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White Paper: Defense

Trends in Aerospace Power Distribution


Electromechanical contactors have long been the product of choice for aerospace power systems designers. In a large commercial or military aircraft, contactors are used to control the different power sources, including engine-driven generators, auxiliary power units, batteries, external power, and ram air turbines. Power systems must not only accommodate the routine needs of flight but also offer redundant backup power and emergency power. Contactors are electrically controlled devices that use a low-power magnetic coil drive actuator to switch higher currents powering loads such as galleys, fuel pumps, or cargo equipment. They also provide power to secondary distribution boxes feeding nearly every load used in flight, from in-seat power to in-flight entertainment systems. TE Connectivity is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerospace-rated power contactors and relays for 28VDC, 115/230VAC applications. In aerospace and similar applications, designers are concerned with reducing SWaP—size, weight, and power consumption. Space is always at a premium, and weight savings translate into better fuel economy, longer flight times, and larger loads.

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