Evolution and Application of MIL STD 1553 in Modern Technology
The MIL STD 1553 was the first ever serial data bus to be designed and released only for military aircraft application. However, several other industries borrowed the technology modifying it to suit their areas of need as well. As technology advanced more, there have been several improvements including variations of the 1553 to help improve its functionalities.
First Release and Adaptation
The 1553 data bus was released in 1973 and immediately employed on military war crafts. This was the famous 1553A model found on F-16s, F-18s, the AH-64 Apache and the P-3C Orion to mention a few. The technology was only limited to the USA and the airbus was tailored only for the US military use.
However, Britain quickly got wind of the new avionic data bus and did not hesitate to borrow it for their application. Soon enough the British fighter plane spotted a variation of the MIL-STD-1553 under the name Def-Stan 00-18 Part 2. The NATO alliance followed suit and adopted their own version named the STANAG 3838 AVS. The Soviets weren’t to be left behind either as their then released MiG-35 fighter plane spotted a 1553 data bus.
With so many countries adopting the new data bus technology, it was evident that USA had to go back to the drawing board. They agreed to release a new version of the MIL STD 1553 that was all inclusive—versatile enough to be used by any non-US aircraft manufacturer. Their decision led to the publishing of 1553B which was a slight improvement of the 1553A model; the second version came with a more defined electrical interface which made it easily compatible on avionics boards from different manufacturers.
Solving Technical Issues
While the compatibility issue was finally solved, a new problem presented itself: multi-data handling limitation. The 1553A & 1553B data buses could only work on one bit connections, meaning it could only send data in bits. This caused a lag in how commands were executed while flying the fighter planes into war zones.
The solution presented itself in the 1553 multiplex data bus that allowed control of several remote terminals. Additionally, this data bus contained Remote Terminals and Bus Monitors. The remote terminals connected two data buses together while the bus monitors recorded all data transactions that happened on the avionics control board. Recorded data could later be analyzed leading to additional tweaks and improvement of the 1553 bus.
In present day, the MIL STD 1553 data bus has been widely employed in transport systems and the oil industry. As computers became more prominent, the 1553 data buses were continually modified for compatibility with computing systems. Today we can talk of the EXC-1553UNET data bus which is designed for USB or Ethernet enabled computers. An advanced version of this is the ES-1553RUNET which comes with an Ethernet adapter suited for computers in harsh environments. Another variation of the original 1553 bus is the EXC-1553ExCard specifically designed for express card computers.
The MIL STD 1553 serial data bus was first published by the US defense system for application in military avionics. However, its application has grown extensively to include the transport and oil industry. Technology has also tweaked the original 1553 data bus for multi transfer of data and also compatibility with computer systems.