Unmanned Systems Technology 024 | Wingcopter 178 l 5G focus l UUVs insight l CES report l Stromkind KAT l Intelligent Energy fuel cell l Earthsense TerraSentia l Connectors focus l Advanced Engineering report

80 A s UAVs and other unmanned vehicles continue to get smaller and lighter, the use of connectors with high pin counts (or densities), lightweight materials, effective EMI shielding and secure latching or fastening continues to grow. Increasingly though, that must be balanced against manufacturing cost requirements, as smaller and more intricate connector form factors can be customised more widely, but that requires the development of more precise and expensive tooling. That in turn drives up the cost of small, specialised connector systems. Adhering to well-established connector standards can drive down these costs, but pin densities and combinations can vary widely within the standards among different application-specific designs. Also, the rapid expansion of payload requirements is driving faster adoption of connectors that can provide USB 3.0 data transfer speeds and above, and for long-distance high-speed data transmission over wireless networks. As a result, unmanned vehicle designers have more factors to consider than ever, before they select and integrate increasingly small and complex connector solutions. Advances in unmanned systems technology are spurring developments in connector designs and capabilities. Rory Jackson reports Contact management February/March 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology