What are MIL-DTL-83526 connectors?

By AJ Born | March 14, 2023

Meet the Connector: MIL-DTL-83526

MIL-DTL-83526 (M83526) connectors have consistent and predictable optical performance and are rugged enough to withstand military field applications.

MIL-DTL-83526 defines circular, environment-resistant, hermaphroditic interface, fiber-optic connectors. The specification details their characteristics, performance, and testing criteria. As expected, fiber optic connectors perform critical communication functions in the military, so they must be extremely reliable and rugged. MIL-DTL-83526 (M83526) connectors have consistent and predictable optical performance and are rugged enough to withstand military field applications.

MIL-DTL-83526 connectors use lenses that expand and collimate the light emitting from optical fibers across a sealed connector interface. The expanded and collimated light beam has a much larger active area than the original optical fiber core. This makes it align across the two connector halves more efficiently, while being less susceptible to dirt and debris particles that can interrupt data transmission.

Assemblies are available in 2 and 4 channels for a multi-channel optical interface.

TE Connectivity’s PRO BEAM Jr. connector series was the model for the MIL-DTL-83526/20 and /21 specifications. As the first to achieve full M83526/20 and /21 qualification, all connectors that follow must prove intermateability to the TE solution.

The benchmark PRO BEAM Jr. connector series was the model for the MIL-DTL-83526/20 and /21 specifications. TE is the first to gain full qualification to these specifications with TE’s M83526/20 and M83526/21 connectors.

The acronym TFOCA (tactical fiber optic cable assembly) identifies cable assemblies that are suitable for military use and other harsh environments. TFOCA is also used to refer to M83526 connectors. TFOCA connectors are typically hermaphroditic; the plugs have no gender and may be mated together. The connectors are built to military specifications that address contaminant resistance, pull strength (connection to the cable), and crushability.

Cinch Connectivity Solutions’ Fibreco S-Lite Expanded Beam Connectors

Cinch Connectivity Solutions’ Fibreco S-Lite Expanded Beam Connectors are based on the Fibreco Senior Expanded Beam Connector design and the M83526 expanded beam connector specification. As a QPL-listed part for the U.S. Department of Defense DLA, this connector is a cost-effective, high-performance, and high-reliability expanded beam solution for various military applications, as well as other rugged and harsh-environment applications such as outside broadcast and renewable energy.

Design Notes

  • Standardized as MIL-DTL-83526/20 /21 QPL; also meets German Defence Standard VG 95319-100 & 102
  • Available in singlemode, multimode, and mixed-mode insert options
  • Field terminable with standard termination tools and equipment
  • This connector is field repairable; the EB insert and shell parts are both replaceable and reusable
  • Available with 1, 2, and 4 channel plugs and bulkhead receptacles
  • Low insertion loss/high return loss
  • Protection class IP67
  • Mating cycles 3,000
  • Available in multiple types of plated aluminum, or stainless steel
  • Wavelength 850 nm/1300 nm (multimode); 1310 nm/1550 nm (singlemode)

Markets/Applications

MIL-DTL-83526 connectors are used for military field deployable systems, aerospace and defense tactical communications, security communications, on-board aerospace and marine networks, I/O applications in the field, radar, and satellite-communication (SATCOM) installations. They are also used in offshore and subsea applications, energy production, industrial and transportation communication, and broadcasting entertainment links.

Suppliers

Cinch Connectivity Solutions, TE Connectivity, Glenair, Neutrik, OCC, QPC,

Like this article? Check out our other Meet the Connector, Harsh Environment, our Military/Aerospace Market Page, and our 2022 and 2023 Article Archive

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AJ Born
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