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US Navy beacons use Omnetics? nano break away connector

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: 24 September, 2009  (Application Story)
Omnetics Connector Corporation has announced the US Navy’s AN/URT-140 Emergency Locator Transmitter is utilizing Omnetics’ new nano circular connector on .64mm pitch.
The AN/URT-140 personal distress beacon is a body worn system that sends over-the-horizon signals using COSPAS/SARSAT digital communication at 406 Mhz in addition to commercial and military homing signals at 121.5 and 243 Mhz. This beacon system features an embedded GPS receiver with automatic position reporting allowing for rapid location and rescue.

The challenge was to design an I/O cable connection that was rugged and water proof (IP68) yet small enough and light enough to be worn by a pilot on a flight deck. It was also a critical requirement that the connector pair remain mated during routine environmental shock and vibration yet release immediately in the event of an ejection.

Comments Jeremiah Feist, Omnetics Project Engineer: “Omnetics customized our 16 position Nano-circular by adding a canted-coil spring based retention feature. This holds the connector in the mated position up to a predetermined force, at which, the connector halves “break away” from each other with out damaging either half.”

A highly flexible cable was designed including shielding for EMI protection and a twisted pair for signal integrity. A rugged black polyurethane jacket was then sealed to the connector shell with RTP molded strain relief in Omnetics’ cable harness facility. This solution provides over 1,000 mating cycles and is confirmed watertight at a depth of 10 meters of salt water.
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