Rugged CompactPCI electronic connectors for Curiosity Mars rover chosen from Hypertronics

HUDSON, Mass., 30 Aug. 2012. Electronic subsystems specifiers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., needed to find electronic connectors able to stand up to the punishing shock, vibration, and other harsh operating conditions of the Mars Curiosity rover. They found their solution from Hypertronics Corp. in Hudson, Mass.

Hypertronics, a Smiths Interconnect business, is providing Hypertronics Hypertac contact technology for electronic subsystems on the Curiosity Mars rover. Hypertac connectors have tiny conducting baskets that work like Chinese finger traps: the connectors hold tighter as forces increase to pull them apart.

Systems designers used Hypertronics CompactPCI connectors on the Curiosity rover, and proved to play a pivotal role in providing flawless signal integrity throughout the mission, Hypertronics officials say.

Hypertronics Hypertac contact technology went through extensive pre-mission testing for reliability necessary for the Mars mission. The NASA JPL Mars Science Laboratory required technology that had proven capability to perform reliably in extremely harsh environments.

In addition, JPL demanded connectors strong enough to handle the severe conditions of space flight and those on the surface of Mars. The Hypertronics Hypertac connectors join single-board computers to a CompactPCI backplane bus architecture that functions as the central nervous system for the Curiosity rover.

The Hypertronics connectors delivered the level of performance and reliability that was called for by mission planners, playing a key role in the success of the mission.

"Our connectors have undergone rigorous testing by JPL that involved extreme environmental conditions as well as extraordinary shock and vibration, and they have definitely lived up to their billing of fail-proof performance," says Hypertronics President Vadim Radunsky.

For more information contact Hypertronics online at

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