Funding awarded for hybrid electrical-optical test system

3rd October 2022
Sheryl Miles

MK Test Systems and AVoptics have been jointly awarded a NATEP funding grant by Innovate UK. The grant will fund a joint R&D project developing a hybrid cable test system driven by MK Test’s MKAT software, with AVoptics being the project lead.

The project’s aim is the development of a single COTS test system capable of testing hybrid electrical-optical cables. The requirement for these test capabilities comes from the growth in the use of hybrid cables and connectors, which combine copper and fibre in a single cable assembly.

Innovate UK are the UK’s innovation agency and part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). They fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D.

The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) is a £20m programme to develop 80 aerospace technologies in the UK aerospace supply chain. The project is already underway, with the first working modules expected to be available towards the middle of 2023.

Nick Baker, New Product Development Manager at MK Test Systems commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to develop a much-needed single solution for electrical and optical testing. With a continued increase in the use of hybrid fibre/copper harnesses in aerospace we can see that a single COTS solution would be ideal for both the manufacturing and aftermarket testing requirements. We look forward to working closely with our partners AVOptics and to demonstrating the joint innovation and design expertise we have in our teams.”

Andy Voizey, Managing Director of AVoptics, added: “We too are really excited to be working with MK Test Systems on a test solution for both electrical and optical interconnects. Developing a simple, single testing solution that has industry acceptance will have a significant impact on the industry. Using MK Test Systems' previous expertise and experience in the electrical interconnect testing area and AVoptics’ expertise in developing novel optical solutions, I am confident that we have the right team to deliver such a solution”.

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