Why Circuit Boards Are Important in the Aerospace Industry

August 3, 2020

Circuit breakers are a crucial part of many electronic devices. Circuit boards are designed to direct the charges required to operate a myriad of electronics, including digital printers and even smartphones. We should also note that many gadgets will work with a conventional circuit board, albeit certain cases may require a more specialized solution.

For example, certain circuit boards may need to be positioned in a way that a normal circuit board would not be able to handle. Or, the board may need to survive extreme pressures, as well as very hot temperatures. Here, we will delve into the uses of circuit breakers as well as circuit boards and why they are an integral part of the aerospace industry.

Why Circuit Boards are a Must for the Aerospace Industry

In particular, the aerospace industry requires printed circuit boards (PCBs) that are sturdier than the ones that are needed for most conventional electronic devices. For example, the components used in many control towers, planes, satellites, and space shuttles need to be very reliable when dealing with elevated temperatures and pressure.

Should these components fail, the result could be devastating for the people on board and the cargo.

As such, the manufacturers of printed circuit boards for the aerospace industry will need to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that their PCBs are extremely durable and reliable. Fortunately, there have been some great advancements in the PCB aerospace division, as the boards that are made today are highly efficient and safer than their predecessors.

Elevated Temperatures

Unbeknownst to some, temperatures in space can drop to -150 degrees Celsius and beyond under certain conditions. As a result, electronics sent into space need to be durable enough to withstand high and low temperatures.

It should also be noted that heat cannot be transferred via air in space due to the vacuum of that environment. As such, heat can only be transferred via radiation in space. Fortunately, aerospace PCB manufacturers will only use aluminum, copper, and laminate substrates that are very specialized and that boast high-temperature properties.

Moreover, most aerospace PCBs will be further insulated with thermal compounds to insulate heat, thus ensuring that heat cannot be moved to other electronic components. In addition, certain components may be set roughly twenty-thousandth of an inch from the surface of the board.

In some cases, space may be utilized to facilitate the thermal disposition of heat. As for aviation, fans may be used so that any excess heat will be eliminated. Oxidation is also an issue that may develop due to excess heat, so anodized aluminum may be used to solve heat-related oxidation.

The Need for Shock Absorption

Mechanical abuse is also something that needs to be considered, as aerospace devices and components will be subject to vibration and excessive shock. As a result, certain PCBs may need to be altered to withstand such harsh conditions.

For example, the component may be held in place via pins that are pressed into the PCB, instead of the conventional method of soldering.

Or, the engineer may opt to use both soldering and pins as a form of extra security. Furthermore, the engineer may add a thermal compound to the board to reduce the impact of fluctuations on the component.

Yet another strategy that helps PCBs deal with very low and high temperatures, vibrations and shock, is to leave a minute gap between the board’s surface and the components. By doing so, some of the stress that the PCB will endure will be relieved.

The Radiation Factor

Radiation is another factor that space equipment needs to be able to deal with, as the levels of radiation in space are higher than those found on Earth. As such, the boards need to be configured to withstand high radiation levels that can damage space equipment.

To do so, engineers may use certain specialized components or materials in order to encapsulate the electronics in question from radiation. Components will also be manufactured to be smaller than normal so that fewer units will be susceptible to radiation's harmful effects.

What’s more, backups will also be manufactured so that, in the event of a radiation disaster, the entire operation will not be compromised. Antifuse technology is yet another boon for the aerospace industry, as it can be used to fabricate routes that can conduct electricity between transistors in a permanent manner.

Antifuse technology has also been shown to be more resistant to radiation's deleterious effects than other, more old-fashioned methods. Thinner layers of materials may be utilized in some scenarios to manufacture more radiation-resilient circuits.

The Radio Frequency Conundrum

Radio waves will also need to be utilized for communicating in the aviation industry, so signals will need to be transmitted without the possibility of signal degradation. To accomplish this objective, engineers may add antennas to the mix or place shielding in certain areas on the board.

In addition, the engineers will make transmission lines as short as possible so that the radio signals or communications will be transmitted correctly and acutely.


Advances in the fabrication of circuit breakers and PCBs have allowed the aerospace industry to fabricate, for example, space shuttles and probes that can send satellites to orbit the globe, as well as explore the deep recesses of space.

If you would like to purchase aerospace-ready circuit breakers in Toronto or learn more about aerospace defence electronics, please visit Circuits-Central at our website. We can also be reached at 416-285-5550 or 888-821-7746 for a free, no-obligation quote and consultation to discuss your aerospace engineering and design needs in confidence.

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