MegaPhase Optimizes Airborne Cables Lifecycle Management
Replacing Proprietary Connectors and Cables with Standards-Conforming Alternatives
Stroudsburg, PA – May 7, 2009 — MegaPhase, the leading manufacturer of super-flexible and highly
reliable coaxial cables and assemblies is changing how advanced aircraft avionics and EW systems are built and
maintained. For too long limited proprietary options restricted aircraft contractors to solutions that reduced
their ability to source, build and maintain complex communications and RADAR antennas. MegaPhase’s microwave
cables meet rigorous design specs with standard RF and microwave connectors. By engaging MegaPhase engineers,
aircraft communications suppliers design connectors and cables that are standardized and save installation time
and engineering costs. And since the connectors meet uniform standards, cabling options are no longer limited to
one proprietary vendor.
MegaPhase designs standard coaxial connectors, adapters, low loss cable connectors and terminations to meet nearly
all defense and commercial applications. While custom designs are available including high density, ZN and ZMA,
MegaPhase encourages its customers to improve their lifecycle risk by eliminating proprietary designs.
Additionally, "build-to-print" connectors are available, plus most common RF/Microwave connectors including Type
N, TNC, HN, SC, 7-16, SMA, 3.5 mm, 2.92 mm, 2.4 mm and 1.85mm
“Too often onsite repairs require too much
time to retrofit solutions and work around proprietary constraints,” observes William Pote, MegaPhase’s CEO.
“Increasingly aerospace contractors require suppliers to conform to industry-wide standards to extend the service
life of in-place systems or dramatically reduce maintenance and repair costs,” he reports.
Case Study: Standardized SMA Cable and Connectors
Reduce Costs and Improve Maintainability
Major defense aircraft manufacturers when building the critical path connections into EW and avionics components,
engineers too often found themselves limited to purchasing unnecessarily expensive, proprietary cables and
connectors. Whenever a connector needed replacement, engineers were strapped with an higher cost of materials and
labor. These proprietary connectors and cables came from a single manufacturer, making replacement parts dependent
on production schedules of one supplier – and could not be reliably obtained when and where they were needed.
The Solution When a leading integrated microwave antenna assemblies provider came to William Pote,
president of MegaPhase with their frustration, Pote went back to his engineers to design a standards-based
solution that could be implemented in the field with far fewer steps and processes. This line of flight-qualified
cable assemblies and connectors conform to interface standard and are manufactured at a fraction of the cost of
MegaPhase’s engineers reviewed their unique requirements and proposed a solution. “We spent a few hours
talking to the engineers at the plant,” recalls Pote. “We went back to our office, brainstormed several
alternative solutions, tested different integration solutions, and based on our research were able to recommend a
reliable and efficient solution that easily saved the customer, and therefore the taxpayer, tens of thousands of
MegaPhase’s connectors work seamlessly with their line of GrooveTube® cables that are equipped
with a super-flexible, rugged outer conductor. This high performance outer conductor is manufactured using the
highest quality, pure oxygen-free copper tape. MegaPhase produces the copper tape into flexible copper tubing,
which offer the following benefits.
Electrical Benefits: • Repeatable, reliable
performance over time because the outer conductor does not fatigue when flexed like traditional braid/foil
outer conductors and stiff corrugated copper types. • Superior phase and amplitude stability during flexure
because the inner conductor stays in the center of the outer conductor - where it belongs. The insured
concentricity maintains impedance and low SWR. • Low VSWR and Insertion Loss because each connector
screws directly on to GrooveTube®, the outer conductor, and then the seam is 100% soldered versus other
cable brands terminating to small strands of braid.
Mechanical Benefits: •
Smaller bend radii. • Built-in crush-resistant armor that withstands over 150 lbs of plane compressive
force per inch (66 kg per 2.5 cm).
• Strong mechanical termination at connectors. Connectors screwed on.
The Result The MegaPhase connectors have proven to be reliable and much less expensive than
the legacy alternatives. MegaPhase’s connectors and GrooveTube cables are widely used today in aircraft
installations and applications, where they have significantly cut costs and improved sourcing options.
The Build-to-Print & Custom Design Process
When standard off-the-shelf RF connectors do
not meet the needs of a defense supplier, MegaPhase’s engineering staff works collaboratively to design
interconnect products to meet their stringent requirements. Their quality engineering expertise has developed from
wide experience in designing custom connectors for Defense, Commercial, and Aerospace customers. MegaPhase also
offers electronic and mechanical qualification testing, prototypes, and prove out of final design.
MegaPhase’s field support gathers the unique requirements, proposes the most efficient and cost effective
solution, and provides complete documentation of the solution, including 3D Modeling and EM Simulation. The
production team assembles and tests for quality fully before delivery, where again the field support can oversee
the installation. MegaPhase’s project team manages the process to make sure the assemblies are delivered on time
and within budget. All special assemblies are MegaPhase certified and labeled with product specific and contact
information so field staff understand what components are used, and who to call for more information.
Solutions MegaPhase’s Build-to-Print & Custom Design Process Center has been called on by
leading companies working with RF cable systems. Special assemblies have included:
design connectors in a wide variety of interfaces and configurations, designed in accordance with MIL-STD
348, IEEE 287, sealed connectors per IP68 and other pertinent specifications Interfaces include:
1.85mm,2.4mm,2.9mm,3.5mm ,SMA, N, TNC, ZMA, & ZN Multiple configurations: Straight,Jack, Bulkhead, Right
Angle, PC Mount Semi-rigid and flexible cable types terminated with either Crimp styles, direct solder, or
“We suggest engineers call us when they need a solution and estimate when they need to
assemble a special RF cable solution. The comprehensive “Build-to-Print & Custom Design” center provides the
technical information, parts, new and retrofitted assemblies and service,” offers Pote.