Mil spec electrical and fiber optic connectors adhere to standards designed to ensure dependable performance within harsh environments, whilst withstanding EMI (electromagnetic interference), extreme temperatures and excesses of shock and vibration, all of which can factor within unmanned aerial applications such as drones and UAVs. MS connectors within UAS (unmanned aerial systems) are often suitable for the SWaP (size, weight and power) constraints of tactical service equipment such as avionics, radar, weapons systems and medical equipment.
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard 60529 or EN 60529 (the European standard equivalent) signifies the degree of ingress protection of electrical technology such as connectors.
The IP (ingress protection) Code indicates the level of protection against dust and liquids, provided by electrical enclosures such as connectors. Such protection is vital to the continuous operation of electrical equipment in harsh environments.
Connectors that comply with MIL-STD-810 have been developed according to proven design and engineering methods to withstand harsh conditions, including extremes of temperature, acceleration, shock and vibration, whilst operational and in storage.
As well as low pressure and altitude testing, resistance to the following is also addressed; rain, humidity, mould, rust, sand and dust.
MIL-DTL-38999 connectors are split between 4 series, each referring to combinations of attributes required in the field, such as ease of disconnect and coupling, blind mating, SWaP constraints and SWAMP (resistance to severe wind and moisture problems), as well as endurance against extremes of temperature and vibration.
Also referred to as Micro-D connectors, MIL-DTL-83513 connectors are known for electrical integrity and are often used within UAV and drone design. Proven to withstand demanding usage in extreme environments, MIL-DTL-83513 connectors provide high current capabilities whilst conforming to SWaP limitations.