Innovative Micro-munition Electrical Interface Physical Interconnection Alternatives
ABSTRACT: Current methods for physically interconnecting electrical interfaces on micro-munitions to host platforms or other carriage devices rely on traditional military style circular connectors. These connectors typically have significant physical footprints in locations where space is at a premium, exhibit undesirably high release forces that constrain potential store ejection techniques, have reliability/durability issues, and are cumbersome to connect for some physical installation arrangements. An alternative connector-less micro-munition interface interconnection concept defined under Phase I utilizing fiber optic signal transfer techniques and inductive power coupling was assessed as a potentially significant improvement over current approaches. The fiber optic technology element of the proposed concept was identified as also being applicable to current initiatives to incorporate a fiber optic interface capability into the MIL-STD-1760 aircraft/store interface, to support future enhanced signal throughput requirements anticipated for advanced weapon carriage platforms including the F-35. The effort proposed here would develop a fiber optic munition interface capability and demonstrate it as part of the connector-less micro-munition interface concept defined under Phase I, and also as part of a MIL-STD-1760 connector-based interface arrangement. Recommended additions to current interface standards to incorporate the developed capability would also be provided. BENEFIT: The results of this effort will facilitate easier and more reliable mating of munition interfaces with host platforms while enhancing performance, and also provide significant commercial potential for improved integration of external sensors on non-military air and ground platforms.
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