With constant requests from aircraft manufacturers for the need for weight savings, PIC Wire & Cable® has introduced a totally new line of RF Coaxial cables to solve this problem. The new Ultralite cables are here!
PIC Wire & Cable has yet another innovative cable solution that is both lightweight and low loss. Our new Ultralite cables consist of the UH67163, UH22089, and UH44193. The Ultralites are an expansion to our lightweight 50 ohm RF coaxial cable family – RFMATES®.
Compare the weight savings on a single system installation and you’ll find that it is quite significant, which directly affects fuel consumption. Let these savings speak for themselves:
Each Ultralite cable and its corresponding connectors went through rigorous EWIS testing and all passed. Our EWIS testing includes: Vibration, Shock, Thermal Shock, Aging Stability, Flammability, Smoke & Toxicity testing per Airbus ABD0031 and many more to ensure the cables and connectors are robust enough for their rugged aerospace and defense use. A complete list of the tests performed is available along with a full qualification test report (QTR) if requested. There was also a concentrated load testing per MIL-T-81490. This determined that the Ultralites have better compressive resistance compared to similar sized cables.
A complete list of the test performed is available along with a full qualification test report if requested.
The Ultralites are Skydrol resistant, RoHS compliant, and meet the FAA flammability requirements 14 CFR Part 25.869 (a)(4) Amdt 25-113 Appendix Part 1 (a)(3); complies with MIL-C-17 as applicable.
Aging Stability Test
Procedure: The cables were placed on a rack in the temperature chamber and the temperature was set to 150 C. After 7 days, the cables were removed from the chamber and allowed to condition and room ambient temperature for 4 hours. The cables were then examined for cracks, flaws, or other examples in the jacket material, and marking were examined for legibility.
Results: The samples meet the specification requirement after the test. No degradation was observed.
These new cables use a Silver Plated Copper Clad Aluminum (SPCCA) conductor for the UH67163 & UH22089 cables for the ultimate weight savings. SPCCA conductors are 69% lighter compared to copper conductors of the same gauge. Based on its size, we use a Silver Plated Copper Clad Steel for the UH44193 cable. Steel conductors are 11% lighter compared to copper conductors of the same gauge. The Ultralites can clearly save weight.
Is the SPCCA conductor robust enough for demanding aerospace and defense applications? Absolutely! We have done full qualification testing of the new Ultralite cables and their corresponding connectors. Please reference the Testing Completed section to understand the thorough testing that was completed to ensure these cables’ robustness.
The cables use either an expanded extruded PTFE dielectric or tape wrapped PTFE dielectric which allows for a variety of benefits. The Ultralites’ dielectrics have a higher Velocity of Propagation (VoP) while still maintaining a strong composition. The high VoP lowers the insertion (dB) loss of the cable and also saves weight. This dielectric also increases flexibility.
All of the newly designed cables use a Silver Plated Copper spiral (helically) wrapped shield. With this design, the -110 dB shielding effectiveness achieved is actually the same as a semi-rigid coaxial cable (solid copper tube) such as RG405. This is quite impressive compared to the standard -75 dB for a dual braided shield such as RG cables and the -90 dB for a cable with a foil and an outer braid shield. Overall, the Ultralite spiral wrapped shield provides 100% coverage compared to flat braided shields. This shielding design not only helps the shielding effectiveness of the cable but lowers the dB loss of the cable for an ultra low loss solution.
The outer braid of all of the new Ultralite cables is Silver Plated Copper Clad Aluminum. All cable braids have been tested and passed the connector retention test of MIL-PRF-39012. Not only is this braid type robust, it is a specific design decision that provides a best- in-class lightweight solution.
The outer jacket of the cables is made of high temperature, white ETFE. This means the Ultralites can be used and stored in high temperature environments, they are chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, and of course meets the FAA flammability requirements 14 CFR Part 25.869 (a)(4) Amdt 25-113 Appendix F Part 1 (a)(3). Each Ultralite is also laser-markable, so no more labeling required!
The Ultralites also come with a full line of M39012 style RF connectors available, guaranteeing the perfect fit for robust interconnect solutions. PIC has many innovative connectors that improve termination, installation, maintenance, and reliability. To ensure proper field installation and termination, crimp die sets are available for the connectors. In addition, please note that our Ultralite connectors were also designed for weight savings.
PIC also offers complete certified cable assemblies for many applications including avionics systems, video and high speed data built to your requirements.
There are many opportunities for this innovative cable to be used in either aerospace or defense applications. Speak to your PIC representative today and find out how you can use Ultralites on your next project.