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MIL-STD-1553 is a military standard published by the United States Department of Defense.

The MIL-STD-1553 standard describes the method of communication and the electrical interface requirements for subsystems connected to the data bus. The 1 Mbps serial communication bus is used to achieve aircraft avionic (MIL-STD-1553B) and stores management (MIL-STD-1760B) integration.

A data bus is a system within a computer or device, consisting of a connector or set of wires that provides transportation for data. A serial data bus allows multiple microprocessors to easily communicate with each other over a common pair of wires using a scheme similar to a telephone party line. 

The 1553 standard is organized similar to most military standards with a foreword, scope, referenced document section, definitions, general requirements, the appendix and a tri-service Notice 2.

Some of the key MIL-STD-1553 elements are the bus controller, the embedded remote terminal (a sensor or subsystem that provides its own internal 1553 interface), the stand-alone remote terminal, bus monitor, and two other devices that are part of the 1553 integration; the twisted shielded pair wire data bus and the isolation couplers that are optional.

MIL-STD-1553 was originally designed for use with military avionics but has also become commonly used in spacecraft onboard data handling (OBDH) subsystems, both military and civil. It features a dual redundant balanced line physical layer, a (differential) network interface, time division multiplexing, half-duplex command/response protocol, and up to 31 remote terminals (devices).

Since its inception in 1973 and in subsequent revisions during the ensuing years, MIL-STD-1553 has evolved into the predominant, internationally accepted networking standard for the integration of military platforms.

Today, the standard has expanded beyond its traditional domain of U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft to encompass applications for combat vehicles, ships, satellites, missiles, and the International Space Station Program, as well as advanced commercial avionic applications.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers MIL-1553 Training, a 2-day course that focuses on what MIL-STD-1553 is and how it works. Participants learn about MIL-STD-1553 systems, analysis and design, architecture, protocols, applications and cybersecurity.

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