In satellite applications, compared with rigid PCBs, FPCs have many advantages. The characteristics of FPC (such as weight reduction and reliability improvement) make FPC the best choice for space applications. Let’s take a look at some functions of FPC for space applications.
When designing PCBs for space applications, PCB reliability becomes very important. There are some examples of satellites that have been in operation for more than 30 years. Dynamic flexible circuits can withstand greater pressure than rigid PCBs. FPC can replace connectors that are more likely to cause interconnection failures. Most of the connections in FPCs are made through the substrate. Because satellites are subject to severe conditions, FPC can withstand. Flexible circuit boards are designed to bend thousands of times during operation. This will enable the flexible PCB to operate under adverse conditions.
Operating electronic systems in space is very challenging. Designers will need common electronic components to overcome these barriers. FPCs are more adaptable than any other type of PCB because they enable designers to achieve strange shapes. Flexible circuits can form complex three-dimensional shapes with branches to multiple connectors, while rigid PCBs cannot. Sometimes, it is not feasible to place a large rigid PCB in a small part of the spacecraft. The flexible circuit can be conveniently mounted on the mounting surface.
Compact and light
Flexible circuits have thin copper layers and insulating layers. Therefore, the bending radius of the FPC can be minimized as required. Therefore, these PCBs can adapt to a narrower space.