Automation is rapidly changing how numerous industries operate, replacing manual processes with quick and enhanced automated systems that can bring about increased efficiency, quality, and safety. The aviation industry is no different, and automation seeks to revolutionize processes ranging from passenger handling and flight planning to the actual control of the aircraft itself. As automation is quickly expanding throughout the aviation sector, it can be highly beneficial to understand its current use and future projections.
Electronics and integrated circuits are typically sensitive components, requiring a constant voltage at a set value to efficiently operate without issue. As such, it is important that voltage is well managed within electrical systems so that each component may be properly powered. While a resistor may be used to control voltage, such components are dictated by the current flowing through them. As such, current may drop and voltage can spike, resulting in high amounts of damage. To better manage voltage without depending on load current, most electronics rely on a device known as a voltage regulator.
Microcontrollers are semiconductor integrated circuit chips that contain a number of functional blocks, allowing them to serve as small computers contained in a single package. Microcontrollers are often used for automatic control purposes, and they are regularly found in industries related to automobiles, medical devices, embedded systems, and various appliances. Coupled with their compact size, low power consumption, and affordability, microcontrollers are very useful devices that serve numerous applications.
A resistor capacitor circuit, or RC circuit, is an electrical circuit composed of resistors or capacitors that may be driven by a voltage or current source. They are designed to prevent or significantly minimize the occurrence of arcing and noise generation in relay and switch contacts. The simplest type of RC circuit is a first order RC circuit and consists of one resistor and one capacitor component. RC circuits can be used to filter a signal by blocking certain frequencies and allowing other ones to pass through. The two most common types of RC filters are high-pass filters and low-pass filters. Band-pass filters and band-stop filters typically require RLC filters, though they can be made with RC filters.
When working with power distribution and handling equipment, transformers are an electrical device that may be used to transfer electrical energy between circuits. Since the advent of transformer technology in 1885, such devices have become a standard facet of the transmission, distribution, and utilization of AC electrical power. For the transformer to provide their intended functionalities, they rely on a number of standard components such as coils and cores. Due to the importance that transformers serve for electrical distribution, it is beneficial for anyone operating with such devices to know their general component makeup and functionalities.
A resistor is a type of electrical component that may be implemented within a system in order to provide resistance to a network. Depending on the type of resistor and its characteristics, such components may be used to divide voltages, terminate transmission lines, adjust signal levels, and much more. As the most common types of resistors on the market, thin and thick film resistors cater to a variety of applications with their characteristics and capabilities.
A rolling element bearing is a type of bearing used to ensure smooth and efficient operation in machines with rotary motion such as car automobile wheels, engines, turbines, medical equipment, and more. A ball bearing is a type of rolling element bearing that, while facilitating motion, serves three main functions: carrying loads, reducing friction, and positioning moving machine parts. Ball bearings use balls to separate races, reducing surface contact and friction across moving planes. The rotation of the balls creates far less friction than two flat surfaces rubbing against each other. However, because there is less surface contact, ball bearings typically have a lower load capacity than other rolling element bearings of similar sizes.
Within the realm of electronics, the advent and development of fiber optics has rapidly begun to increase our capabilities within many industries and applications. As a flexible fiber that is only slightly thicker than a single human hair, fiber optic material components allow for the transmission of data through light signals. From communication to power transmission, fiber optic devices have proved to hold many major benefits such as low signal loss, higher bandwidths, and farther distance travel as compared to conventional electrical wiring. Due to their rapid expansion into various sectors, understanding the material makeup of fiber optics can help you better understand how they function and the various roles that they can serve.
As aircraft become ever more electrically powered from the increased presence of electronics to the advent of hybrid propulsion systems, a great number of Electrical Connectors are needed for establishing the circuits needed for transferring power. With a large cable assembly present in many aircraft for powering flight critical instruments and systems, protecting such cables is extremely important. While many may take actions to ensure cables are not bent or damaged, an extremely important section of the cable that is often overlooked is the electrical connector and its backshell.
The landing gear of an aircraft refers to the undercarriage of the vehicle that allows for it to take-off, land, and taxi around an airport or landing area. The Aircraft Landing Gear provides for various important roles, facilitating the transportation of an aircraft to and from liftoff as well protecting sensitive components from the impact of landing. While landing gear may differ from aircraft to aircraft, such as the number of wheels or placement, most landing gear configurations operate on the same principles for their alignment, support, and retraction.