A United States defense standard (MIL-STD) is a document that establishes uniform engineering and technical requirements for military-unique or substantially modified commercial processes, procedures, practices and methods.
There are five types of defense standards:
1. Standard practices
2. Test method standards
3. Interface standards
4. Design criteria standards
5. Manufacturing process standards
Standardizations are useful in that they achieve interoperability, guaranteeing that products meet certain requirements, commonality, reliability, total cost of ownership, compatibility with logistics systems and similar defense-related objectives.
Standards for defense evolved because of the importance to ensure reparability, maintainability and proper performance.
In the late 18th century and throughout the 19th, American and French militaries were early adopters and longtime developmental advocates of interchangeability and standardization. By the beginning of World War II, virtually all national militaries and trans-national alliances of the same were busy standardizing and cataloguing.
Some standards have become more widely used than others. For example, 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.
Now 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.
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.
Historically the commercial avionics designers have preferred other data bus protocols for their systems but are now finding that MIL-STD-1553 fits the needs in newer systems. The rugged and reliable standard, with a track record of over 30 years of in-service history, is invaluable when it comes to safety certification to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards, such as DO-254 and DO-178B.
Military missiles and smart bombs are evolving into more sophisticated, precise, and lethal with the advancement of microelectronics. These systems have benefited from using MIL-STD-1553 data buses, by using the data bus to download information from the aircraft just before launch and coordinate information flow during the flight of the weapon.
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