Subassemblies, modules, and components developed for various military applications, such as avionics, ground vehicles, and portable electronics, all need to operate in a variety of harsh environments, which range from extreme temperatures to high shock and vibration. At the same time, lighter and smaller designs are critical for space- and weight-constrained systems, and durability and reliability are at the top of the list of big concerns. These stringent demands translate into big challenges for connector makers to ensure that the interconnects provide highly reliable and fast connections over extended use and in harsh conditions.

Connector makers also need to consider a multitude of design requirements such as mating cycles for long life, ingress protection and ease of use. High-speed data transmission capability also is becoming a bigger factor in new communication designs. While component manufacturers need to meet specific military standards and specs, many connector manufacturers are developing their own advanced technologies and processes to provide a higher level of reliability and usability.

Addressing the need for watertight products in harsh environments, Cinch Connectivity Solutions, a Bel group company, recently released its Cinch Mil/Aero Circulars’ DMS-TP series. These connectors are waterproof when temporarily immersed up to 300 meters, and they are resistant to corrosion. They are also designed for ease of use with scoop-proof shells. The nickel-plated brass shells allow the connectors to withstand prolonged use in the presence of oil, gas, sand, mud, hydrocarbons, and salt.

The Cinch circular connector series offers a full range of frequencies, insulation resistance, dielectric withstanding voltage, operating voltage or capacitance. They also are available in hermetic sealing in any circular connector configuration. These glass, ceramic or epoxy-sealed packages can be used in components or assemblies in harsh environment applications that demand no leakage even under extreme changes in temperature, pressure, humidity and intense vibration, said the company.

A new circular connector from ITT Cannon also addresses ingress protection. Cannon’s Nemesis II CBA 20+ meters is a high-speed, high-mating and quick-termination interconnect that has been tested for water submersion to 20+ meters (65.6 feet). The miniature circular interconnects, designed for soldier-worn applications, operates in extreme and harsh environments so it can be used in battlefield communication devices and applications. It provides power, signal and data in a smaller integrated design to deliver reliable communications in a reduced weight solution. In addition, the breakaway functionality allows soldiers to quickly disconnect/reconnect their cables and equipment if they become caught, and the connector easily terminates to wire, PCB and flex circuits.

Read more: Building a Better Rugged Connector for Military Products