The Defense and Avionics fields manufacture guided missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, propulsion units, and much more, all requiring a reliable means of interconnectivity. With the multitude of commercial, military, and industrial applications, cables in the Defense/Avionics industry can be subjected to harsh environments.
In a field with such varied and demanding operating conditions, one simple signal transmission error can have serious consequences. Specifying the correct cable for your application is critical, and should take such items into account:
- Agency Ratings: Vendors with appropriate Military (MIL), Underwriter Laboratories (UL), and ISO ratings for cables and materials should be used. These ratings specify items such as material usage, power ratings, dielectric strength, etc…
- Environmental Conditions: Temperature extremes, moisture content, atmospheric pressure and other environmental conditions should be meticulously analyzed and planned for. Take care in specifying the correct insulation and jacket materials.
- Exposure to Chemicals: The cable jacket should be resistant to grease, hydraulic fluid, acids, gasoline, and other common chemicals where exposure is deemed necessary.
- Flexibility: Rotating cameras, pilot helmets and moveable components are just a few of the numerous conditions where overall flexibility of the cable is a key consideration.
- EMI/RMI Shielding: Proper shielding techniques for audio, video, and signal transmission lines are vital for reduction of electrical noise. Serve, braid, and foil configurations are utilized for several functions including twisted pairs, individual bundles, and overall cable shields.
- Ruggedness: For resistance to impact, cut/tear, and overall wear and tear.
- Lightweight: Propulsion-driven and body-worn cables should specify low-density materials and wall thickness without sacrificing overall ruggedness.