The Many Applications For MIL-STD-1553

The first use of MIL-STD-1553 was originally developed in response to the ever-increasing challenges of trying to integrate various avionics systems and their need to be connected to each other.

Through the development and use of MIL-STD-1553 a definition or a set of stands for the Digital Time Division, Command/Response Multiplexed Data Bus was developed. All of these devices are designed to be dual-redundant, which is considered a must throughout the avionics industry. Additionally, they are also bi-directional and are a Manchester ll encoded databus with the option to attach remote terminal devices that will be able to respond to the controller commands and input.

The MIL-STD-1553B is a standard and definition of all aspects of the databus including the operation, coupling, format and structure, electrical components and characteristics and the messaging protocol used throughout.

The First Versions

The first version of MIL-STD-1553 developed out of the need to lower the cost and the complexity of point-to-point wiring in military aircraft. The first draft of the standard was not developed until 1968. This was created by the Society of Automotive Engineers or SAE, specifically the Aerospace Branch. Later, in 1973, it was fully adopted by the US Department of Defense and the US Air Force.

The next version, known as MIL-STD-1553A, was then created in 1975, with MIL-STD-1553B modifications occurring in 1978. These modifications incorporated the integration of avionics systems in the F-16 of the Air Force as well as the AH-64A Apache Attack helicopter of the United States Army.

The B version allowed for the interconnection of an increasing number of remote terminal devices, incorporating up to 31 in the data bus structure. Through this use of a standard, there was less wiring, cables, and connections required in the planes, reducing the size of the cabling systems as well as the weight.

At the same time, there was a decrease in the costs of manufacturing and development and also an increase in the ability to quickly connect devices that were all compatible with the standard.


All components of the MIL-STD-1553 including the bus monitor, cabling, coupling, topology and even test procedures were also included in the standard.

The testing is completed in five different levels or phases. This starts with testing at the developmental stage and moves up through design, production, systems integration and finally field testing.

The result of the extensive MIL-STD-1553 component testing, combined with the decades of refinement and application of this databus system, is a top performing component that is very practical and effective.

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