Circular, Rectangular and RF Connectors for Aerospace / Avionics Sector
Today’s military and commercial aircraft platforms contain a massive amount of electrical and electronic systems, many designed for critical applications. From managing the engines and monitoring vital airframe parameters to providing a communications capability, these systems must guarantee failsafe operation in all conditions.
In addition, military aircraft need the very latest technology to control and deploy a variety of weaponry and defence systems, while passengers in commercial aircraft need the diversion of quality in-flight entertainment platforms.
Each of these systems demand the use of large numbers of many different types of connector systems, all of which have been designed to meet the stringent standards required by the aerospace sector. At Lane Electronics, we are able to supply from stock many of the high-performance connector solutions used in airborne and ground-based aerospace systems. These include circular connectors and rectangular connectors as well as RF connectors and cable assemblies.
The 8D / MIL-DTL-38999 / D38999 series has certainly taken precedence for airborne applications thanks to their compact bodies, high density layouts and secure vibration-proof threaded coupling. These are available in a wide range of shell materials including D38999 aluminium, D38999 composite, titanium and D38999 stainless steel and can be supplied in different finishes including RoHS compliant, black Zinc Nickel and Zinc Cobalt plating.
The use of different shell materials provides designers with the ability to select the most appropriate connector for applications where, for example, weight is clearly an issue. Here, the most common material specified for the connector shell is composite. It is 30% lighter than aluminium, 50% lighter than titanium and 75% lighter than stainless steel. Since these are used in their hundreds some serious weight saving is possible.
For ground support equipment, aluminium D38999 derivatives remain popular while stainless steel continues to provide reliable performance in higher temperature propulsion applications. Another factor to influence the choice of D38999 connectors is the fact that some pretty nasty fluids are used within this sector and resistance to things like de-icing fluid and JP5 is critical.
D/38999 connectors also provide an extremely versatile platform. In addition to the multitude of sizes, materials and finishes, users can specify contacts to suit the application. This can include signal, D38999 power, high power, coax, triax, quadrax or Elio fibre optic contacts which allows our customers to configure a connector to their own specification. We hold large stocks of these connectors, which are manufactured by Souriau, for whom we are an assembling distributor.
For even greater weight and space saving, we can also provide Souriau’s micro38999 series and Souriau’s 8STA series, both of which have begun to be used in many aerospace applications including throughout aircraft cabin systems and UAVs. Despite their tiny size, both series provide true D38999 capability.
The number of applications for these connectors can be greatly increased by the availability of 8D/38999 derivatives including reinforced and hermetic sealing, easy assembly clinch nuts and double flange versions that can handle very high vibration levels. To complete an 8D/38999 solution we also offer a range of UK-made accessories including connector backshells and protective / dust caps. These are manufactured by Weald Electronics and available exclusively from ourselves.
The number of applications for this connector format across the aerospace sector are many and extremely varied. These can include the simplest of drones, through avionics and flight control, to missiles and electronic countermeasures and on to communication systems and satellites – both commercial and defence.
Here we can provide connectors from Weald Electronics, Souriau, Positronic and Nicomatic that meet the differing demands of this sector. But, in essence, certain criteria are common and these are high reliability contacts under shock and vibration, and reduced weight, often with reduced size. All of our connector solutions address these fundamental needs and provide high-reliability performance over the broad range of applications.
RF CONNECTORS AND CABLES
Because aerospace electronics has reached such a high degree of complexity, ensuring that the individual components function correctly is a key element for safe flight and reliable control. The demands placed on reliability under rapidly changing and often extreme environmental conditions require premium-quality cables and connectors. We supply HUBER+SUHNER’s connectors and cables which are used extensively in applications across avionics including on-board communication and air traffic control. These provide the necessary high levels of reliability, weather resistance, low toxicity, power handling and low loss.