Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd, the UK based specialist manufacturer of RF and cryogenic connectors and cable assemblies have had a number of custom-designed, flexible cables successfully launched into space as part of VESTA-1, a 3U nanosatellite technology demonstration mission. VESTA-1 was manufactured for Honeywell under funding from the UK Space Agency.
Intelliconnect’s customer, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), launched the satellite into a “575km sun-synchronous orbit as part of Spaceflight’s SSO-A SmallSat Express Mission”. It was launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base on board the Falcon 9 on December 12th, 2018.
The purpose of the mission is to test a two-way VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) payload. This VDES has been developed by Honeywell Aerospace UK and aims to increase connectivity into remote maritime locations beyond phone networks as well as broader remote communication systems.
The brief provided by SSTL required Intelliconnect to manufacture a number of specific cables suitable for use in outer-space. Intelliconnect’s design team worked closely with SSTL engineers to define their design and manufacturing and to provide flexible cables suitable for the environmental conditions found in space.
“Our design team used all of their technical skills and experience to propose suitable materials and manufacturing processes for this application” Comments Roy Phillips, Managing Director of Intelliconnect.” Our outstanding on-time delivery record ensured we could meet a time-critical delivery schedule that adhered to the testing and launch needs of the satellite.”
Intelliconnect is the largest UK based manufacturer of RF, microwave and waterproof connectors and cable harnesses suitable for applications including wearable technology, medical, telecoms, satcoms, military, aerospace, space, general microwave communications, rail traction, oil and gas and marine. Intelliconnect also manufacture the market leading Pisces range of waterproof RF connectors, coaxial adaptors to facilitate inter-series connection and gender change etc. dust-caps and offer value added services.
Their recently launched and fast-growing cryogenic cable assembly business CryoCoax supplies medical, research, test and measurement and the emerging low temperature computing markets.
Intelliconnect’s cable division are specialist manufacturers of affordable, high quality, high frequency microwave cables including triaxial assemblies, semi-rigid, semi-flexible and cryogenic cables as well as standard RG/LMR type products. Cables can be waterproofed to IP68 and include special features including phase matching and ruggedised assemblies for use in harsh environments.
The image shows custom-designed, flexible cables from Intelliconnect
About Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd;
Formed in the UK in 2003 in response to the almost complete abandonment of the UK by the RF connector manufacturing industry, Intelliconnect joined forces with a small innovative US operation in 2004 and has quickly become a market leader in design led manufacturing of RF connectors, waterproof multi-pin connectors and cable assemblies. Both the UK and USA divisions of Intelliconnect now enjoy a growing reputation for high quality products and first-class service. Their product range includes waterproof connectors which have become established as the solution of choice for specifiers in the marine, oil and gas, defence, medical and general antenna markets. They produce a range of triaxial components which are recognised as the best quality available in the market today. Their Custom design service, which attracts no NRE charges, is the quickest available in the connector industry today. Intelliconnect also offer a full range of standard RF connectors and a cable assembly service.
Intelliconnect is unable and does not wish to compete with the plethora of low-cost offshore product available in the market today. Rather they offer traditional engineering values coupled with innovation, agility and a passion for serving their customers.