According to National Geographic*, there are about 100 lightning bolt strikes on the Earth’s surface every single second. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity. The National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)* estimates at least 30 million points on the ground are struck on average each year, just in the USA. In the air, perhaps where the military and commercial air fleets are concerned, it is estimated that each airliner in the USA will be hit by lightning once per year.
Furthermore, static electricity, which humans very commonly generate, can have some 35,000 volts of electricity. Either a billion volts or 35,000 volts are far more than enough to destroy important electronics within mission-critical systems. In military and aerospace markets, protecting costly equipment – from vehicles to aircraft and beyond – from such electrical events is a requirement.
Any computer chip exposed to such electrical transients, without proper electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, will experience catastrophic destruction. An ESD transient can bore through the layers of a device, severing any trace of an integrated circuit in part or in whole. This can cause intermittent or no operation capabilities for the related system.
Because of these concerns, there are extensive military and aerospace standards defined to protect electronic circuits. MIL-STD-704 defines protection for aircraft, MIL-STD-1275 for vehicles, and MIL-STD-1399 for shipboards. In addition, RTCA/DO-160 defines added circuit protection for aircrafts and MIL-STD-331 adds helicopters. These standards define how to ensure proper circuit protection against lightning, inductive switching, ESD, electromagnetic interference/radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI), and against nuclear electro-magnetic pulses.
Within military and aerospace electronics systems, there are a wide variety of applications that these standards were designed for:
- Fire Control Systems
- Soldier Command Systems
- Modular Laser Fire Control Systems
- Multi-Sensor Platforms
- Power Supplies and Control Systems (28V power supply and battery)
- High-Current MOSFETs
- Avionics Communications Systems
- Navigation Systems
- Static Inverters
- Other Control Systems
- Avionics Instrumentation
ProTek Devices has an extensive family of circuit protection components widely used in any of these military and aerospace applications. The components deliver primary and/or secondary side protection against ESD, electrical fast transients (EFT), surge, and lightning. They can also provide common-mode, differential-mode, and low capacitance
protection. ProTek Devices’ components are well-known for meeting the strictest of standards requirements, from military standards and IEC, to RoHS and REACH, and more. The components are also designed to be provided in small packages suitable for even the smallest footprint military and aerospace applications.
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