SEMTAS device detects cable and connector corrosion

Engineers from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., needed test equipment capable of detecting corrosion on electrical cables and connectors. They found their answer with a test instrument from SEMTAS Corp. of Annandale, Va.

Apr 1st, 1998

SEMTAS device detects cable and connector corrosion

Engineers from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate in Rome, N.Y., needed test equipment capable of detecting corrosion on electrical cables and connectors. They found their answer with a test instrument from SEMTAS Corp. of Annandale, Va.

"We expect this technology will be commercialized, since it has applications as a tester for cables and connectors throughout the transportation industry for any system subject to corrosion," says Frank H. Born, the program manager at Rome.

"This detector will identify the presence of significant corrosion at any cable or connector junction," Born says. "You don`t need to un-mate the connectors or even expose them. All that is required is access to the wires that lead to the connectors."

The technology has potential applications in identifying hidden electronic corrosion in automobiles, trains, subway, and shipboard systems, he adds.

Detecting the presence of significant corrosion on connectors prior to "un-mating" them requires injecting a test signal through the cable insulation and records out the signal reflected from the connector contacts. The reflected signal will indicate the extent to which corrosion is affecting the transmission of the electrical signals across the connector junctions.

The acceptance of the test system concludes a 3-year Air Force Small Business Innovative Research contract with SEMTAS. - J.M.

For more information on SEMTAS, contact A. Turner by phone at 703-573-8454 or by mail at SEMTAS Corp., 7217 Masonville Dr., Annandale, Va., 22003-1632.

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