Molex: Expanded-Beam Ruggedized Optical Cable Assemblies

March 19, 2014
Connectors meet the need for high-performance, robust communication links in Aerospace & defense, and harsh-environment industrial applications

Molex Incorporated announced availability of its Expanded-Beam Ruggedized Optical Cable Assemblies, delivering highly reliable interconnects for use in harsh environments including aerospace & defense tactical communications, security communications, outside broadcast, petrochemical plant, mining and offshore systems. These highly-ruggedized, easy-to-use connectors require minimal cleaning and deliver repeatable, error-free optical transmissions. They can also withstand thousands of mating cycles and feature a field-installable and repairable design to minimize maintenance downtime. Molex displayed the assemblies at OFC 2014, March 11-13, San Francisco, CA, booth 3863.

The connectors work by utilizing lenses that expand and collimate the light emitting from optical fibers across a sealed connector interface. The expanded and collimated light beam has an active area much larger than the original optical fiber core, making it less sensitive to data transmission interruption due to dirt and debris particles, while also being more efficient to align across the two connector halves.

"Downtime in critical applications is unacceptable, but debris such as dirt, dust, mud, moisture and oil can foul traditional optical interconnects in harsh environments, leading to system failure and require cleaning by trained technicians using special tools, solvents and materials to get back to optimal performance," said Mark Matus, global product manager, Molex. "Our expanded beam fiber optic assemblies provide reliable and repeatable optical performance because they are less sensitive to these contaminants and can be easily cleaned in the field with simple methods such as a cloth and any handy liquid wash."

The assemblies are available in 2- and 4-fiber counts for a multi-channel optical interface. The non-contacting lens interface reduces connector failure by preventing debris from becoming imbedded or damaging the optical surface during the mating or handling process. The stainless steel housing option is ideal for highly corrosive environments and all the assemblies meet MIL-DTL-83526/20 and/21 standards to ensure high-performance, ruggedized communication links that are compatible with other like products in the market.

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