The Commercial Aircraft Data 1553 Bus – A Practical Approach

Posted By : Aubrey Mead , on Dec, 2015


MIL-STD-1553 or 1553 bus system is a military standard published by the United States Department of Defense that defines the mechanical, electrical, and functional characteristics of a serial data bus. It was originally designed as an avionic data bus for use with military avionics, but has also become commonly used in spacecraft on-board data handling (OBDH) subsystems, both military and civil.

Advanced Technology
The 1553 bus system is a mature field proven technology that provides an ideal solution for emerging commercial aerospace applications. DDC is offering a wide variety of solutions based on this mature technology. It features multiple (commonly dual) redundant balanced line physical layers, a (differential) network interface, time division multiplexing, half-duplex command/response protocol, and can handle up to 30 Remote Terminals (devices). A version of MIL-STD-1553 using optical cabling in place of electrical is known as MIL-STD-1773.

System Revisions
MIL-STD-1553B, which superseded the earlier 1975 specification MIL-STD-1553A, was published in 1978. The basic difference between the 1553A and 1553B revisions is that in the latter, the options are defined rather than being left for the user to define as required. It was found that when the standard did not define an item, there was no coordination in its use. Hardware and software had to be redesigned for each new application.

System Flexibility
The primary goal of the 1553B was to provide flexibility without creating new designs for each new user. This was accomplished by specifying the electrical interfaces explicitly so that electrical compatibility between designs by different manufacturers could be assured. The MIL-STD-1553 standard is now maintained by both the U.S. Department of Defense and the Aerospace branch of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Physical Layer
A single bus consists of a wire pair with 70–85 Ω impedance at 1 MHz. Where a circular connector is used, its center pin is used for the high (positive) Manchester bi-phase signal. Transmitters and receivers couple to the bus via isolation transformers, and stub connections branch off using a pair of isolation resistors and, optionally, a coupling transformer. This reduces the impact of a short circuit and assures that the bus does not conduct current through the aircraft.

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