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New challenges demand reliable transmission:
ODU AMC® connectors support demanding applications

Simon Köhler, Product Manager Circular Connectors – ODU GmbH und Co. KG

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ODU AMC® Series T - reliable in use and uncomplicated in handling

ODU AMC® Series T - reliable in use and uncomplicated in handling

Today's challenges to global security are subject to fundamentally changed framework conditions. The emergence of risks and threats, as well as their management, affect the global security situation. Military systems must be adaptable in all domains - be it on land, at sea, in the air or within multi-domain operations, cyberspace. Applications with integrated C4ISTAR systems such as aircraft, satellites, ships and ground vehicles used by international armed forces collect immense amounts of information. Processing, analysing and transferring this amount of data is an increasing challenge.

Robust, fast and scalable solution

The synchronisation, bundling and distribution of the collected data can take place in specially equipped vehicles as well as quickly deployable container systems. These systems create an infrastructure for forces within a very short time, even in the most remote regions. Mobile command posts or FOBs (Forward Operation Bases) require scalable solutions that guarantee data, signal or power transmissions.

ODU AMC® connectors – reliable for the military sector

Robust under high loads and extreme temperatures, resistant to dust, water and vibration, are common requirements. The ODU connectors for military, security and communication technology offer a high degree of signal integrity through 360° shielding. They are optimised for demanding applications through high resilience and transmission reliability even under the most technically challenging environmental influences.

In particular, the ODU AMC® Series T in the Expanded Beam Performance version is an advanced fibre optic solution and offers high-end transmission characteristics over many mating cycles. The excellent optical performance remains unchanged even under mechanical stress and harsh environmental conditions. It combines the advantages of a classic Expanded Beam solution, such as insensitivity to dirt, scratching and vibration, with the high-performance attenuation values of a physical contact (<0.3 dB). Compared to conventional expanded beam technologies, 3-4 times the amount of optical fibres can be integrated in the same installation space. Accordingly, the interfaces and space requirements are reduced, while the transmission capacity is increased by a factor of 4.

Secure data transmission through highly robust, reliable and application-specific ODU connector systems

Secure data transmission through highly robust, reliable and application-specific ODU connector systems

Situational Awareness (SA) through secure data transmission

Furthermore, it is essential for the military sector to identify and capture environmental conditions and situation images in order to implement them in their individual actions. This can reduce risks for people, machines and infrastructure. In many areas, forces have to act efficiently and need information about their environment. At the same time, they need to use this information to plan and align their actions accordingly. For example, location information about friendly and enemy forces can be enabled.

Big Data and complex networked systems

The advent of artificial intelligence, big data and cross-platform, complex networked systems calls for expertise at a very high technical level. Interfaces must be developed to suit the applications. For example, optronic systems enable vehicle crews to transmit a variety of visual information. Acoustic sensor systems support the localisation of threats. They identify ballistic missiles, warn personnel and provide information on the direction and distance of the source of the projectile. Ideally, the sensor systems are coupled with an Active Protection System. The approaching projectile is modified to protect the crews in such a way that the intended effect on the target is severely impaired.

Situational Awareness Technologies support considered and rapid decision-making. A central hub (FOB forward operation base) pools the information gathered and outputs real-time data to the task forces via cables, antennas and fibre optics. All these systems are linked by the need for highly robust, reliable, application-specific connector systems and cable assemblies to transmit mission critical (RF) signals, data.

ODU AMC® Series T with 3 in 1 locking mechanism. (Break-Away, Push-Pull or Thread-Lock)

ODU AMC® Series T with 3 in 1 locking mechanism. (Break-Away, Push-Pull or Thread-Lock)

Application-specific and robust connector systems

Connectors with 360° shielding provide a high degree of signal integrity. Different transmission protocols (USB/HDMI/Displayport) provide high-speed data transmissions that are also protected from third-party access and the use of standard interfaces. Five-finger coding and colour coding provide support in extreme situations and prevent incorrect plugging. Even in the smallest installation space, different transmission variants can be individually configured. The robust housings are waterproof up to IP6K9K, non-reflective and available with different connection types and locking mechanisms.

The new ODU AMC® Series T offers numerous advantages due to the innovative 3 in 1 locking mechanism, with separately sealed electrical and mechanical components. The user can select the appropriate locking variant (Break-Away, Push-Pull or Thread-Lock) depending on the connected subsystem. The reliability and flexibility of the connector systems used, weight savings, robustness and ease of handling, can be just as vital as the secure transmission of high data volumes in extreme cases.

Further possibilities for protecting the forces are to send military-tuned technologies instead of personnel onto the battlefield of the future.

Use of ODU AMC® connectors in Robotic Autonomous Systems

Use of ODU AMC® connectors in Robotic Autonomous Systems

Robotic Autonomous Systems (RAS)

Armed forces around the world are beginning to integrate robotic and autonomous military systems as well as electric vehicles into their operations. A vision of the future has become reality in international conflicts and operations. In the future, armies and other forces will use RAS for disaster control and explosive ordnance disposal, for example. Unmanned, computer-controlled vehicles provide situational awareness or bring help to remote regions. RAS are already being used for border surveillance or support in hostile environments, especially in extreme climatic conditions or heightened military threats. A wide range of sensors and systems are used to survey and recon entire areas, helping to facilitate the mission. The systems can help mission forces perform tasks more safely and efficiently. Typical areas are cargo mules for transporting supplies, but also for medical evacuations or remote-controlled combat systems. These unmanned ground vehicles must be able to detect obstacles and people so that danger can be eliminated.

Armies need to rely on innovations and cutting-edge technologies like these to eliminate the need for personnel to be present on the ground. However, this also carries a risk that should not be underestimated. The lack of operational presence means that processes have to be rethought. In the event of a system failure, service or maintenance personnel cannot go directly to the area of operation due to a hazardous situation. Therefore, interfaces of the different situational awareness systems or drive technologies have to be designed in such a way that they can contribute in a highly reliable way even under the most adverse environmental conditions and vibrations. In areas where a decision must be made by humans, depending on the system, it is possible to switch flexibly to a remote drive-by-wire or follow-me function. The latter is only possible through the use of 360° all-round cameras as well as infrared and laser technology, which are coupled to the soldier systems.

Interfaces must be developed to suit the applications in order to connect systems in a fail-safe manner. Highly robust, reliable and application-specific connector systems and cable assemblies are required to transmit mission-critical data.

Optimised for demanding applications and transmission reliability even under the most technically demanding environmental influences, the connectors of the ODU AMC® series are constantly being further developed. Projects such as the fire-fighting robot Collossus, which was used in the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, or the Mars rover Perseverance are successful examples of this. The enormously high demands on high-speed data technology and high-frequency transmission were made possible due to the technical expertise and the high level of understanding for the application and environmental conditions of the user and device in the field of Dismounted Soldier Systems (DSS).

ODU Group: global representation with perfect connections

The ODU Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of connector systems, employing 2,500 people around the world. In addition to its company headquarters in Muehldorf a. Inn (Germany), ODU also has an international distribution network and production sites in Sibiu/Romania, Shanghai/China, and Tijuana/Mexico. ODU combines all relevant areas of expertise and key technologies including design and development, machine tooling and special machine construction, injection, stamping, turning, surface technology, assembly and cable assembly. The ODU Group sells its products globally through its sales offices in China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Romania, Sweden, UK and the US, as well as through numerous international sales partners. ODU connectors ensure a reliable transmission of power, signals, data and media for a variety of demanding applications including medical technology, military and security, automotive, industrial electronics, and test and measurement.

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