What are Nano-D connectors?
Meet the Connector: Nano-D
Nano-D connectors, along with micro-D connectors, were developed in the 1970s as a variation of D-sub (D-subminiature) connectors. ITT Cannon (formerly Cannon) holds the trademark for the D-sub and its smaller variants, although other companies have since designed their own versions. Like the micro-D and D subs connectors before it, the nano-D gets its name from its shape, which resembles the letter D.
According to Omnetics Connector Corporation, the military’s push for interconnects that meet SWaP (size, weight, and power) requirements led to the development of MIL-DTL-32139 nano-D connectors that are equivalent to MIL-DTL-83513 connectors. The nano-D is about half the size of the micro-D, and about one-quarter the size of the D-sub. At 12g, a 25-position nano-D weighs 12g and has one-eighth the volume of a comparable 25-position micro-D.
Standardization: Many suppliers, including AirBorn, Axon Cable, Glenair, and Omnetics Connector Corporation offer nano-D connectors that meet MIL-DTL-32139 specifications.
Size: Nano-Ds are the smallest of the D-shaped connectors. They are roughly half the size, one-quarter of the weight, and one-eighth the volume of comparable micro-Ds.
Pitch: The pitch for Nano-D connectors is set at .025” (0.64mm) pin-to-pin spacing.
Shielding: Backshells can connect shielded braiding from cable to shells, protecting against EMI and crosstalk. Slip-on shielding offers 60 db of protection. Tighter shield windings using smaller diameter gold-plated strands offer up to 90 db of shielding from exterior signal ingression.
Mating: The Nano-D military specification requires 200 mates before plating failure increases the resistance of the connection. Some nano-D connector suppliers offer over 2,000 mates before plating fails, extending the connectors useful life in applications that require frequent connections.
Plating: The recommended plating is specified to meet ASTBM B488 Type II, which includes 50 micro-inches of gold over 50 micro-inches of nickel.
Temperature Range: For MIL-STD-32139 nano-D connectors, the range is -55 °C / +150 °C (standard) and -55 °C / +200 °C (high temperature).
Durability: Due to their low weight and small size, nano-D connectors are better than micro-Ds at withstanding shock and vibration. Nano-Ds have been used in high shock conditions (above 10,000G).
Markets, Sectors, and Applications
Nano-D connectors are widely used in military and aerospace applications where small size and light weight are critical. They are also found in robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, air taxis, satellites, petrochemical applications, and medical devices.