Page 57 - 2019 Mil/Aero eBook
P. 57

Overcoming Harsh-Environment Connector Challenges in Mil/Aero Applications
Eddie Ayuso and Brad Taras, Product Managers at Cinch Connectivity Solutions
Harsh environments can be characterized in many ways, be it heat in an industrial or automotive application, or more extreme temperatures in military or aerospace applications. Some applications experience prolonged exposure to the elements that can be even more degrading, such as seawater or chemical substances, and most will be exposed to electromagnetic interference. Any one of these conditions can affect connector selection, but connectors intended for use in the military and aerospace sectors must be designed to withstand all of these extremes and more.
The mil/aero sector is also under pressure to do more with less — to deliver more signals, more data, and more functionality in less space and while adding less weight and using less power. This, in turn, puts pressure on manufacturers to develop connectors that can deliver more for less, safely and reliably, while still complying with stringent military and aerospace industry standards.
Cinch Connectivity Solutions offers a wide variety of connectors designed for harsh-environment applications in the mil/aero market, including unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), and unmanned surface vehicle (USV) applications.
Designing for Mechanical Durability
Mechanical shock and vibration are ever-present in most mil/aero applications. The challenge here is to develop solutions that accommodate greater levels of terminal density while still delivering robust and durable solutions that comply with all relevant standards.
Technology that can deliver high data rates as well as durability has been developed for these and other demanding environments. For instance, the same approach used to solderlessly connect land grid arrays (LGAs) used for advanced integrated circuits (ICs) to motherboards is being used to create connectors that offer as many as 5,000 I/Os with a pitch density of 0.004” (1mm), yet can carry a continuous current of 3A and operate in temperatures from -75°F to +220°F (-60°C to +105°C). These connectors are compliant with standards for the military and aerospace markets and can be used for interconnections, interposers, and mounting semiconductors, as well as connecting PCBs to cables or other PCBs. Their low profile and minimal weight also make them ideal for unmanned vehicles (UVs) used for surveillance, weapon systems, and decoys.

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