Page 59 - 2021 High-Reliability, Harsh Environment Connectivity eBook
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There are three attributes to consider when selecting a suitable connector for soldier-worn applications: size, keying, and range of motion.
1. Size: Soldiers’ bodies offer limited mounting areas, especially given the amount of equipment they carry, so small size is key. However, connector size also affects magnetic mating force, so the solution needs to strike the right balance between small size and secure mating.
2. Keying: The prevalence of soldier-worn systems means that multiple connectors with similar physical characteristics are being used. As such, keying is increasingly necessary to ensure proper mating and prevent subsystems from damage caused by mismated connections. Another solution is to forego keying in favor of universal, 360° mating freedom, especially for applications where the keying mechanism would make in-field mating more challenging.
3. Range of Motion: Since soldier-worn connectors are worn by their end users, safety and comfort are also key considerations. For instance, connectors mounted to a stationary location on the chest area of a MOLLE vest could be limited latching position products since they’re both visible and easily accessible with both hands, whereas connectors in the neck, shoulder, or leg area will need to move along with wearers’ natural movements while maintaining a secure connection and avoiding cable tangles and snags for safety.
If you approach the connector specification process by focusing on the features most crucial for the application at hand, connector selections quickly narrow and become a matter of compliance. The features and functionality that new generations of soldier-worn electronics require continue to challenge the connector industry to develop innovative solutions. In response, several connector suppliers are already overcoming these challenges with new categories of connectors, including a new generation of compact, lightweight, low-profile, easy-to-use, and environmentally sealed magnetic connectors.
Visit Amphenol Pcd online to learn more.

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