Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft piloted by remote control or onboard computers. They are an integral element of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) which consists of three basic components: the UAV, a ground-based controller and a system of communications between the two.
Also called drones, UAVs are often used for military missions. The electronic assemblies guiding their performance operate under extreme duress, making system ruggedization a must. Compared to manned aircraft, UAVs are often preferred for missions too “dull, dirty or dangerous” for humans. In addition to defense applications, UAV use now encompasses agricultural, commercial, recreational and scientific applications, like aerial photography, assisting agriculture management/production, drone-racing, policing/surveillance and product deliveries. With millions sold, civilian and commercial drones make up a significant portion of the UAV market.
UAVs are faced with many demanding operational conditions that require component ruggedization, including:
- Combat missions use UAVs’ offensive capability for high-risk aerial, unmanned combat missions.
- Reconnaissance missions use UAVs to acquire battlefield intelligence.
- Logistics assignments use UAVs to deliver cargo.
- Target/decoy missions use UAVs as targets, simulating enemy aircraft, missiles or ground and aerial gunnery.
- Research and development assignments utilize UAVs in service as a source of R&D to improve UAV technologies.
- Civil and commercial UAVs perform a range of agricultural, aerial photography and data collection functions.
Ruggedized products are designed to ensure ongoing, superior performance during extreme operating conditions. Safeguarding the printed circuit boards (PCBs) and similar electronic assemblies that power or guide airborne UAVs is of primary importance. Successfully ruggedized UAV electronics meet MIL-STD-810F specifications, which detail procedures that test UAVs’ capacity to function through various operational conditions, including:
- Low pressure/high altitude
- Unexpected low/high temperatures
- Rain or humidity
- Shock, gunfire vibration and acceleration
- A variety of other difficult operational circumstances
Parylene for UAV Ruggedization
Parylene conformal films are recommended to ruggedize products where ultra-lightweight, reliable, dedicated electrical and environmental protection is required. Parylene provides UAV electronics superior durability by combining strength with surface resiliency while adding minimal weight. No other conformal coatings match Parylenes’ versatility for ruggedizing applications. Parylene is Mil-Spec approved and has been used in custom military/aerospace applications for more than 50 years to enhance UAVs’ functional integrity and performance.
In addition to helping manufacturers meet MIL-STD-810F standards, Parylene coatings are RoHS compliant, meet IPC-CC-830 requirements and are itemized on the Defense Supply Center Qualified Parts List (QPL) for MIL-I-46058.
For more information about how SCS Parylenes can ruggedize UAV electronics, contact Tim Seifert at 317.244.1200, ext. 0220, or email@example.com.