Beyond Ruggedization: Ensuring Long-term Reliability

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions products are designed for use in harsh environment applications, where they are likely to be subjected to extreme temperatures, thermal cycling stress, and high shock and vibration conditions. They are offered in standard levels of ruggedization (summarized in the Ruggedization Table), which specify the minimum environmental conditions that the various product ranges are guaranteed to withstand. The Ruggedization Table represents the culmination of a rigorous engineering process, coupled with the experience of delivering more rugged circuit cards into the Defense and Aerospace market than any other COTS vendor.

A key component of the Ruggedization levels above is thermal management. Whether the module cooling approach is traditional air cooling (air flow over surface of circuit card), conduction cooling, or air flow through (AFT), Curtiss-Wright prides itself on innovations that reduce and minimize the thermal resistance of the heat removal path. Ongoing R&D ensures that we continue to meet the demanding thermal requirements of new electronic technologies destined for Defense and Aerospace applications.

Maintainability

Deployment in military applications requires that equipment can be unambiguously diagnosable, repairable and upgradeable in very arduous conditions. Unlike many COTS items, Curtiss-Wright products have designed-in maintainability features in both hardware and software ideally matched to military service requirements.

Extensive Built-in Test (BIT) routines ensure a high degree of confidence in the health of the hardware. In addition to basic BIT functions, additional hardware such as watchdog timers and thermal sensors are provided for the user to incorporate at the application level. Curtiss-Wright supports diagnostic tests, each available with a detailed coverage analysis, at three levels:

  • PBIT – basic power-up BIT which runs at switch-on. It tests that the board’s functionality is ready to support an operating system and the next higher levels of testing.
  • IBIT – initiated BIT routines which are called to make extensive tests of individual functions.
  • CBIT – continuous BIT providing routines which can be called on a repetitive basis from the operating system during normal operation of the equipment.

I/O Connections are made through the backplane, even from PMC/XMC modules which pass through their host board to the backplane. This is the preferred method of board-level connectivity as it allows individual modules to be swapped easily and safely from a chassis, which is a basic requirement for line replaceable modules (LRMs). Other LRM features included or offered on Curtiss-Wright modules are diagnostic LEDs and ESD/handling covers.
 

World Class Manufacturing

It’s one thing to design rugged products, but another to manufacture them reliably. Curtiss-Wright rugged products are manufactured in our own world-class manufacturing facility optimized for high-mix, high quality and small lot sizes typical of military requirements. Equipped with the latest assembly, cleaning, coating and inspection equipment, our operations are AS9100 and ISO-9001 certified and we comply with the highest standards of workmanship defined by IPC and J-STD specifications. All materials and processes are controlled by our enterprise-wide SAP and MES systems which offer full component traceability to individual products by serial number.

All rugged products undergo a formal ATP (Acceptance Test Procedure) as well as an ESS (Environmental Stress Screening). ESS typically consists of vibration followed by operation over the extended temperature range, and is designed to precipitate early component failures and manufacturing defects. We are also able to customize ESS per customers’ requirements.

Curtiss-Wright World Class Manufacturing

Curtiss-Wright’s AS9100 and ISO-9001 certified electronics manufacturing facility with state-of-the-art assembly, cleaning, coating, and inspection equipment

Infocenter

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