LONDON C-MAC MicroTechnology has won a contract expected to be worth around £8 million over the next five years, from Galileo Avionica to supply high-speed microelectronic and electro-optical modules for the Eurofighter Typhoon military aircraft, as well as the NATO NH90 and AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin helicopters.
CMAC (Great Yarmouth, U.K.) components based on the Stanag 3910 optical data bus specification will provide the interface between critical components of Typhoon’s advanced ‘fly-by-light’ control system, including radio communications, altimeter, cockpit control and munitions computers. This optical system safeguards against jamming and other electromagnetic interference that can adversely affect the electrical data bus of conventional ‘fly-by-wire’ systems.
While fly-by-wire typically operates over a 1 Mbit/s data bus based on Mil-Std-1553, the Stanag 3910 optical system used in Typhoon is designed for transfer rates 20 times as fast.
Implementing the electro-optical interface in an application where tolerance to extremes of temperature and shock and elimination of electromagnetic interference within the system are of critical importance placed great demands even on C-MAC’s experienced manufacturing team.
Marino Diani, Strategic Procurement Director with Galileo Avionica, said, “The requirements of military and aerospace electronics are extremely tough — especially at 20 Mbit/s. Consistency in adhering to the precise specifications is vital. C-MAC is a world-class partner for the manufacture of fibre optics and hybrid microcircuits. Having worked with them since 1988, we could trust them to deliver.”
Duncan Ralph, Chief Executive of C-MAC MicroTechnology, said, “This contract is a testament to C-MAC’s close working relationship built up with Galileo Avionica over a number of years. In underlining our commitment to the aerospace and defence sectors, it supports our strategy for future growth into other markets that demand high performance and reliability of applications operating in harsh environments.”
From left: Maurizio Milazzi, Head of Procurement, Galileo Avionica; Duncan Ralph, Chief Executive, C-MAC MicroTechnology; Marino Diani, Strategic Procurement Director, Galileo Avionica