(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,967,830 B2
Cooper et al. (45) Date of Patent: Nov. 22,2005
(54) EXPANSION MODULE AND NETWORK FOR AVIONIC DEVICES
(75) Inventors: Robert B. Cooper, Seattle, WA (US);
Eugene E. Devereaux, Lakewood, WA
(US); Sharon Y. Kaku, Auburn, WA
(73) Assignee: The Boeing Company, Chicago, IL
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 203 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 10/649,750
(22) Filed: Aug. 26, 2003
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2005/0047065 Al Mar. 3, 2005
(51) Int. CI. H05K 5/00
(52) U.S. CI 361/679; 361/724; 455/431;
(58) Field of Search 361/679, 685,
361/724-727; 455/431; 701/3,10, 35, 36
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
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5,778,203 A * 7/1998 Birkedahl et al 710/306
5,946,472 A * 8/1999 Graves et al 703/6
6,133,846 A 10/2000 Birkedahl et al.
6,286,060 Bl * 9/2001 DiGiorgio et al 710/31
6,394,815 Bl 5/2002 Sarno et al.
2003/0003872 Al 1/2003 Brinkley et al.
An apparatus and network, each including at least one expansion module, and an associated method are provided. The expansion module can be disposed between an aircraft connector and an avionic device connector to provide an electrical circuit for transmissions therebetween. The expansion module generates a signal representative of the transmissions, and the signal can be communicated, for example, via an Ethernet network to a controller, data storage device, or other devices. Further, the expansion module can be received by a tray that is also configured to receive the avionic device, so that the tray secures the avionic device to the aircraft, and the expansion module connects the avionic device and the aircraft when the avionic device is received by the tray. The expansion module can be disposed between corresponding aircraft connectors and avionic device connectors, such that the present invention can be used to retrofit existing aircraft.
35 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets