SMP connectors for LTE cellular network on the moon

1st December 2020
Alex Lynn

Within a short time SMP connectors from Rosenberger will be taking a long trip: the LTE cellular network on the moon will be operational by the end of 2022. Long-term tested and successfully qualified SMP connectors for aerospace applications will be core components for enabling fast, precise and highly reliable satellite communication across the universe.

LTE cellular networks provide the technology required for high-speed transmission of huge data rates:  necessary for vital command, control functions and remote control of lunar vehicles for scientific research applications; real-time navigation; and streaming of high definition videos from the lunar surface to earth.   

Rosenberger claims to be the only manufacturer of SMP connectors certified by ESA (European Space Agency) for space applications. Further connector series from Rosenberger - SMA, RPC-2.92 and TNC – are also qualified by the ESA standard ESCC 3402 (European Space Components Coordination) and fulfil the high requirements of the aerospace industry. 

ExoMars mission: Rosenberger SMP connectors on board

For the ExoMars mission 2020 - postponed to 2022 - SMP as well as SMA connectors are qualified for use on board. Connectors from Rosenberger will therefore play an essential role in the scientific search for biological life on the red planet.

In 2016, Rosenberger had been part of the Russian-European ExoMars mission: On 14th March 2016, ESA launched the ‘Trace Gas Orbiter’ and the landing demonstrator module ‘Schiaparelli’ to Mars. On board were ESA certified SMP connectors from Rosenberger which supported the communications with ESA ground control.  

The goal of the next ExoMars mission in 2022 is to search for evidence of methane and other trace atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. The testing of key technologies in preparation for ESA’s future missions to Mars will also be an important goal of the expedition.

One challenge in developing and producing connectors for spaceflight applications is the selection of appropriate materials and their assembly to meet the strict requirements for cleanliness. Rosenberger’s connectors have therefore been comprehensively tested for compliance with the high electrical requirements of aerospace applications.

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