Engineer attentions turn to cables and connectors

Jan. 28, 2014
The complexity of aerospace and defense vehicles-manned and unmanned in the air and in space-continues to grow at a strong pace. Militaries worldwide are increasingly adopting multi-role vehicles capable of performing a wide variety of missions.

The complexity of aerospace and defense vehicles-manned and unmanned in the air and in space-continues to grow at a strong pace. Militaries worldwide are increasingly adopting multi-role vehicles capable of performing a wide variety of missions.

Engineers, taking a holistic approach to aerospace and defense platforms, are focusing their attention on the robust and reliable interconnectivity of myriad electronics systems onboard ground combat vehicles, ships, unmanned vehicles, aircraft, and satellites.

"Success demands a sophisticated understanding of the application and how well your product interacts as part of an overall integrated system," says a representative of TE Connectivity in Middletown, Pa.

A majority of aerospace and defense electronics systems require rugged and hermetically sealed connectors.

Attentions are turning increasingly to cables, cabling assemblies, and connectors, as engineers seek interconnectivity solutions capable of meeting a growing list of requirements and of withstanding longtime use in harsh environments.

Systems designers and systems integrators-taking into account complex system protocols, key electrical parameter requirements, and overall mechanical performance requirements-seek cabling and connectivity products that combine high performance, long-term reliability, and innovation while reducing weight and size, operating at high data rates, performing over extended temperature ranges, and offering 20-year mean time between failure (MTBF) life expectancy.

A majority of aerospace and defense systems require rugged and hermetically sealed cables and connectors, given that system failure in the field can have dire consequences.

The industry is providing engineers a wide variety of interconnectivity options.

Hypertronics Corp., a Smiths Interconnect business and provider of high-performance interconnect solutions in Hudson, Mass., crafted its Ruggedized Standards product portfolio to meet popular industry standards.

The family of ruggedized connectors is the Hypertronics response to the market need for a high-reliability connector solution which meets the mechanical footprint and electrical performance of the VITA 46 and VITA 48 specifications, also known as VPX from the VMEbus Industry Trade Association (VITA), says a company representative.

Virtually every aerospace and defense system carries its own unique requirements; luckily, the industry provides a wealth of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom options from which to choose.


AboveNet Communications Inc. White Plains, N.Y.
Aerospace Sales Industries Westminster, Md.
Agilent Santa Clara, Calif.
Airborn Addison, Texas
Alcatel-Lucent Murray Hill, N.J.
American Cable and Electronics Inc. Menomonee Falls, Wis.
American Micro Batavia, Ohio
Amphenol Aerospace Sidney, N.Y.
Amphenol Alden Products Brockton, Mass.
API Technologies Corp. Orlando, Fla.
Astrex Electronics Plainview, N.Y.
AVX Corp. Fountain Inn, S.C.
Brugg Cables Rome, Ga.
BTC Electronic Components Wake Forest, N.C.
Cables Unlimited Yaphank, N.Y.
Cambridge Technologies Tullamarine, Australia
Carlisle Interconnect Technologies St. Augustine, Fla.
Carrio Cabling Colorado Springs, Colo.
Centerline Engineering Fullerton, Calif.
CONEC GmbH Garner, N.C.
Conesys Torrance, Calif.
Cooper U.S. Houston, Texas
CW Industries Southampton, Pa.
Delphi Connectors Troy, Mich.
DiCon Fiberoptics Richmond, Calif.
Digi-Key Thief River Falls, Minn.
Douglas Electrical Randolph, N.J.
Emerson Network Power Connectivity Solutions Bannockburn, Ill.
Esterline SOURIAU PA&E Wenatchee, Wash.
FCI Etters, Pa.
Fischer Connectors Alpharetta, Ga.
Galco Industrial Electronics Madison Heights, Mich.
Glenair Inc. Glendale, Calif.
Gore Newark, Del.
Harwin Plc Salem, N.H.
Hirose Electric USA Inc. Simi Valley, Calif.

Hypertronics Corp. Hudson, Mass.
Interconnect Devices Inc. Kansas City, Kan.
ITT Interconnect Solutions Santa Ana, Calif.
L-com Global Connectivity North Andover, Mass.
LEMO Rohnert Park, Calif.
Lightwave Logic Newark, Del.
March Electronics Bohemia, N.Y.
Martec Whitstable, Kent, U.K.
Microplex Placentia, Calif.
MilesTek Denton, Texas
Molex Inc. Lisle, Ill.
Newark Palatine, Ill.
OCP Group Inc. San Diego, Calif.
Omnetics Connector Corp. Minneapolis
Optical Interconnect Dallas, Texas
Pave Technology Dayton, Ohio
PEI-Genesis Philadelphia, Pa.
PIC Wire & Cable Sussex, Wis.
QA Technology Co. Inc. Hampton, N.H.
Sabritec Irvine, Calif.
Samtec New Albany, Ind.
Smiths Connectors Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Special Hermetic Products Wilton, N.H.
Spectrum Control Fairview, Pa.
SRI Hermetics Melbourne, FL
TE Connectivity Middletown, Pa.
Technical Cable Concepts Costa Mesa, Calif.
Teledyne Storm Products Woodridge, Ill.
Timbercon Inc. Lake Oswego, Ore.
Times Microwave Systems Wallingford, Conn.
TT Electronics PLC Weybridge, England
Winchester Electronics Middlebury, Conn.
Zodiac Aerospace Santa Rosa, Calif.

About the Author

Courtney Howard | Executive Editor

Courtney, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at [email protected], @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

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