Military ground vehicles, whether they are manned or unmanned (UGV), are becoming more technologically advanced over time. With the evolution of technology for these vehicles comes an increased need for high-quality, dependable military connectors. Severe environments, size and weight constraints, power demands, and effective shielding are all factors that can make specifying the right connector a challenge, but there are many military connectors to solve the requirement challenges of military ground vehicles.
Military Ground Vehicle Design Challenges
The primary challenges that come with the design of military ground vehicles can be summarized with the acronym SWaP: Size, Weight, and Power. Major space limitations in ground vehicles make compact systems ideal. However, there is an additional constraint involved: connectors -- which need to remain accessible to technicians, especially in manned vehicles. Along with size, there are weight limitations. Less weight means less power required to move the vehicle, and even something as small as a connector can help shave off more weight. Power is another major constraint: along with the compact size and lightweight solutions, the system also needs to handle significant electrical power.
Connector Requirements for Military Ground Vehicles
There are certain requirements that all military ground vehicle connectors have in common. For example, the connector must be able to handle significant electrical power and have dense enough shielding to support high-speed-signal vehicle-mounted surveillance devices, even when surrounded by potential sources of interference. The connectors must also support cyberattack resistance against EMI and other forms of radiation and signal noise. A common solution is high-quality braiding of cable-to-connector backshells.
The connectors will also need to meet strict size constraints that often demand lightweight, miniature connectors. They must also support quick disconnect and fast changeout but still be accessible enough to allow a technician to work with them while wearing gloves. At the same time, they must be robust and rugged enough to provide a durable connection, while withstanding aggressive environments that include shock, vibration, heat, moisture, and dirt. It’s important to know the connector type and shape, as well as whether the electronic systems will be disconnected and maintained, while in the field.
Challenging Environments Call for Reliable Solutions
There are several products that are viable solutions for military ground vehicles, but there are three that stand out from the rest: the Amphenol Rhino series, the ITT Cannon KPSE series, and the TE Connectivity ACT 38999 series III.
Amphenol Rhino connectors combine MIL-DTL-38999 series III circular Mil-Spec connectors with low resistance, and hyperbolic RADSOK contacts. These high power connectors meet the latest military specifications, are sealed to IP69K standard, and feature RoHS compliant black zinc nickel plating, ensuring a reliable connection for military vehicles, even in harsh environments. In addition, these single-pole connectors are available in various sizes to handle up to 1000A current, making them ideal for power distribution systems in military and harsh environment vehicle applications.
ITT Cannon KPSE Series
The ITT Cannon KPSE series provides high-density contact arrangements in a miniature circular connector, designed to be comparable with the specifications for MIL-DTL-26482. Because they are small, lightweight, and able to handle up to 13A with wire gauges from size 24 up to size 16 AWG, they do an excellent job of meeting SWaP requirements for military ground vehicles. These KPSE connectors seal moisture completely by combining shell, peripheral, interfacial, and wire seals.
Their sealing capability, combined with an operating temperature range from -55˚ to +125˚C, makes them ideal for even the most extreme environments. These KPSE connectors can be used for subunits (air conditioning, fire protection, engine), control and distribution boxes, communication systems, and weapon systems.
The TE Connectivity ACT 38999 series III high-density miniature connector product line is an excellent option for high-speed connectivity solutions on military ground vehicles. These composite connectors meet MIL-38999 standards and were designed as military and aerospace components with small size and lightweight in mind. They are also environmentally sealed, triple-lead threaded, and provide outstanding EMI/RFI shielding.
PEI-Genesis Knows Mil-Spec Connectors
At PEI-Genesis, we have a massive selection of connector solutions for the military market, including ground vehicles and their SWaP requirements. We focus on assembling custom and standard Mil-Spec connectors for quick turnaround to help you reduce your acquisition cost and lead times. Our military connectors also help to simplify your assembly process and improve both the quality and reliability of your military designs. Contact us today so that we can assist you in finding the perfect solution for your military ground vehicle design!