Dependent on the field of deployment, UAVs will vary in size, flying time and payload. However, the demands placed on components used will always remain the same. Size and weight are crucial, as is the ability of components to retain functionality even under the extremes of temperature, shock and vibration that are always present - especially during take off. Under such circumstances, interconnect systems are especially vulnerable, as they fulfil both an electrical and mechanical function.
Nano-miniature connectors may deliver what the UAV industry requires. Configured on a 0.025” pitch and defined by Mil-DTL 32139 these devices are only a quarter of the volume and have 80 per cent less mass than the micro D connectors they supersede. Based in Minneapolis, Omnetics Connector Corp is leading the way with its range of Nano-miniature Bi-Lobe® connectors, QPL’d to MIL-DTL-32139 and available in single and dual row formats.
Single row devices are available in 9 to 51 pin count versions, with a low profile of just 0.115in. Polarised to prevent mis-mating, the connectors feature a robust metal shell and jackscrew for locking and un-mating. They are available in wire-to-wire and surface mount versions. Dual row Bi-Lobe Nano-Miniature connectors offer pin counts from 15 to 65 positions with custom configurations available. Current carrying capability is 1A. A captive jackscrew system smoothly pulls the fully shrouded nickel-plated connector shells together, assuring scoop-proof mate and de-mate alignment.
Bi-Lobe connectors withstand a shock of 100G in each axis and have passed a vibration exposure from 10 to 2,000 to 10 Hz at 20G amplitude in each axis - enough to survive the high shock and vibration of aggressive landings. They can be EMI shielded to meet the requirements of the onboard communications optical and data links. These high quality connectors are currently used in cameras, sensors, and detectors on UAVs, as well as in navigation, propulsion and various weapons systems.