Page 9 - 2021 High-Reliability, Harsh Environment Connectivity eBook
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Weight Savings
Weight savings is and has always been a key issue when it comes to putting satellites into orbit, whether they’re large telecom satellites or miniature CubeSats. One method commonly used to save mass is to optimize the design of the cable, which is a significant contributor to the overall interconnect mass, with lighter-weight material choices for both conductors and insulation while still retaining a high-level of performance. For example, lightweight versions of the popular SpaceWire links built to on-board communications standard ECSS-E-ST-50-12C Rev1, which are used to establish connections between on-board devices with data transfer rates of up to 400Mb/s, can save as much as half the mass per meter.
» Axon’ Cable’s Low-Mass SpaceWire cable leverages the company’s proprietary CELLOFLON expanded PTFE dielectric and AXALU silver-plated aluminum shields to reduce the weight of conventional SpaceWire cables by up to 50%.
Data Rates and EMC
Weight savings is one key issue for space connections, but higher performance in terms of EMC and data rates is very important as well, and these requirements are unlikely to be satisfied through the specification of lightweight materials alone. Instead, the design of the complete link must be optimized. Lean interconnect design engineers have to study and improve the design of all the interconnect components in order to provide robust EMC performance, excellent signal integrity, and high-speed data rates.

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