Connectors for Military and Aerospace Applications

Precision machined tight-tolerance connector designs with military pedigrees are preferred for I/O interfaces in mission-critical military and aerospace electronics, such as cockpit avionics systems. End-user customers in mil/aero-grade environments have little patience for cheaper, lesser caliber interconnects that can adversely impact system life-spans and performance, even though they may reduce the initial purchase price of the system.

Durability, sealing, and size are important considerations for ruggedized mil/aero applications, but the list doesn’t stop there. Ruggedization, as a design practice, is applied to every aspect of an interconnect, ranging from environmental sealing to robust resistance to vibration and shock. Six crucial connector considerations for ruggedized mil/aero applications include mating cycles, coupling style, EMC shielding, shock and vibration, ruggedized mounting/electrical connections, and the right partner. Avnet’s qualified mil connector Value Add Center prides itself on quality, efficiency, and flexibility, as well as meeting our customer’s mission critical and business needs.

Connectors for Military and Aerospace Applications

 

TE Connectivity logo
Amphenol logo
Glenair logo

 

Mating cycles vary considerably from application to application. Mating cycle benchmarks are born out of military specification norms and are typically de-rated from the mating pair’s actual capabilities. Some systems require interconnects to be mated for testing and acceptance but, once engaged on the platform, are only unmated and mated again due to an issue or an upgrade.

Interconnects can be optimized for tens of mates to tens of thousands of mates. Material selection, finish, surface roughness, the contact system, and lubrication all play a significant role in the number of mating cycles an interconnect can reliably perform.

 

2302785-1

Multigig RT 3

2174211-2

Metal Shell Micro Circular

TE Connectivity 2174211-2 connector

2102771-1

Multigig RT2R

10-507937-092

Connector split shell (2PC) assembly

TE Connectivity  LRM-pr_FO_orange-leads-on-wht connector

233-206-G6MT25-4PN

Conn Circular PL PIN Contact 56POS Crimp ST Cable Mount

Conn Circular PL PIN Contact 56POS Crimp ST Cable Mount

 

Interconnect coupling systems facilitate mating and unmating processes. Simple threaded coupling systems are generally adequate for converting torque into axial displacement, but often require multiple rotations of the coupling nut to fully engage the connectors. Multi-start threaded coupling systems can reduce the number of rotations required to fully engage connectors, and thus enable quicker mating and unmating. One shortcoming of threaded coupling systems is that there is often no clear indication that the connectors have been fully mated.

 

806-022-ME24-186P1TA

Series 806 Mighty Mouse Mil-Aero Square Flange Receptacle with PC Tails 24-186 Pin Contact Bulk

Series 806 Mighty Mouse Mil-Aero Square Flange Receptacle with PC Tails 24-186 Pin Contact Bulk

2M805-002-16ZNU15-201PA

CONN, tri star PIN 12 POS crimp anti decoupling plug

TE Connectivity  2M-805 connector

 

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) shielding protects a signal from outside electromagnetic energy that can disrupt the signal and prevents emissions from the signal itself from interfering with external electronics. EMC shielding can control both electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI)..

Effective shielding in electrical wire interconnect systems depends on connector component selection, conductive plating, wire and cable shielding, individual and overall cable shield grounding, the use of conductive gaskets or fittings, and more. Because the entire transmission path — including cabling, connectors, printed circuit board (PCB) sockets, input/output (I/O) ports, etc. — is vulnerable, it is important to view EMC shielding in terms of a “follow-the-wire” approach to interconnect design.

 

280-018P3S25MEGN

Conn High Density D Subminiature F 25 POS Crimp ST Flange Mount

Conn High Density D Subminiature F 25 POS Crimp ST Flange Mount

2335890-3

Stainless Steel D-sub

TE Connectivity 2335890-3 connector

2102353-4

CeeLok FAS-T, IP68 rated

TE Connectivity 2102353-4 connector

All mechanical systems experience shock and vibration at some point in their existence. Depending on the application, sometimes the shock and vibration associated with shipping and handling can be greater than that of the intended platform; so, all environments must be carefully considered.

Shock is typically associated with rapid acceleration or deceleration. Shock also causes mechanical components to oscillate at their natural frequency and typically results in a short duration of sinusoidal vibration.

Vibration is the continuous input of oscillating mechanical energy. It can be sinusoidal, such as that generated by the rotation of a motor that isn’t perfectly balanced.

 

2102771-1

Multigig RT2R

TE Connectivity TE-2102771-1 connector

10-507937-092

Connector split shell (2PC) assembly

TE Connectivity  LRM-pr_FO_orange-leads-on-wht connector

2M805-002-16ZNU15-201PA

CONN, tri star PIN 12 POS crimp anti decoupling plug

TE Connectivity  2M-805 connector

Weld- and solder-mount I/O receptacles can contribute to ruggedization, especially in tightly-sealed systems. For general environmental applications, designers tend to select single-hole jam-nut mounted receptacles over multiple-hole box- or wall-mount receptacles due to ease of assembly and superior sealing. Simply put, the more holes you introduce into your box or panel, the greater the odds of suffering an environmental leak.

One of the challenges for I/O connector-to-board terminations is maintaining the electrical “goodness” of the signal. In high-speed systems that have little or no budget for signal degradation, designers sometimes opt for the shortest and most direct board termination. These junctures can be ruggedized by selecting PCB-mount connectors that incorporate auxiliary mounting posts (i.e., threaded attachments) or extremely rugged eye-of-the-needle (i.e., compliant pin) PC-tail terminations. When opting for ribbon wire or flex for final termination to the board, care must be given to ensure that impedance-matching and shielding is maintained from the I/O all the way to the board.

 

2102353-4

CeeLok FAS-T, IP68 rated

TE Connectivity 2102353-4 connector

2335890-3

Stainless Steel D-sub

TE Connectivity 2335890-3 connector

202A111-25-G07-0

Micro boot

TE Connectivity 202A111-25-G07-0 connector

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Connectors and cable assemblies are an essential part of moving data, signal and power throughout your system.