The Turret Control Computer (TCC) now houses 98% less wiring than before, and with the new circuit boards it takes just a few hours to assemble, whereas before, a new unit would have taken around 2 weeks to wire up completely. As well as the challenging mechanical constraints, there were some demanding PCB design issues to be incorporated into the design. These included differential pairs with tightly matched lengths and guard tracks around some very sensitive communication signals with complete over-under shielding. All of these were achieved with CADSTAR using the highly sophisticated Constraint Manager to drive the powerful P.R.Editor XR 2000 HS routing tool.
BAE Systems is a global company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land and at sea.
The AS90 is an armoured self propelled Howitzer which was initially designed for combat in the cold war and now supports troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, it finds itself in a whole new battlefield with a whole new purpose. BAE Systems performed a “midlife” update of the Turret Control Computer (TCC) in all 146 AS90’s in service with the British Army. The TCC is a compact unit consisting of 9 PCBs. A major challenge of the re-design was to reduce the large amount of wires used in the unit to interface the PCB’s to the external connectors on the unit. The Turret Control Computer (TCC) now houses 98% less wiring than before, and with the new circuit boards it takes just a few hours to assemble, whereas before, a new unit would have taken around 2 weeks to wire up completely.
The initial timescale for the project was 36 months, however, the update was completed 12 months ahead of schedule thanks in part to CADSTAR technology.
When considering what technology would be needed to complete this project, other leading PCB design tools were evaluated but CADSTAR was chosen as the best tool for the job. CADSTAR also had the ability to migrate all their legacy data from Visula saving valuable time and preserving sensitive data.
Paul CarrLeading Draughtsman, BAE Systems
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