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Latest Additions Include Power Distribution Units and Solid-State Circuit Breaker

Oct 18, 2004

CONTACT: Laura Dion (978) 988-4639

WILMINGTON, MA, - AMETEK Aerospace & Defense has added several new products to its AMPHION line of solid-state power controllers.  They include a Power Distribution Unit (PDU) that replaces a centralized circuit breaker panel and an MS3320-sized Solid-State Circuit Breaker (SSCB) that combines circuit breaker, load monitoring and relay functions. 

Both the PDU and SSCB can be used with a wide range of aircraft devices, replacing mechanical or solid-state relays.  These include cabin and galley systems, engine controls, interior and exterior lights, fuel and oil pumps, utility systems, and control surface actuators.  Both are suitable for new aircraft designs and usable on older aircraft without rewiring.

At the heart of each is patented AMPHION circuitry that serves as the building block for an entirely new architecture for the control and distribution of aircraft power.  AMPHION is an extremely reliable, high-speed, solid-state switch that can simultaneously act as a relay, circuit breaker, pulsed-power controller, line protector and line monitor.

Each AMPHION PDU has 16 DC or 12 AC channels per unit that can easily be installed beneath the interior panels of an aircraft.  It can provide digital bus control for all electrical devices up to 20 Amps DC and 40 Amps AC per channel.  Multiple PDUs can be stacked to increase the number of channels in any particular location. The PDUs can be located throughout an aircraft, allowing for easy configuration changes and providing maximum flexibility for customizing aircraft interiors. AMPHION PDUs eliminate the need to route electrical wires to a centralized location, significantly reducing the amount of wiring, simplifying installation, saving weight, and increasing system reliability. Each also has a removable Personality Module that allows its circuits to be easily set for different load applications.  A 15 Amp circuit, for example, can be set down to a 10 Amp circuit by turning an adjustment screw, making the unit extremely flexible and adjustable for future aircraft modifications.

The AMPHION SSCB resembles a traditional circuit breaker.  It has a manual actuator with functions similar to an electromechanical circuit breaker and a one-wire digital bus that allows for remote operation and measurement of voltage, current and status. Its MS3320-size case is the smallest style case for a traditional circuit breaker.

Unlike other solid-state devices, AMPHION is guaranteed and patented to not fail shorted.  Its unique fail-open feature prevents a short-circuited load from remaining powered and unprotected.  Its patented circuitry design determines if the switch is in the proper conductive state. If the switch is improperly closed (conductive), it diverts the energy from the load and decouples it from its power source.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other international aviation authorities have increased their focus on arc fault and wire protection, especially as it relates to aircraft safety.  AMPHION’s unique sensing capability can be used to trip on intermittent arc faults produced by wire insulation failure.  It detects the fault current pattern typical of an arc and is not fooled by normal inrush surges or other types of current peaks.  In addition, it can provide a visual indication of the fault type and communicate that via its single-wire data bus.

AMETEK Aerospace & Defense has over 30 years experience designing aircraft electronics systems.  It is a leader in engine and aircraft monitoring systems, data acquisition units, fuel and fluid measurement systems, cockpit instruments and displays, engine and airframe sensors, cables, harness assemblies, avionics blowers, fans, and heat transfer and cooling systems.  It is a unit of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with annualized sales of more than $1.2 billion.

For more information on AMPHION solid-state power control products, contact AMETEK Aerospace & Defense, 50 Fordham Road, Wilmington, MA 01887. Phone: 978-988-4639. Fax: 978-988-4944. E-mail: aerosales@ametek.com . Web Site:www.ametekaerospace.com.

Click here for a hi-res image of an AMPHION Power Distribution Unit

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