Fiber Optic Connectors for Military Product Roundup
This week’s Product Roundup highlights fiber optic connector products for military applications from leading suppliers.
Fiber Optic Connector Products for Military Applications
Optical fiber cables offered by Axon’ Cable are compatible with a wide range of standardized contacts or connectors, including ARINC801, MIL, ST, FC, and LC connectors. Insulated with materials such as fluoropolymers (ETFE, PTFE, PFA, and FEP), optical fiber cables are characterized by their light weight and electromagnetic immunity. They have very low shrinkage allowing for very stable performance. Easy to strip, Axon’ optical fiber cables make the assembly process of connectors easier. They are designed to resist the harshest environments, including space. Radatox protection provides a radiation resistance of at least 200 MRad and resist to ATOX (atomic oxygen). They are also characterized by low outgassing.
Qualified to MIL-PRF-28876, Rev. E, Amphenol Fiber 28876 connectors are built and shipped by Interstate Connecting Components (ICC). They feature black hard anodized (BHA) PTFE plating for superior performance in corrosive and other harsh environments. Backshells are available in straight, 45°, and 90° configurations and utilize Amphenol Fiber Systems’ Quickloc captivation system. These connectors are precision machined to stringent tolerances and are designed to provide superior optical performance in extreme environmental conditions. ICC also offers M28876 connector dust caps that protect the connectors from contaminants to ensure optimal performance.
LightCONEX series of optical plug-in and backplane module connectors for VPX systems is Smiths Interconnects’ answer to the stringent SWaP requirements of today’s defense applications in which fiber optics are replacing high bandwidth copper interconnects. This VPX series of active, blind-mate optical interconnects offers flexibility, light weight, very high bandwidth, and forward compatibility. The LightCONEX active blind-mate optical interconnect is a revolutionary solution for VPX systems that includes a fixed, plug-in module connector and a floating backplane connector compatible with the VITA 66.5 standard.
Powell supplies the LC Field Fiber Optic Connector from Amphenol FSI. The patented RJStop system allows use of a standard LC patch-cord in a metallic plug, which will protect it from shock, dust, and fluids. There is no need for field termination. This metallic plug connects to a receptacle, using a Tri Start Thread coupling mechanism (MIL-DTL-38999 Series III type) with anti-decoupling device for high vibrations. LC Field Fiber Optic Connector offers reliable connectivity through a wide range of harsh environmental conditions. It is compatible with all qualified MIL-DTL-38999, Series III connectors; has fast termination and polish time, provides reliable, repeatable, and durable connections; and is easy to clean.
TE Connectivity’s NanoRF optical hybrid modules are for the defense industry’s VPX-based embedded computing systems that require increased bandwidth and radio frequency (RF) signaling. The new hybrid modules feature high-density RF and optical connections within common connector module applications like radar, electronic warfare (EW) missile guidance, and tactical communications, along with any other small footprint applications where high-frequency RF and optical signals are critical. The NanoRF optical hybrid module’s cable mechanical transfer (MT) and edge-mount transceivers provide additional modularity and options for implementation. Intermateability and interoperability among VPX suppliers is accomplished by multiple slot profiles and connector modules added to the VITA 65.0 and VITA 65.1 compliant backplanes and board-level profiles. The NanoRF optical hybrid modules are defined in the VITA 66.5 draft standard.
CF38999 Multi-Channel Fiber Optic Connector from Amphenol Aerospace is the industry standard for fiber optics. CF38999 meets or exceeds MIL-DTL-38999 Series III requirements. Solid metal-to-metal coupling, grounding fingers, electroless nickel plating, and thicker wall sections provide superior EMI shielding capability of 65dB min. at 10 GHz. Recessed pins in this 100% scoop-proof connector minimize potential termini damage. Shells are stainless steel or cadmium over nickel plating to withstand 500 hour salt spray exposure. These connectors operate under severe high-temperature vibration. Threaded coupling quickly and completely mates in one 360° turn of the coupling nut. The CF38999 multi-channel fiber optic connector is lightweight (17%-70% weight savings) and offers durability (1,500 connector couplings minimum). Olive drab cadmium (175 °C) and electroless nickel plating (200 °C) withstand 2,000 hours of salt spray exposure.
FOCuS active optical cable technology now embodies Airborn’s Rugged, Active Optical Cable (RAOC). Built on Airborn’s proven, high-speed verSI connector platform, RAOC exemplifies all the benefits of fiber with the ease and reliability of copper and is designed to operate at 4 channels at 12.5 Gb/s per channel (50 Gb/s aggregate). Features such as multiple points of contact, optimal material tensile strength, and metal backshells ensure that RAOC is designed and tested for complete reliability in battle, when lives are on the line.
CDM offers military circular connectors and tactical fiber optic cable assemblies from Microwave Photonic Systems. These military ruggedized cable assemblies are available for shipboard, mobile, airborne, and field deployed conditions as well as commercial applications for manufacturing facilities and the mining and drilling industries. For military applications, MPS uses QPL’d hardware and fiber cable qualified to DOD MIL-PRF-85045 and US Army CECOM A3159879 standards. CDM offers a full line of standard and custom solutions to the military, aerospace, wireless, public safety, telecom, and datacom markets.
Samtec’s ETUO Series is an optical cable system with an extended temperature range of -40 ºC to +85 ºC for military and industrial applications. Performance is rated at 10.3125 Gb/s per channel, and an integral heat sink provides optimal cooling for thermal operating conditions. The optical system is available in x4 and x12 designs. The series incorporates OM3 multi-mode fiber and is available in a variety of End 2 options and heat sinks for various cooling processes. The industry-leading miniature footprint of FireFly™ allows for greater density and closer proximity to the IC, which simplifies board layout and enhances signal integrity. FireFly Micro Flyover System® gives designers the flexibility of using micro footprint high-performance optical and low-cost copper interconnects interchangeably with the same connector system.
Kensington Electronics Inc. supplies Fischer FiberOptic Series, a new rugged fiber connector solution that takes fiber to new environments. These pre-cabled connectors stand up to mud, muck, and abuse in places where normal fiber connectors don’t dare tread. The robust push-pull connectors maintain high optical performance in extreme environments and can be used in a wide range of fields requiring faultless quality in demanding applications, indoor and outdoor, such as defense and security. The new Fischer FiberOptic interconnecting solution is specially designed for premium optical performance in extreme environments and offers the best quality and stability for an optical link, combined with extreme robustness, easy mating, and easy cleaning.
Learn more about MIL-Spec cable and cable assemblies.