MIL-STD-1553 Data Buses Are Not Just For Military Use
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The MIL-STD-1553 data bus was first developed for military aerospace purposes but it has long since been used for a number of different applications, both commercial and scientific in nature. Perhaps the most significant use of this technology has to do with its role in the proper functioning of the International Space Station (ISS).
Commercial Uses for MIL-STD-1553
When this kind of data bus was first developed, leaders of commercial projects used other protocols for a number of reasons including familiarity with older systems and even personal preference. The main reason for neglecting the use of this particular data bus was the fact that it did not match the specific requirements of the systems that were used when it was put together more than 30 years ago.
As time has passed and commercial aerospace technology has advanced, it has become more appropriate to use a protocol like this. In fact, this standard is now an integral part of the function of a number of commercial aircraft, including one of the Wide Body Jet Airliners designed by Airbus.
Space-based Uses of This Protocol
The MIL-STD-1553 protocol has actually become a vital part of the functioning of the ever relevant International Space Station. A series of these data buses works as an important connection between the different modules of the various countries involved in this significant scientific collaboration between even those states who consider themselves rivals in other fields.
In particular, these data buses link the Americans’ Laboratory module with the Functional Cargo block and Service module belonging to the Russian space agency, commonly known as Roscosmos. Also of note are the links between these modules and the European Space Agency’s Columbus orbital facility. This is not to mention the Experimental module of Japanese origin. It's also worth noting that this protocol is involved in the work of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite.
One of the most significant reasons for the use of this series of data buses in space has to do with the addition of the SPACE-PHY transceiver and transformer device. It can tolerate the rigors of space, including the higher levels of radiation and fluctuating temperatures from -55°C to 125°C.
Although the MIL-STD-1553 protocol was meant for use with military avionics, it's evident how far its modern purposes now extend. Its uses are no longer limited to use with F-16 fighter jets and the like, and have now been adapted for use in space as well as for terrestrial purposes. Fortunately this use extends to multi-national scientific projects like those conducted on the International Space Station.
Remember to consider all the ways in which the MIL-STD-1553 protocol can be adapted for use in technologies that extend far beyond military functions. Scientific progress is paramount to the improvement of our lives and this data bus protocol is right in the thick of it.