Well obviously, Everything!
But what exactly is “Everything”?
Modern military aircraft like the F-16, F-22, UH-60, C-130, B-1B and F-35 are all designed either fully or partially using 3D CAD models. In the case of the F-35, an even more complex approach was taken from the onset – the creation of a “digital twin”. Basically, a fully modeled 3D “twin” of the actual physical aircraft.
So, what does this have to do with wiring harness design software? The answer is, A LOT. Wiring harness design is one of the few areas where disparate data must be pulled together to generate a “digital twin”. In the case of wiring harnesses, or more correctly, the Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS), the two main datasets are (1) the electrical wiring required to connect the equipment together, and (2) the physical aircraft structure that the wiring must route through. Below is a basic list of desired data and features:
- Electrical design data such as signals, signal type, load, function and EMI sensitivity.
- Wiring data such as conductor types, connector part numbers, connector pinouts including shield terminations, and reference designators.
- A 3D model of the aircraft structure and equipment, with acceptable wire routing paths identified.
- Environmental, vibration and EMI data for the routing paths (needed to ensure the harnesses are designed to function in the areas they are routed).
- A software tool the designer can use to route the wiring harnesses in the airframe, assign clamping stations, disconnects, equipment mounting structures, etc. This is the most difficult function to achieve as electrical and structural data must be merged.
- A software tool the designer can use to “flatten” the routed wiring harness into a 2D configuration so it can be manufactured.
Fortunately, InterConnect Wiring engineers are experts on all the above aspects, so if you have any questions about software packages for wiring harness design and EWIS, please contact us.