1994-11-01

“Insert and Fly” Using PCMCIA PC Cards in the Avionics Market 942553

When looking into using PCMCIA PC Cards in the avionics market, three areas must be researched. The first is what are the applications and benefits of using the PC Cards while in flight, followed by the applications and benefits on the ground, and thirdly on how to make a PC Card that would stand up to the rugged avionics environment.
PCMCIA PC Cards can be used in all aspects of flight. Three possible applications on the ground are; paperless documentation, modifications, flightline changes. Once airborne, PC Cards can be removed and a different functionality card can be inserted. One PC card socket can be used for many different functions during one flight. Some of the possible applications for PC Cards inflight are; flight plan changes, backup Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), and solid state data collection.
Since Avionics products are either used in the air, in an open air hanger or on the flightline, PC Cards that are more rugged than those currently available will need to be developed. They will have to be developed from day one, with avionics in mind.

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