High-reliability connector range for new space applications

11th May 2023
Paige West

Harwin will be using the upcoming Space-Comm Expo (Farnborough, 7-8 June) to focus on its HRi range.

The compact and lightweight Gecko, high-density Datamate, and the high-power Kona series are all part of this high-reliability (Hi-Rel) interconnect portfolio. Every interconnect solution in the HRi line is intended for mission-critical environments like satellites, aerospace, and defence, where optimised size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) alongside high performance and guaranteed dependability are essential.

“Engineers are constantly looking to save weight and space in their new space design, which translates into satellites carrying larger payloads, for example,” said Ryan Smart, Vice President of Product, Harwin. “Carrying power and data in one connection system requires far fewer connectors, optimising SWaP-C credentials further – this is where Harwin’s Gecko-MT and Datamate Mix-Tek interconnect systems stand out.”

The smallest and lightest power/data combination connectors in their class, the Gecko-MT series presents engineers with an attractive alternative to the Combi-D/Micro-D format. To meet industry demand for a greater scope of options, Harwin has scaled up the number of variants with a non-symmetrical structure featuring two to six power contacts (10A) at one end and four to 24 signal contacts (up to 2.8A) at the other. As with the symmetrical 2-power/8-signal and 4-power/8-signal variants, the new additions have high resilience to shock and vibration. They support an extended -65°C to +150°C operating temperature range, with 1,000 (minimum) mating cycle durability. These connectors display strong outgassing properties and are fully aligned with the stringent directives set by both the NASA and ESA space agencies. Vertical and right-angle configurations are available as well as accompanying cabling.

Harwin’s Datamate and Datamate Mix-Tek connectors are highly suited to use in space applications and have a long track record. Standard contacts in the series have a 3A rating, while the Datamate Mik-Tek contacts can deliver up to 40A. With small footprints, these SWaP-C optimised 2mm-pitch components take up only minimal board real estate. The structure of these connectors has high resilience to extreme shock and vibration. In addition, their ability to withstand temperatures of up to +125°C, plus low outgassing properties are also highly advantageous.

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