Aerospace & Defence

AVX’s space-level BME X7R MLCCs are now NASA approved

5th May 2016
Nat Bowers

AVX has revealed that it is the first, and currently only, company to be recognised as a qualified supplier of space-level BME (Base Metal Electrode) X7R dielectric MLCCs for use in aerospace designs and US military applications under the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) S-311-P-838 specification.

This specification defines the requirements for high reliability, ceramic dielectric, multilayer, base metal electrode, fixed-value chip capacitors for high-reliability space applications, in addition to the processing verification and inspections required by assemblies used in flight. After several years of extensive testing and a meticulous, months-long review of the qualification data, AVX’s full range of space-level BME X7R MLCCs (spanning 0603 to 1812 case sizes, 2.2nF to 8.2μF capacitance values and 16 to 100V ratings) are now listed on the NASA website as approved electronic components for applications including I/O filtering and bulk storage in the SMPS in space and satellite communications and launchers, military defence and weapons systems and radar systems.

Exhibiting Capacitance Voltage (CV) capabilities superior to those of Precious Metal Electrode (PME) MLCCs, which have long been the standard for the global aerospace industry, AVX’s space-level BME MLCCs provide the extremely high-reliability performance required by the space industry while also delivering higher capacitance values in significantly smaller cases sizes, enabling revolutionary reductions of board space, weight and component count, which directly translate into lower launch costs. Featuring Flexiterm terminations, AVX’s space-level BME X7R MLCCs also provide considerably enhanced resistance to mechanical stress by allowing for more board flexure than standard terminations, especially in large case sizes. Tested using MIL-SPEC standards and methods, including 100% ultrasonic examination in compliance with the S-311-P-838 specification, the newly NASA-approved series is available in five case sizes spanning 0603 to 1812 and is rated for 16-100V and 2.2nF to 8.2μF with three capacitance tolerances (±5, ±10 and ±20%).

Michael Conway, Product Marketing Manager, AVX, commented: “After years of extensive testing per NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) S-311 specifications and an extremely meticulous review of the masses of qualification data that has been underway since last summer, AVX has finally become the first and only manufacturer authorised to supply BME X7R MLCCs for use in US military and aerospace applications. The high CV capabilities of our surface-mount BME capacitors enable the use of smaller PCBs that weigh less and have fewer components, effectively satisfying aerospace designers’ requests for miniature, lightweight components capable of peak mission-critical performance.”

AVX’s space-level BME X7R MLCCs in 0603 to 1812 case sizes are also the first such capacitors approved for use in European Space applications, and are listed on the European Space Association’s (ESA’s) Qualified Parts List (QPL) under the criteria of the European Space Components Coordination’s (ESCC’s) 3009/041 specification.

The series ships with standard lead-times and each production lot comes complete with a Certificate of Compliance (C of C), Destructive Physical Analysis (DPA) and a summary data package.

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