IMA Dresden employs Leoni Special Cables GmbH DeviceNet cables

The new mega-airbus A380 is expected to take its first scheduled flight at the end of 2006.

Before this time, however, the world's biggest aeroplane must undergo the most thorough airframe and substructure fatigue test ever performed in the history of civilian aviation. Among those responsible for carrying out this record-breaking test is IMA Material Research and Application Technology Ltd in Dresden, a long-time partner to the aviation industry which applies its expertise in the design, execution and evaluation of certification and development trials.

The Dresden-based firm thus places stringent demands not only on their famous examination candidate but also on the materials used in the test facilities, which are to simulate a total of 47,500 flights. Only endurance champions will be suitable for the drive control of the hydraulic cylinders, which will emulate the stresses of 1800 flights. For this reason, IMA Dresden will be using the highly flexible DeviceNet cables from the FieldLink® line of Leoni Special Cables GmbH (LSC). DeviceNet cables have a flame-retardant sheath (acc. to UL 1685 (CSA FT4)) that is also guaranteed oil resistant (acc. to UL 1581, Chapter 480). UL qualified cables and wires comply with the high safety standards required in the USA and Canada.

Flexibility was also a deciding factor in the choice of the network protocol for the testing facility. DeviceNet, which builds on the CAN standard, provides the same openness but is considerably easier to program. The hybrid cable structure allows power and data transmission using two separate wire pairs – a topology designed to maximise the ease of laying and installation, which in turn minimises project costs. This makes it ideal for the Airbus A380 test in Dresden, where an operating life of 25 years is to be simulated in just 26 months.

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