-610E class 3, meaning that high-performance electronic devices should be guaranteed continuous operation even in the most challenging and critical conditions. Some of the few applications categorized under the IPC-A-610E include; satellite communication systems, Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs), passive detection systems, and navigation and control systems.
Aerospace printed circuit boards get exposed to extremely high temperatures, and thus they should be designed to withstand the temperature, absorb shocks and intensity vibrations. Below are some of the guidelines to consider when designing Aerospace printed circuit boards:
Use high-quality materials
When discussing aerospace, the two most important requirements should never be ignored: durability and reliability. The circuits need to operate continuously and not incur any malfunctions for an extended period of at least five years and utmost 15 years without any maintenance happening in between. Maintenances should not be carried out on this because the companies might incur huge costs when they occur. Therefore it is important to choose materials of high quality which are also available in the market when needed.
The circuits are mostly made from copper or another alternative known as anodized aluminum, which can solve any problem resulting from heat dissipation. The latter conducts heat ten times better than other traditional materials that are thicker. Moreover, it can transfer heat more efficiently and reduce the negative impacts of heat-induced oxidation.
Choose heavy copper technology
Heavy copper technology is a unique technology whose copper thicknesses range from two to six oz. /ft Square, which naturally allows heat dissipation without the need for extra cooling systems even with high-intensity currents. Many aerospace PCB manufacturer companies always find it important to combine heavy copper solutions and several thermal vias to improve heat dissipation.
Provide the best thermal management
As mentioned earlier, Aerospace printed circuit boards should have the best heat dissipation without the help of external heat sinks. Incorporating heavy copper technology and using thermal vias, unique solutions depending on materials like Pyralux AP, FR408, and other components or materials can be utilized. In addition, increasing the distance between the components can create a better space for heat dissipation.
The Aerospace printed circuit boards should be designed using different materials from those used to design and manufacture the commonly printed circuit boards. They should always meet the preferences standards of IPC-A-610 Class 3 and 3A; moreover, they should be highly reliable and durable for as long as they will need a maximum of 15 years in operation.