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Rack and Panel Connectors

ARINC 650 Connector

Boeing 777 Cockpit showing AIMS Flat Panel Displays

In 1991 Honeywell's Flight Systems Division began development of the Airplane Integrated Management System (AIMS) for the Boeing 777. AIMS is  an advanced integrated avionics system that combines the functions of many of the individual "black boxes" installed on previous airplanes.

AIMS System Avionics Rack

The AIMS packaging architecture is built around the concept of Line Replaceable Modules. Instead of the avionics systems being packaged in individual "black boxes" interconnected by wiring harnesses, AIMS organizes everything together in a rack in which these modules plug into a backplane, allowing high speed communications between the modules. This concept also allows system partitioning to be optimized around functional blocks such as power supply modules and processor modules.

The development of this new avionics packaging approach required a new type of rack and panel avionics connector, since the ARINC 600 connector family has a high profile (mated height) and is not well suited to backplane applications.

David Welsh designed and managed development of the low profile module connector for the AIMS system as Manager of New Product Development for ITT Cannon. This connector design was later embodied in the ARINC 650 packaging standard, and is among the best known of the many new rack and panel connector designs he has developed.

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Copyright 2003 Applied Technology Management
Last modified: February 16, 2007