White PaperAerospace

Electrical System Design and Integration


The wire harness and its associated systems are part of an exciting ride into the future. Although wiring may not be a topic that first comes to mind when imagining future innovations in aerospace, wire harness design continues to be an unseen or unappreciated item that will control and power those very systems being imagined.

The design process is challenging, placing significant pressure on the overall program schedule and budget, particularly on the harness team. Understanding the fundamentals and key factors of the development process and accounting for inevitable iterations during the design maturation in program planning can help establish a path to success.

This white paper discusses key elements of aircraft wire harness development in an environment of increased complexity, including planning, design of harness content and installation considerations. Advanced E/E system design tools and methodologies are included as critical components for success.

In aerospace and defense, almost every change during the design process will impact the electrical harness design. These can include component location changes, systems integration or other additions that interfere with previously located harnesses. Further, today’s growth in E/E systems content is increasing wiring and harness content, raising the complexity of developing harnesses and the difficulty of managing change to the point where traditional, disconnected design tools and methods will not suffice.

The use of digitalized technologies, such as the digital twin, are becoming commonplace. The electrical designer’s tools require more governing authority in managing things like harness route paths, installation and support requirements, signal types allowed, voltage drop analysis, current and load analysis, safety analysis, and material choices dependent upon the environment. Now more than ever, Advanced E/E system development requires a connected design tool that can grow its capabilities along with the data it manages.

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