Embedded computing trade association VITA and ANSI have ratified a new standard for Air Flow Through (AFT) cooled plug-in modules in 3U and 6U form factors.

ANSI/VITA 48.8-2017 “Mechanical Standard for Electronic VPX Plug-in Modules Using Air Flow Through Cooling,” sponsored by Lockheed Martin, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, and Abaco and chaired by Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, establishes an open standard for this design which includes a VPX connector layout. It is the first open standard AFT technology that will be able to work with small form factor 3U VPX models. These are particularly useful in military and aerospace applications, especially for SWAP-C sensitive helicopters and unmanned vehicles.

Weight and cost can be reduced for high density, high power dissipation 3U and 6U systems using this standard, because wedgelocks and ejector/injector handles can be replaced with light weight jack screws. It also enables innovation in terms of light weight polymer or composite material chassis, since it does not use module-to-chassis conduction cooling.

Air Flow-Through includes:

  • 3U and 6U, using VPX connectors
  • SWaP-C optimized
    • Jackscrews instead of insertion/extraction levers
    • Option of lighter materials for chassis (e.g. additive manufacturing)
  • Alternate air flow arrangements permitted
  • Fixed slot pitches of 1.0”, 1.2”, and 1.5”

More information can be found at the VITA online shop.

VITA 48.8 is based on technologies invented by Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

The VITA organization connects suppliers and customers to ensure embedded systems standards can be used across the globe, especially embedded systems used in critical applications and harsh environments.

Real Time Digital Reporter