Page 14 - 2019 Mil/Aero eBook
P. 14

Key mechanical features of the connectors used in these and other body-worn applications include ease of mating, high signal integrity, environmental protection, cleanability, rugged contact and latching mechanisms, ease of integration, small size, and light weight. For instance:
• They must mate quickly, easily, reliably, and without tools in extreme environmental conditions, even if the user is wearing gloves.
• They must maintain signal integrity for more than 1,000 mating cycles.
• They must provide proven performance in extreme environmental conditions ranging from hot, dusty deserts to rainy jungles, the icy Arctic, salty sea air, and everything in between.
• They must be easy to clean, allowing users to quickly and easily remove mud, dirt, and other debris, even with just their vest or pant leg material, and all but immediately regain proper operation.
• They must have rugged contacts. Rotate and clip connections both have pros and cons. Rotation connections may increase wear on pins and sockets and, with time, can rub the gold plating off, increase contact resistance, and cause more rapid battery depletion, but are easy to engage. Clip connections are less likely to experience wear and associated performance reductions, but are not as easy to engage.
• They must have rugged latching mechanisms. Non-magnetic latches can prevent interference with magnetically sensitive electronics integrated into soldier systems and can also help reduce the amount of debris that is attracted to connectors.
• They must be easy to integrate into body-worn systems. Since modular, lightweight, load-carrying equipment (MOLLE) straps and vests are used with many soldier systems, connectors designed to connect to MOLLE straps and/or uniform fabric provide critical routing advantages.
• They must be small enough to fit within MOLLE strap systems and lightweight enough to help reduce soldiers’ weight burdens, but also large enough to be easily opened and closed by gloved hands and rugged enough to withstand harsh handling.
A tactical vest equipped with MOLLE straps and an array of soldier-worn electronics especially designed for ease of integration.
Although modern soldier systems have been rapidly evolving, standard formats are still needed to provide retrofit compatibility between new technologies and older, but still operable lines of electronics-enabled defense. One component that fulfills this unique combination of demanding standards is the Omnetics Cobra Connector System, which is especially designed to support the simultaneous, high-reliability routing of power and signal throughout arrays of electronics integrated into body-worn systems that provide soldiers with a comprehensive suite of electronic capabilities.

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