A majority of aerospace and defense applications call for displays that are rugged, but the list of requirements certainly does not end there. Current mil-aero missions, projects, and environments are driving the demand for myriad display capabilities and characteristics, including touch screens, security, and on-board processing.
"The key thing to remember is that, if anything, the screens on a vehicle need to be even more rugged than many of the other components, because while most of the vehicle's systems are protected in racks, displays are almost always 'front and center,'" says Simon Collins, product manager at GE Intelligent Platforms, headquartered in Huntsville, Ala.
"Not all screens are created equal, and that's just as true for screens that will be installed in harsh military environments subject to extremes of heat and vibration, shock, moisture, contaminant ingress, and so on," Collins continues. "Ruggedness in the screen is obviously a prerequisite; the screen should feature toughened glass to enable it to withstand accidental abuse.
"Glass needs to be chosen that is a suitable thickness, and then chemically treated to ensure that it is robust against the worst of the physical abuses it will encounter in its in-service life," Collins says. "The glass should also be treated to minimize reflections and to provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) integrity. All these processes need to be of the highest standard to ensure that the LCD image is not degraded as it passes through the glass; even the slightest hesitation in interpreting the on-screen image is intolerable."
** This article appears in the May 2013 edition of Military & Aerospace Electronics.