Page 53 - 2019 Mil/Aero eBook
P. 53

The Rigor of Mil/Aero Specifications
Mark Sample, Director of Quality at Positronic
Picture yourself in the following situations:
• YourF-16isloadedwitharmaments,trackingthemovementofaterroristcaravanonadusty,Middle-Eastern desert road. The security of an entire province depends on the success of your mission.
• Your aircraft carrier is weaving through the same waters you’ve been traversing for the last six months, establishing a safe haven and platform for military response in a troubled region.
• The space probe you’re tracking is nearing Saturn, 746 million miles away, where the dreams of a 13-year- long project will soon be fulfilled — if all of the systems continue to perform to spec and survive both the rigorous flyby and brutally cold -185°C environment.
Spacecraft and probes like NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which carried the first human-made object to ever land on a planet in our distant outer solar system, the European Huygens probe, and transmitted data about Saturn and its icy moons to Earth for more than a decade require the highest-reliability components tested and proven to a spate of rigorous mil/aero specifications.
What do these three scenarios have in common? They are environments in which failure is not an option, where fail-safe performance is the minimum requirement. For this reason, the suppliers of components used to build and operate military and space instruments are held to the highest standards and specifications in the world.
These standards are commonly known as mil-spec or mil/aero specifications and, together, comprise the gauntlet faced by electrical connector manufacturers who dare to venture into this world of extreme benchmarks.

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