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Release No: 146-95
March 24, 1995


The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) yesterday signed a $12,129,612 cost-shared agreement with The Consortium for Vehicle Electronics to design and develop material and process technologies for low cost packaging technologies for automotive and aerospace electronics. The government's share of funding is $5,384,329; the balance is funded by industry. This project is sponsored under the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP)

Consortium members are: Chrysler Corp., Huntsville, Ala.; Delco Electronics, Kokomo, Ind.; Allied Signal, Tucson, Ariz.; Amp Akzo, Greenville, S.C.; AVEX Electronics, Huntsville, Ala.; and Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.

In this collaborative effort, the high-volume manufacturing and assembly process being developed for automotive electronics will be enhanced to meet the needs of the military. This resulting process will be documented and qualified as producing highly reliable components for harsh environments at a fraction of the costs involved in producing similar functionality from the low-volume, specialized processes typical of procurement to military specification today.

As DoD moves away from strict adherence to military specifications, it must find alternative commercially-viable approaches to ensure the level of quality and reliability essential in military systems. The automotive industry requires its electronic components and substrates to be ultra-reliable, withstand harsh environments and yet be low cost, all of which are also needed in military applications. With the enhancements planned under this effort, consortium members hope to qualify a low-cost reliable manufacturing process capable of producing modules acceptable for use in military vehicle applications. If successful,

DoD contractors and suppliers will then be able to produce reliable, low-cost products from this high-volume, commodity manufacturing process that meet DoD needs, thus avoiding the added cost of using only military specification components and processes. Technology developed in this program will also be applied to the design and qualification of a full authority digital electronic engine control (FADEC). FADECs can be used by a variety of military platforms, including subsonic and supersonic aircraft, helicopters, and tanks. FADECs using the type of multi-chip module packaging technology being developed under this effort have the potential to reduce the cost, size, and weight of specific applications while meeting the Department's standardization and commercialization needs.

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