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Smart Connector: Making the future safer

Nicomatic will be demonstrating an innovative solution to enable the wire and cable network to detect faults before they occur at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow.
Electrical cable interconnect solutions (wire & connectors) take a more and more important role inside on-board systems in defense, avionics & space applications.

- on a fighter jet, we typically have 40km of wire
- on a commercial plane like the A380, we have 400km of wire

Wire and connectors are perfectly adapted to operating in these harsh electrical & environmental conditions. The increase of the number of wires & connectors is explained by:
- an increasing need for information & communication
- popularization of the X by Wire technology, where mechanical & hydraulic parts are replaced by electrical ones

The wire network (cables & connectors) represents the nervous system of a plane, a missile or a launcher. The probability of a breakdown increases with the number of wires & electrical combinations.
Different studies show that most of the electrical problems on board are connected with harnesses. Human & economic issues are very important. For example, the grounding of a plane
can generate a financial cost of $150 000 per hour.

Given this analysis, and our desire to better serve our customers, Nicomatic partnered with the CEA List Institute in 2014 to develop & integrate into connectors a device able to detect & localize soft, hard & intermittent defaults in a complex wire network.

This device is based on an innovative technology that puts together reflectometry & communication. It is called Orthogonal Multi-tone Time Domain Reflectometry (OMTDR).
The expected benefits are numerous. The OMTDR technology will allow you to:
- do preventive maintenance
- quickly detect breakdowns in an electrical network

By doing this, the OMTDR will also :
- reduce the cost of ownership of aerial, ground or naval vehicles
- increase the operational availability of these vehicles.

Applications on ground are directly linked to MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) phases, and to FAL (Final Assembly Line). This technology mainly addresses military, avionics and space markets where complex electrical architectures are used.

Nicomatic will be demonstrating the Smart Connector system at the Farnborough Airshow between July 11th and 15th on stand number B70D in hall 1.

Author
Nicomatic Ltd

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