With today's trend of using multiplexed systems in mobile equipment comes the requirement for a Universal Display and Controller. These Universal Display Controllers (UDC) are used as a means of displaying information to the user issued to and received from the multiplexed systems. The UDC considered is a DOS-based unit allowing for ease of programming and customization for multiple OEM's. A PCMCIA interface is provided to download the functionality of the UDC, in addition to being used to retrieve logged data and configure nodes.Since the UDC's are located in a harsh environment, careful attention must be given to the wide ambient operating temperatures, sunlight readability, emissions, and other considerations unique to the environment. One of the most critical components of such a device is the display, which must survive these conditions and perform to the stringent requirements of today's equipment. The UDC discussed in this paper uses a Planar electroluminescent ¼-VGA display. This paper discusses the criteria for selecting a display component for these applications.