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An Avionics Integrity Program Approach to Preventing Aircraft Electronics Humidity and Moisture Problems

[+] Author Affiliations
Charles Lide, Stefan Glista

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Marietta, GA

Paper No. IMECE2009-10532, pp. 341-353; 13 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Electronics and Photonics
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4378-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Analysis of the causes of airborne electronics field failures indicates that humidity, moisture, and corrosion are significant contributors to the total field failure population. In spite of this fact, analysis methods, test methods and standard procedures to address these problems are less mature than those for other electronics failure mechanisms such as low and high cycle fatigue. An Avionics Integrity Program (AVIP) approach to address humidity and moisture issues is outlined. Programmatic and technical issues associated with achieving humidity and moisture resistance are discussed. The paper focuses on the steps to be taken at each stage of the development and verification process to reduce the probability of moisture related problems escaping to later stages of development and verification. Design and development process improvements are discussed along with areas of need for improved methods. Sources of moisture including the influence of cooling interface temperatures are presented along with mitigations to moisture sources. Examples of moisture-related failures are discussed along with corrective actions to the electronic equipment. Design criteria to prevent moisture-related failures and achieve a moisture-resistant design are presented. Limitations of humidity test methods are covered along with suggested improvements to increase realism of testing to match the severe environmental and operating conditions. Finally, field life management moisture screening is proposed.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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