Objective of this activity is to develop fast locking connectors for cable assemblies compatible with standard SMA jack connectors.
Targeted Improvements: Increased layout density for payload equipment in the order of 20% together with up to 10%-30% reduction in assembly, integration and testing (AIT) time of payloads.
Description:Today SMA connectors are tightened to a specific torque using a torque wrench by AIT operators during the integration phase. The need to have sufficient space to access these connectors and to use a torque wrench requires a specific area around the connectors to be reserved in the interface design. The removal of the need to use a wrench would allow an increased freedom in the design of the equipment interfaces and locations.
The torqueing operations are also time consuming for AIT operators, during what is often a schedule-critical phase of spacecraft production, to ensure that the correct thread alignment and torque are achieved.
The activity will consist of the design, manufacture and test of asuitable fast locking SMA connector, including mechanical testing and thermal cycling. Several connector engineering models shall bemanufactured and tested to validate the mechanical robustness, repeatability and quality of the cable connection. Validation of theassembly process and AIT operations shall also be conducted. These fast locking SMA connectors shall not require any modificationwith respect to the counterpart standard SMA connector.
Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".