Design Advanced Aerospace PCBs in Altium Designer
High performance PCBs for harsh environments need to be reliable. Nowhere else is this more true than in the defense and aerospace industry. Whether you’re designing an aftermarket system or mission critical circuit boards for aerospace applications, PCB designers need a complete set of design features for any application. PCB designers also need a complete set of design tools to communicate with PCB manufacturers to ensure high quality and yield.
Designing aerospace printed circuit boards takes the right design software to ensure extreme reliability and on-demand performance. 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 is the only program that includes a complete set of circuit board design and manufacturing features in a unified application.
TOPICS IN THIS SOLUTION
ALTIUM DESIGNER ®
The only PCB design application that unifies design, simulation, and management features in a unified design environment.
Avionics systems are complex in terms of their own designs, standards, and diverse functionality. Any printed circuit board in aerospace electronics must meet specific quality, reliability, and electrical functionality standards, and designers need a complete set of printed circuit design features to ensure they meet these requirements. Add to this sourcing and auditing requirements in aerospace electronics, and designers have many requirements they need to manage in a single program.
Satisfying all your design, management, and sourcing requirements is much easier when your layout, supply chain, and manufacturing planning features are integrated into a single program. This is the type of environment you’ll find in Altium Designer, where ultra-accurate printed circuit layout tools are available alongside your sourcing and manufacturing tools.
No matter which standards organization or regulatory body you’re trying to comply with, you need a set of design tools that help ensure your aerospace electronics comply with circuit important design standards. Electrical systems and printed circuit designs in avionics systems must be highly reliable, provide performance on-demand, and meet EMC requirements as specified by the FCC/IEC. These systems must be designed to provide the highest performance in extreme environments with DFM standards that are specified by IPC-A-610E Class 3.
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 standards acronyms designers will need to consider. Ensuring you comply with important design standards boils down to selecting the right components and making the right PCB layout choices. Your design tools need to give you access to any component in the supply chain and the design features you need to ensure your circuit board is mechanically reliable.
Meeting Standards and Performance Requirements with the Right Design Software
Avionics PCBs may be part of a larger multi-board system or embedded system with odd form factors. With the diverse functionality and odd form factors required in aerospace PCBs, engineers need adaptable PCB design software to ensure reliability. For example, rigid-flex PCBs and flexible circuits require rugged materials to withstand thermal and mechanical demands and can reach dozens of feet in length. Many printed circuit designs that are part of the power and electromechanical systems include heavy copper ground planes and traces that can withstand high temperatures and large currents.
Meeting these design requirements and many others takes the right set of design tools with a complete set of electrical and mechanical design features. Altium Designer is the only design platform that is fully adaptable to these design needs and many more. With everything contained in a single program, designers will have a complete set of tools required to ensure their designs are reliable and manufacturable. You can create advanced aerospace electronics and prepare for manufacturing when you use the powerful design platform in Altium Designer.
- Simple design choices like using heavy copper for polygons and planes will provide thermal protection at high temperature and high current for your aerospace PCBs.
- When you need to carefully place components and connectors, you need to work with your board in 3D MCAD software. Altium Designer includes the MCAD features you need for 3D layout and mechanical modeling.
- Rigid-flex PCBs are used in many military and aerospace systems. Your design tools should let you customize your stackup, materials, and layout in 2D and 3D to ensure your flex and rigid-flex circuits perform at their best.
3D sectional view showing a printed circuit board in 3D with Altium Designer’s native MCAD features.
Boards for the mil-aero market may run at high speeds to provide high data processing rates. Some examples include uses in communications equipment, embedded systems, single-board computers, surveillance, and many other aerospace applications. Getting your high speed PCB design right takes more than just PCB layout features, you need routing tools that ensure controlled impedance and propagation delay throughout your high speed design. These tools also need to work on rigid-flex PCBs and multi-board assemblies.
High speed PCB designers also need a set of simulation features to help ensure signal integrity in a PCB layout. Controlled impedance, crosstalk, and length/delay matching all need to be ensured in a high speed PCB design as part of signal integrity. These features need to operate in the pre-layout and post-layout phases for any design, including aerospace electronics.
Design Your Aerospace PCBs for Signal Integrity in Altium Designer
The integrated environment in Altium Designer includes a pre-layout SPICE simulation package that’s accessible from the schematic editor. Once you finish your circuit board layout, you can run post-layout simulations to evaluate impedance, propagation delay, crosstalk, and reflections in your designs. Only Altium Designer gives you all of these features and many more in a single program to help you ensure signal integrity in your designs.
- Your high speed aerospace board may need precise length matching structures and impedance control. This takes the right set of routing tools in your PCB design software, such as the interactive routing utilities in Altium Designer.
- High-speed design for mission-critical aerospace applications takes simulation tools that are built into your circuit board layout software. Altium Designer gives you pre-layout and post-layout simulation features to ensure signal integrity in your high speed PCB design process.
- High speed aerospace circuit boards are often multilayer PCBs with internal plane layers and complex routing.
3D design and schematic design for high speed aerospace PCBs in Altium Designer.
When you’re considering a design platform for aerospace high-speed PCB design, you need to consider your productivity during design, sourcing, and manufacturing. Critical evaluation features and sourcing tools need to be present in your circuit board design software, and you’ll need critical features to ensure device performance before manufacturing and PCB assembly.
Altium Designer gives you all of this and much more in a single application. When you work in Altium Designer, you’ll find supply chain and production planning tools integrated alongside the best printed circuit design features in one program. You can plan out boards in schematics, select components, and finish high speed circuit boards for aerospace applications in a single program.
Rules-Driven Design Keeps You Compliant with Military and Aerospace Standards
The power of Altium Designer lies in its rules-driven design engine, which provides automated design rule checking features as you create your circuit board layout. You can check all aspects of your high speed digital and analog circuitry as you create your circuit boards and ensure your design will be fully manufacturable. This also makes it easy to comply with important high speed design rules on trace length and spacing, placement of components, pad sizes, impedance tolerances, and much more. No other design program makes aerospace electronics design so easy.
- The unified design interface in Altium Designer keeps you productive and provides a complete set of design and production tools in a single program.
- Your high speed aerospace PCBs need the right set of routing tools to ensure signal integrity. Altium Designer makes routing easy and gives you full control over your PCB layout.
- The integrated ECAD and MCAD tools give you capabilities to design rigid-flex PCBs, multi-board assemblies, and unique aerospace electronics.
Take control of your aerospace PCBs and your deign environment with Altium Designer.
Avionics engineers need a comprehensive set of mechanical and electrical design features to create aerospace PCBs. The rules-driven design environment in Altium Designer gives aerospace PCB designers the tools they need and much more. Come see what you can do with Altium Designer, the industry standard in unified PCB design software.