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The evolution of military optronics

Optronics form an integral part of today’s operational military equipment, playing a decisive role in the tactical superiority and safety of armed forces. From night vision technology and thermal imaging to enhanced head-up displays (HUDs) and augmented reality glasses, these optoelectronic systems are now indispensable tools.



Image 
© Theon Sensors / Mikron-D
 
However, the use of such highly sophisticated optronics in extreme environments and the high sensitivity of such systems, present manufacturers with special challenges.

In particular, the interfaces and connections of the optronics are a potential weak point.


Image © Theon Sensors / Mikron-D

Connectivity challenges for optronics:

  1. Break resistance: The connection systems have to withstand enormous tensile and torsional forces, which can lead to bent or broken contacts. Conventional push-pull mechanisms increase the leverage on the connection, due to their design.

    Therefore, to meet the requirements of highly innovative optronics, ODU has developed best-in-class ODU-AMC connectors that are many times more robust than conventional half-shell coded systems. They offer reliable protection against twisting and breakage, enabling the transmission of various data protocols for imaging applications such as HDMI.
     
  2. Environmental protection: For a solution that can be used as flexibly as possible, the interfaces and connections of the optronics must be able to withstand extreme levels of dust, water and shock - ODU connectors meet the highest environmental standards. With an immersion depth of up to 20 metres and protection classes IP6K8 and IP6K9K. This makes them ideally suited for use in harsh environments without reducing the performance of the optronics.
     
  3. Hermetic sealing: Optronics are often filled with inert gas, such as nitrogen or argon, to eliminate an oxygen-containing atmosphere. Vacuum‐tight connector systems with glass potting technology for extremely high pressures are available from ODU.
     
  4. The smallest foot-print: Naturally, all of the above have to be achieved, together with the ability to lock securely, in the most confined spaces – The ODU-AMC connectors are designed specifically for this situation.

ODU - an experienced provider of interconnectivity
ODU offers comprehensive support for vision system and accessory OEM’s. The solutions available enable improved cross-platform functionality including STANAG 4695 connection to portable battery systems (PDUs) for soldiers.

ODU has many years of experience and is a proven supplier for major OCCAR procurement projects in the field of night vision equipment for the German and Belgian armed forces. ODU is also the main supplier for one of the largest projects for the integration of augmented reality in the US armed forces.

Through decades of collaboration with customers, ODU offers extensive experience in the development of customised connection solutions.

For further information:
www.odu-connectors.com/uk
www.theon.com/mikron-d
https://odu-connectors.com/fileadmin/media/products/circular-connectors/amc/uebergreifend/downloads/brochure/odu-amc-military-application-brochure-en.pdf

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