Designing Aerospace PCBs in Altium Designer’s Unified Environment
The physical and electrical demands on PCBs in aeronautics systems are like few other environments. Aerospace Printed Circuit Boards must be designed as extremely rugged systems with long reliability and performance-on-demand capabilities. The best way to ensure your aerospace PCBs, embedded systems, and an entire aircraft meet these strict requirements is to work with the best PCB design software. Altium Designer includes all the tools you need to implement the performance you require while meeting important industry standards.
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A PCB design package built for designing powerful electronics systems in any industry.
From control systems to communications and data processing, Circuit Boards for use in aerospace systems carry all the strict architecture requirements of computers and computer peripherals with the rugged construction of military and industrial systems. The mechanical and electrical requirements on aerospace PCBs are strict, and designers need software that gives them the freedom to implement high performing electrical capabilities alongside rugged mechanical strength and reliability.
When placed alongside features for managing electronic components and planning for manufacturing, the best PCB design software allows you to move from concept to deployment. You’ll have the flexibility to adapt your design process for any application, including military and aerospace systems. Only Altium Designer integrates all these capabilities and more in a single program and builds these tools on a rules-driven design engine.
Electronics systems in aerospace devices must include diverse functionality. These systems are intended to act as control units for mechanical systems, communications systems, central processing and data storage, and data acquisition systems for sensors placed throughout aircraft. Meeting these important requirements for any aerospace system takes adaptable design software for any application.
Designing Highly Specialized Aerospace & Defense PCBs
Most electronics design platforms are specialized for specific applications, usually for IC design. Using adaptable PCB design software that includes tools built on a rules-driven design engine doesn’t restrict your range of design applications. You can specialize your software to any set of design standards and functional requirements, including aerospace systems. You’ll have to specify component placement, routing, via structure, and mechanical requirements as design rules that mirror those found in embedded systems.
- IPC specifies the number of design standards designed for thermal management in electronics. You’ll need to consider thermal management in your aerospace PCBs to ensure reliability.Learn about designing to IPC thermal management standards.
- As many aerospace PCBs are really embedded systems, you’ll need to address the startup transition associated with these systems during the design phase.Learn more about addressing startup transitions in embedded systems.
- Your next aerospace Circuit Board will most likely be part of a larger multi-board system. You can implement the right design practices for multi-board systems when you use the right design software.
Layout and layer management for complex designs in Altium Designer
Aerospace products must comply with strict design and manufacturability standards if they are ever to find their place within an aircraft. ISO, IPC, SAE, and MIL are just some of the acronyms with which you should become intimately familiar. The goal of these standards is to ensure that printed electronics and other electrical products for use in aerospace systems meet strict functionality and reliability requirements.
DFM Standards and Preparing for PCB Manufacturing
The strict electrical and mechanical standards on PCBs for aerospace systems also translates into DFM standards that are specified by IPC-A-610E Class 3. Implementing the right electrical design practices early in the PCB layout phase helps to ensure that your boards can be successfully fabricated by qualified PCB manufacturers and assemblers while preventing defects. Working with rules-driven PCB design software is the best way to ensure your next aerospace PCB will comply with DFM standards and will come off the line with no defects.
- As most aerospace PCBs will end up being multilayer boards, you’ll need to pay close attention to IPC standards on via design and manufacturing.Learn more about IPC standards for via protection.
- DFM and DFA are critical aspects of PCB design for aerospace and military applications. You can avoid some common pitfalls with the right design software.
- Even if you’re a small company with a few engineers, you’ll need to implement careful data management practices to protect your aerospace Circuit Board design data, especially if you’re designing for military aircraft.
Testing your design against industry manufacturing and assembly standards in Altium Designer
Not all design software is created equal. Every design platform varies in terms of its capabilities, available tools, and level of unification. Most PCB design software packages have always been disjointed platforms. Different features are separated into different programs, and you must manually pass critical design data between programs. In the worst case, you’ll have to fill in the gaps in your design platform using 3rd party software with no guarantee of compatibility.
Instead of design schematics in layouts in separate programs with no synchronization, or instead of routing and checking against design rules in separate programs, you can remain at your most productive when all your design features are included in a single environment. PCB design software with electronics rule-checking features ensures that your military and aerospace devices will meet important functional standards, as well as PCB assembly and manufacturing standards.
Get Access to the Best Design Tools in an Integrated Platform
Instead of moving between separated design programs or cobbling together multiple programs to complete simple design tasks, try working in an integrated design environment. Your critical design tools interface directly with your manufacturing planning, data management, and verification features within a single program. No other PCB design platform offers this level of adaptability.
- Designing Printed Circuit Boards for use in aerospace systems requires meeting stringent mechanical requirements as well as physical requirements.Learn more about 3D PCB design in Altium Designer.
- You can rest assured your system will meet DFM, mechanical, and electrical standards on aerospace PCBs when your PCB tools are built on top of a single rules-driven design engine.Learn more about rules-driven design in Altium Designer.
- The automated project release features in Altium Designer help you quickly generate standard deliverables for PCB manufacturers and assemblers.Learn more about automating project releases with Altium Designer.
As an aerospace PCB designer, you need access to the best electronics design tools on the market, and you can rest assured that you’ll meet important functionality and manufacturing standards when all these tools are built into a single design environment. Altium Designer is the only PCB design platform for aerospace PCBs that places design, testing and verification, and manufacturing planning features in a single interface.
Working in an integrated design environment may be new to you, but Altium gives you the resources you need to get started and design successfully. From the AltiumLive forum to design examples, tutorials, webinars and podcasts with design experts, and a comprehensive knowledge base, you’ll have access to the resources and guidance you need to reach success.
Now you can get started designing top-quality aerospace PCBs as soon as your install completes. You’ll also have access to use extensions that aid power delivery testing, compliance, and supply chain management. Altium Designer is the only design program that includes all your critical and add-on tools in a single program. Now you can have access to all this and more with Altium Designer.