In the field of aerospace, products and parts made with metal stamping or other processes have to be made to a higher standard, because the stakes are higher. It's simply unacceptable to have any corner-cutting or inferior quality for parts and systems that need to facilitate air travel.
Businesses need to put the required effort into building the best processes to make sure that the results will facilitate safe travel for everyone involved.
So much of the Federal Aviation Administration standards and the rigorous checks and rechecks that systems go through is related to the immediacy and high safety bar for aerospace. If something goes wrong on an aircraft, you can't just easily ‘stop and fix it.’ These systems have to stand up to the toughest challenges in order to get people where they need to go safely.
Here are some of the parts and systems that work the hardest to protect passengers and anyone else on a commercial air flight.
Electromagnetic Surge Protection
Every 1000 flying hours, an aircraft is struck by lightning.
Some of the most important elements of technology related to air safety are dedicated to mitigating the effects of the electrical impacts of lightning. Transient Voltage Suppression or TVS connectors and other related equipment that monitor and stabilize electromagnetic fields are critical to the design of modern airplanes for safe travel.
As airplanes fly through stormy conditions, lightning and atmospheric pressures can create dangerous situations. TVS connectors and stabilizers help to shield systems from electromagnetic fields, and protect not only the equipment, but also the signaling that pilots and others need to conduct the plane safely.
Due to their important roles, the builds for lightning protection systems are highly standardized and critically evaluated. Aircraft standard RTCA/DL-160D helps to provide standards for transient voltage handling. Vulnerable systems like power distribution lines may need to be ruggedized or protected by other equipment. Data interface transfer signals need specific voltage ranges. All of this goes into practical consideration for aircraft safety.
In-Flight Wireless Systems
Some of the other protections for aircraft relate to the onboard wireless technologies used in the cabin. This can include in-flight wi-fi services, but also includes services used by staff on board the plane. Fiber optic cabling and other systems need to be properly evaluated and designed for use in aerospace systems. All of the wireless infrastructure must undergo analysis related to its physical placement, and immediate use. That’s another major job for airplane technicians, that is supported by high quality and precision parts production services. Along with the need for functionality, concerns about hacking are another part of what drives safety advancement in this area, for example, efforts to untether the actual flight-use wi-fi data from in-flight wi-fi passenger-centered and entertainment services.
Satellite Communication Technology
Other types of highly engineered aircraft technology include satellite communication systems.
Radar and satellite systems may need to communicate with installations in orbit above the stratosphere, or with earthbound stations or equipment. It's critical to provide this kind of technology to the airplane cabin, again, both for passengers and for staff. Some of the best modern airline systems produce real-time, up-to-the-minute weather and temperature information based on satellite communication systems.
Satellite Communication or SATCOM systems require extensive radio support systems. Uplink and downlink procedures are governed by standards that also impact how airplanes are built and operated. In addition to the required protocols for keeping SATCOM systems in good working order, there’s also the need to evolve these systems over time. All of it requires a dedication to quality and business partnerships where no vendor or supplier is the “weakest link.”
Air Traffic Control
Modern air traffic control systems are also served by extensive RF coaxial cable, standardized cable connectors and other pieces of equipment. All of this equipment, whether it's made through metal stamping, CNC machining or other manufacturing processes, also needs to go through the same high-level engineering and evaluation before being deployed in an aircraft.
Individual operators need to be in communication with the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC), requiring implementation of technologies like Terminal radar approach control. Protocols for visual or instrument flight rules need to be thoroughly evaluated, and supported by functioning equipment. From pre-flight to landing, elaborate analog and digital processes support a safe flight.
Transponders and black boxes and other equipment track the passage of the aircraft through various “zones” and according to longitudinal and latitudinal locations. Precision monitoring contemplates the use of air “corridors” for safe passage. Again, all of this gets backed up by record-keeping systems working off of much of the same technology discussed above.
For each flight to work seamlessly, there has to be a quality standard in place. That’s another aspect of how accredited airlines handle the vast responsibilities included in their jobs, in coordinating thoroughly modern air travel services.
Mechanical Equipment - Precision in Metal Stamping and Other Industrial Processes
These days, even much of the mechanical equipment of the aircraft is connected to computerized or electronic equipment. One example is the landing gear system, while another is up-to-date systems that may control doors or other apertures, or control areas of the cabin or other areas of the craft. With so much modern high-tech infrastructure inside the plane, the evaluation of the huge spectrum of aircraft parts requires a lot of time and effort, as well as cost.
How do airlines and other stakeholders achieve aerospace safety standards?
One way is by building strategic partnerships with companies that understand the high bar set in the aviation industry.
Weiss-Aug creates the kind of high-design processes such as metal stamping that will turn out custom parts to drive quality into a supply chain. Again, in aerospace, this does more than just boost profits. It keeps people safe -- and that's why it's important to source metalworking and other services to a competitive firm that understands safety and quality. Talk to Weiss-Aug about how to get the required parts and assemblies for an aerospace business to compete and work well within the organized structure of the aviation world built by standards keepers like the FAA and other key stakeholders. Make sure an aerospace project is built on a firm foundation, to successfully fly the friendly skies.