SMT D-Sub connectors are robust enough for space applications

Small, light and robust, space-grade D-Sub connectors simplify PCB layout and deliver miniaturisation and weight savings, says C&K.

The space-grade D-Subminiature surface mount termination (SMT) range of electrical connectors, under CS-FR053 specification, are primarily intended for aerospace engineering applications such as developing communication and network ports for satellites, spacecraft and launchers.

Reducing weight and making space savings on PCBs are critical requirements for connectors in space and military avionics applications, together with straightforward implementation and operational reliability. By using SMT, C&K’s D-Sub connectors do not require plated holes to be drilled into the PCB, which frees up one side for use by other components, resulting in a simpler, lighter design and a miniaturised footprint.

Constructed from a machined aluminium shell, the connectors are smaller than those produced using the copper-alloy stamped shell method. This means they can achieve up to 50 per cent less weight compared to standard through-hole technology (THT) connectors. This construction technology also delivers better dimensional capability, adds C&K.

The D-Sub product lines conform to European Space Agency (ESA) standards and are qualified to the ESA/European Space Components Coordination (ESCC) code 3401. There are a large number of layouts available to serve most mounting configurations.

Founded in 1928, C&K is one of the world’s most trusted brands of high-quality electromechanical switches and high-reliability connectors. It offers a range of ESA and MIL qualified products to cope with vibration, radiation, outgassing, magnetism and corrosion issues demanded in harsh environmental conditions. Used in aerospace, automotive, industrial, IoT, wearables, medical, telecomms, consumer products and PoS terminals, C&K products include high-rel connectors, tactile, pushbutton, snap-acting, toggle, rocker, detect, DIP, keyswitch, navigation, rotary, slide, switchlock, thumbwheel, smart card readers and custom assemblies.

C&K is headquartered in Newton, Mass, USA, with global design centres in Newton, Dole France, and Huizhou China. Manufacturing operations comply with the stringent standards set by the DoD, NASA, ESA, FAA and all high-quality aerospace manufacturers and suppliers.

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