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Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

Electric Aircraft Design Considerations

Electrical energy storage has reached a point where it is possible for the manned vehicle propulsion to use non-petroleum based energy. To achieve this goal, it has required a lot of research, design, and innovation that has pushed these vehicles to depend on high voltage electrical power systems and forego the use of hydraulics and pneumatics. If electrical aircraft are the aircraft of the future, what are the design factors that the EWIS community will have to address? Read more

DO-160, EWIS, and EMI

Designing a circuit diagram for a system comprised of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) is usually a straightforward process: identify the inputs and outputs of the system and connect them with wires and cables. Taking that simple high-level circuit diagram and implementing the physical design into an application can be quite difficult. This requires the proper connectors, optimized the physical routing, and ensuring negligible impact from electromagnetic interference (EMI). From an implementation perspective, it cannot be understated how much EMI can impact system performance ranging from degraded performance to make a system completely inoperable. Thankfully, there are test methods to evaluate the susceptibility of electromagnetic interference of a wire harness design. Read more

Shield Grounding and EMI Protection – Part 2

EMI, the concept of electromagnetic interference, is a relatively simple one to convey: radiated energy from other sources induces a voltage in another circuit. But like many things, the simplicity of its description belies the true complexity of mitigating it. Shielding of signal wires, wire harness shielding, shielding of power wires, induced noise studies are […] Read more

Shield Grounding and EMI Protection

The push for more electric aircraft is driven by weight savings and the availability of reliable electrical components. This is made possible with greater power generating capacity, however, this comes with an increased challenge of ensuring reliable data transmission. More power flowing through the aircraft means higher levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI). Aerospace environmental test […] Read more

Does a Connector’s Plating Type Impact Performance?

Design and installation of an aircraft’s electrical system has been made significantly easier with the adoption of modular harness design. This design pattern allows for discrete wiring sections to be designed and fabricated; this is only possible with the reliable performance of connectors. The connector-ization of harnesses has led some OEMs to build platforms where […] Read more

Building Wire Harnesses Right

Some of the most important elements to the electrical and electronic functions of aerospace vehicles are the cable and wiring harnesses. Accurate transmission of control and data signals is heavily dependent on the cable reliability, wiring harnesses, and connectors. Best design and maintenance practices are crucial to their longevity and reliability. Eliminating stresses to the […] Read more

Impact of Corona on Electrical Systems

Corona is an area of electrical systems that many have some knowledge, but often only to the point of knowing that there is a voltage that should not be exceeded. It is common knowledge that factors, such as pressure, have an impact on when and how corona will happen, though the source of corona is […] Read more

How many Cables Should be Shielded?

A common question when it comes to designing an aircraft EWIS is which of the cables should be shielded? There are several standards, such as MIL-STD-461, “Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment” provide an excellent basis for topics and testing that should be considered. But for those that are […] Read more

Use of Cables on Aircraft – Part 2

In this article, we will continue the discussion by exploring the NEMA27500 cable. Four sections were covered in the Part 1 (Specification, identification and shield coverage, conductor size, and wire specification). The remaining three parts covered here are the basic component wires, shielding materials, and the jacket materials. Read more

Use of Cables on Aircraft – Part 1

Electrical wire cables are an integral part of an aircraft’s Electrical Wire Interconnection System (EWIS). It would be difficult to imagine the design of an aircraft electrical system without the use of electrical cables. The use of cables in aircraft has simplified the formation of wire harnesses and installation of electrical components (think of the […] Read more