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Technical Paper

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

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.
Technical Paper

X-38 Nose Skirt Panels - Results of Qualification Testing

The X-38 vehicle will be used to demonstrate the future technology on durable TPS for the CRV. Astrium has produced two large CMC Nose Skirt side panels for the current X-38 configuration. The design of the 3 dimensional curved and large side panels comprises a light-weight, stringer stiffened concept which compensates the thermal expansion by a system of flexible metallic stand-offs. An optimum in flexibility and stiffness to fulfil all requirements had to be found: strong and stiff enough to carry the thermo-mechanical loads, but flexible enough to realise a fastening concept which does not fail due to thermal expansion. The fastening concept has been tested on development test level. Some thermal and mechanical tests on sub-structure level confirmed the design and analysis work of the complete TPS concept.