New Interconnect Takes Standard Copper Signal, Translates it to a Fiber Optical Signal within Connector Body

by Nicolette Emmino

The expanding space-exploration market calls for faster data rates and solid signal integrity. To keep up with these trends. Texas-based designer and manufacturer orf high-reliability electronic components, AirBorn, has released a new SAOC (Space-rated Active Optical Cable) that clients can specify and purchase.

AirBorn’s SAOC next-generation space interconnect is the first fully tested and qualified active optical cable available to the marketplace today. The first-of-its-kind interconnect solution specific to the space market, five years in the making, provides engineers with the benefits fiber optical signal transmission with the ease of copper cable installation.

The SAOC takes a standard copper signal and translates it to a fiber optical signal within the connector body.  It reduces engineering time by eliminating the need for a specialized transceiver and time spent polishing and terminating fiber. As for installation, it installs like a traditional copper cable but yields the same benefits of speed, distance, and EMI protection engineers have come to expect from fiber optic cabling.  A single-connection interface accommodates both traditional copper cabling and SAOC, giving system designers flexibility.

“A prime contractor in the space industry knew we had active optical cable technology in house and asked if we could design and qualify a ruggedized version for spaceflight,” explained David Koenig, Vice President for AirBorn’s Space Business Unit. “Our team accepted the challenge and through continuous collaboration, developed a technology that exceeded our customer’s needs as we worked through to a flight-ready design.  Now, SAOC is launched into the market and stands ready to be specified into equipment destined for space.”

Today, the SAOC® technology is built into AirBorn’s MicroSI; our rugged, high-speed Micro D interconnect platform. MicroSI’s long-standing space flight heritage made it a natural fit to house the SAOC technology.  Additionally, a “ruggedized”, non-space-rated version is also available.  The RAOC (Rugged Active Optical Cable) provides the durability essential for intense battlefield action or rugged industrial environments.

Learn more at AirBorn.

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