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TE has been actively researching CNT for wire and cable, including cooperative efforts with universities and industry leaders, and has prototypes samples for evaluation. While there is still much progress to be made before CNT cables become main stream, we believe the technology is sufficiently advanced to meet specific niche applications such as satellites.
More. That’s the essence of pushing the performance envelope. For designers of embedded computer systems in military and aerospace applications, “more” means higher processing speeds to handle the ever-increasing complexity of signal intelligence and networked warfare. This, in turn, requires connectors that not only can handle the higher data rates, but also operate reliably in the harshest environments.
The rapid advances in radio frequency (RF) technology after World War II provided the building blocks for the highly agile radar and high-speed communications systems in use today. Innovations in RF signal processing, integrated electronics, and miniaturization of interconnects have contributed to the evolution of radar from large and cumbersome narrow-bandwidth systems requiring mechanical articulation of the antennae to locate and track targets, to the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems in use today.
As a young, vibrant, and rapidly expanding ecosystem, VPX benefits from the global backing of both the computing and aerospace/defense industries. This widespread backing has driven the standardization to move forward relatively efficiently, with many participants at the various levels of supply chain – components, subsystems and platforms. A key to the success of VPX has been the heavy reliance on commercial off-the-shelf products, fostering a wide international supplier base, shortening time to market and further feeding the ecosystem’s evolution.
A new generation of miniature and nanominiature connectors now supports the needs of high-speed I/O, for 100-ohm data busses like Gigabit and 10G Ethernet. Such connectors use robust designs already time tested in adverse environments to cancel noise, decrease crosstalk, and maintain signal integrity.
A growing trend in electronic packaging for military and aerospace applications is the availability of multi-contact coaxial interconnects. A key driver is the desire to provide RF disconnect capability at the backplane/daughtercard interface. This simplifies engagement and disengagement by eliminating the need for the cables on the front panel (top side of the daughtercard).
As electronic miniaturization packed more and more capabilities into smaller packages, smaller connectors became desirable. Reducing both size and weight are critical factors in military/aerospace applications. The subminiature-D connector gave way to the microminiature-D. Today, Nanominiature connectors offer even more dramatic space and weight savings in applications where maximum space and weight savings are crucial design factors.
Recent advances in materials and fabrication technologies are now enabling improved antenna designs with reduced size, weight, aerodynamic drag, and cost. Key innovations influencing next-generation antenna designs include composite materials and novel selective metallization processes. These innovations combine to allow cost-effective realization of three-dimensional antennas that are mechanically robust and can withstand harsh environmental conditions. Republished from Aerospace & Defense Technology, May 2014