Every electrical system created for the battlefield poses its own unique set of challenges that require difficult design decisions. We know that design engineers all too well understand about the trade-offs between requirements of the system and those of its components. The same is true for industry standards that apply at the system level versus those that apply to its components. When faced with what to do when overlapping standards don't agree, sometimes the answer is -- do more.
Recently, one of our customers required a redundant AC power input source to incorporate in their standardized 3U VPX form factorpower supply. This second input would require an additional connector that would allow them to meet the requirement for redundant input power as required by their customer's system level specification. Furthermore, the new connector would need to be MIL-STD-38999 compliant. But this created a power requirement that exceeded the VITA 62 standard for the VS2 connector contact, a component-level standard.
To solve this challenge and meet both system and component-level standards and design intent, we worked collaboratively with our customer to modify both the 3U VPX enclosure, as well as the baseline M4065 3U VPX DC/DC power supply. The customer led the enclosure design changes that ensured the backplane could remain standardized and align with five additional 3U VPX payloads. We led the design updates to the standard 3U VPX power supply, adding the AC input MIL-STD 38999 connector. Together with our customer collaborated at a system level to ensure the new and unique modified 3U VPX power supply interfaced seamlessly with the upgrade enclosure. The remaining VPX payloads and backplane did not require modification or customization.
We provided a design review within 60 days, giving the customer enough data to proceed with confidence and begin design modifications. The end result was a more easily maintainable system that offered lower life-cycle costs, and one that met both system and component level industry standards.
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