Skip to content

Design Guidelines and Material Selection for Aerospace PCB Assembly

High reliability isn’t only desired but required when creating PCBs for aerospace industry. Failures on the majority of space platforms cannot typically be repaired, contrary to very many commercial developments. Additionally, lost aerospace equipment like rockets and satellites might end up costing huge amounts of money, not to forget the possibility of human fatalities aboard spacecraft.

In order to verify that the development process of your PCBA complies with strict quality requirements which include record-keeping, monitoring, and all other aspects of the quality control, regulatory standards like AS9100D are used.

What is Aerospace PCB?

The aerospace sector makes use of aerospace PCBs. Military aircraft and other aircraft have a variety of equipment. Special circuit boards are needed since the industry is so sensitive. The answer is circuit boards for use in aerospace.

These PCBs account for elements like robustness, shock absorption, and humidity, among several others. They are best suited for our aerospace industry because of these factors.

The kind of material which should be utilized also depends on the task type they are meant for. The most common substrates utilized in aircraft are laminates, copper, as well as aluminum due to the high temperatures they are subjected to.

The dependability and robustness of circuit boards intended for different aerospace applications must be extremely high, leaving no room for error. An accurate grasp of how the printed circuits should always be designed as well as constructed to provide a very extended duration of the operation, in frequently quite harsh working circumstances, is necessary for challenging applications, like space missions.

PCB boards utilized during aircraft applications are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, chemicals, radiation, pollutants, and more, in contrast to the majority of typical PCBs.

As a result, these circuits should adhere to highly tight requirements, such as IPC-A-610E Class 3, that applies to electronic devices of high-performance whose uninterrupted operation is required even under the most demanding and challenging operating circumstances. The following are some of the principal applications covered by this standard:

  • Satellite communication systems
  • Applications for on-site data processing captured during missions or flights
  • Systems for passive detection
  • Navigation systems, the control systems, as well as on avionic instruments

Features of Aerospace PCB

Aerospace and Defense

Extremely dependable in difficult circumstances

Stronger circuit boards are needed inside the aerospace sector. These PCBs ought to be more durable than those utilized in usual electronics.

Aerospace PCBs are able to withstand these temperatures with the aid of high-temperature laminate, copper, as well as aluminum substrates. To stop heat from transferring to the other electronic components, thermal compound can be employed too.

Dependable PCB material

Additional elements are added into aircraft PCB design, production, and assembly. To help dissipate heat, some thermal compounds like aluminum must be used. Important traces need to be grounded and protected. They are usually sprayed using acrylic spray since they are exposed to hostile surroundings.

A capacity for stress absorption or shock resistance

This aerospace industry frequently experiences extremely high vibration and shock. Manufacturers of aerospace PCBs respond to this by changing the boards’ design. Instead of soldering, pins are pushed onto the board. This aids in securely holding the component. Occasionally combining the two pin and soldering is done.

Robust and trustworthy

Reliability is the most important determining element for aircraft electronics. These devices must function under harsh conditions. Satellites must continuously broadcast signals over extended periods of time. Because of this, the substrates used to create these circuit boards are exceptionally sturdy, and thus these components are securely soldered or pinned to ensure long-term integrity.

The capacity to endure radiation

High radiation levels must be overcome for PCBs to be utilized in space. Equipment can become damaged by radiation in the space. Radiation tolerance must be incorporated into the design of aerospace PCBs.

Resists rust

Any exposed copper is covered with an imperceptible covering. Aerosol coatings, as well as solder masking, are two examples of these coatings.

What is Aerospace PCB Assembly?

Aerospace PCBA
Aerospace PCBA

The act of creating as well as testing the electrical circuits present on the circuit board is regarded as the first step in aerospace PCB assembly. To make that electronic system function as planned, this could be done. It may also assist in locating any shortcomings or issues with these systems. Also, this occurs before they get to potential users’ hands.

The benefits of aerospace PCB assembly are numerous. First, lower expenses. Companies won’t have to spend extra money on labor or extra parts later on if testing procedures for products are successful. This is due to the fact that their machine would run effectively right away.

Because of this, it’s critical for businesses that produce electronics, like those that make aircraft, to spend time carefully preparing before manufacturing. This helps them service their clients more effectively while also saving money. It consistently produces high-quality goods.

The main contact point between the product as well as the system for flight control is a printed circuit board (PCB). Pick-and-place as well as SMT are the two primary procedures used in the construction of aircraft PCBs. Although both procedures use the same gear, their overall efficacy varies.

Materials Needed for Aerospace PCB Assembly

Circuits used in aircraft applications must have the ability of tolerating and absorbing significant shocks as well as vibrations and also operate at extremely high temperatures. Considering that the radio communication inside the HF band or higher is a crucial component of these systems, they also share many aspects with PCBs serving Radio frequency high frequency applications.

Functioning at higher altitudes increases the risk of radiation exposure, thus PCBs and other electronic components must be built to tolerate high radiation levels for extended periods of time without suffering damage.

There are several possibilities available when selecting any PCB material. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so before choosing one, you should think about your unique requirements. For instance, FR4 is a readily available, strong material that is simple to deal with. It is not, however, waterproof or flame-resistant. It cannot, therefore, be employed in the majority of industrial applications.

As an alternative, there is epoxy with glass reinforcement (GRP). Extreme temperatures can be withstood by this far more costly but extremely robust material.

It is perfect for usage in severe conditions where extreme temps are anticipated because it also possesses great electrical characteristics and is extremely abrasion and corrosion resistant.

Use GRP or FR4 boards with the copper traces integrated into them if you’re seeking for a solution that affordably combines toughness and electrical integrity. Such substances have a great conductivity. Also, they defend against abrasion and high temperatures.

Design Factors for Aerospace PCB Assembly

Aerospace PCB Assembly

Every PCB assembly follows a predetermined layout. The assembly of PCBs for aerospace is not any different. To achieve IPC requirements, however, there are a few unique design considerations that must be taken.

  • PCBs ought to be built to withstand the highest current load.
  • Components with low frequency and high-frequency components should be distinguished clearly.
  • Waveforms generated by certain components of high frequency component could have an impact on components of low frequency. The waveforms create noise and lower the signal quality, which is undesirable for items used in the aerospace and military industries.
  • Clean and protected clock signals are required. Physical shielding can be built throughout the design phase to accomplish this. Enclosures composed of aluminum or a comparable material are used to generate physical shielding.
  • High temperatures can be withstood by using high-quality heat-resistant materials. FR408, Pyralux AP, as well as other components from metallic core are just a few of the materials.
  • Anywhere heat dissipation gets necessary, thermal compounds must be utilized.
  • To comprehend how the circuit board will function in actual situations, impedance simulations as well as pre-layout simulations must be performed.
  • Pre-tinning stranded as well as braided wires will improve their solderability.
  • To prevent vibration, press-fit components must be soldered.
  • Prior to assembly, the thermal profiles that serve the reflow and wave soldering processes ought to be double-checked. By doing this, component damage throughout assembly is reduced.

Trends and Future of Aerospace PCB Assembly

There is a growing need for more sophisticated and intelligent products as IoT devices as well as smart technology expand. The result is that the electronics industry is growing exponentially. These developments are also being observed by aerospace firms. They’re searching for PCB assembly for aerospace. This is due to various fact that technology enables companies to streamline all the procedures involved in product creation and production.

They also can enhance quality control. Additionally, they can develop ways to cut costs while keeping high standards of quality by leveraging robotics and automation. The market for aerospace goods is expanding. This is because more and more people are funding commercial space flight.

Therefore, it is conceivable that there’ll be an increase in PCBs as we enter a brand new space era during the 2030s or 40s.


The speed and effectiveness of PCB assembly are essential to the aerospace sector. Each assembly task’s complexity might vary, although working with every component is usually rarely simple. To have every component manufactured properly and transported on time, a great level of competence and precision are needed.




                Get Fast Quote Now