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Cables for Extreme Environments

Our high performance cabling systems can be found on almost every extreme environment platform - from aircraft and missiles to spacecraft, ships and submarines. They provide uninterrupted signal transmission with high system accuracy and reliability.

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Our electrical cables are designed to meet your toughest requirements. Enquire Now.

Ideal for high-performance radio frequency and microwave high-temperature cabling systems.

Uniquely engineered and hermetically sealed, our welded construction and mineral-insulated dielectric have made us the primary cable of choice.

Installed on the majority of military aircraft since 1960 and used in space, cryogenic and research applications where reliable, repeatable results are critical. See the range of coaxial and multiwire cables below.

Lighter, long life cables

Our cables weigh up to 85% less than high-end organic cables; they last about 40 years and have a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) greater than one million hours. Compared to traditional organic cables, there is no deterioration even in extreme environments and they hardly ever need replacing.

High system accuracy and reliability

Silicon dioxide insulation provides unparalleled phase and attenuation stability over a wide temperature range (-271°C to over 1000°C), providing high system accuracy and reliability in all mission critical situations. They can also withstand high vibration levels of 45 G, impact shock levels of 110 G and provide 100 to 500 pounds tensile strength.

Equally impressive, our cables are also incredibly flexible, with the hand-formed radius down to just 3X cable diameter, and even tighter when assembled in factory.

Cables for extreme environments

Our cables are manufactured using a unique wet extrusion process to ensure reliable performance. We offer a variety of configurations including:

  • coaxial (.047-.532 diameter)
  • triaxial, twinax, and twisted pair
  • thermocouple
  • multiconductor (2-22 conductors)
  • flame and fire resistant
  • connector options: multipin, hermetic, hermetic coaxial
  • material options for outside jacketing and nner conductors

Meggitt cable assemblies will provide rated performance in severe environments. They operate reliably when exposed to extremely low and high temperatures (cryogenic to +2400°C), gamma radiation, and high power RF conditions.

Our SiO2 cable is ideally suited for applications where high reliability and electrical stability are critical, such as:

  • Global Position Satellites (GPS)
  • high energy physics
  • deep space probes
  • military weapon systems
  • downhole measurement equipment

SiO2 cable is mechanically rugged and can endure the most hostile environments without significant performance degradation.

Meggitt cable provides extremely stable performance. The materials are radiation hardened and are thermally stable. Phase and insertion loss are minimally affected even in a cable that has temperature differences of hundreds of degrees from one end to the other. Our stainless steel jacketed cable operates from near absolute zero to 1000° C.

Our SiO2 cable can easily be hand-formed in the field, or we will precision form the cable for “drop-in” installation. Meggitt’s metal-jacketed, mineral insulated cables use significantly less space than flexible PTFE cables with the same electrical performance. The smaller outer diameter of SiO2 cable and the very tight bend radii enable smaller package size, and easier routing.

Experience

We have been providing state-of-the-art RF coaxial and multiconductor transmission line assemblies for military and commercial applications since 1957. With the lowest weight and smallest bend radius of any RF cable, these assemblies still set the industry standard for high performance and reliability in all types of hostile or adverse environments.

Our cable assemblies are qualified to MIL-T-81490, MIL-C-39012, and other military and commercial specifications.

Applications include: AH-1, AH-64, AV-8B, B-1B, B-2, C-17, C-130, F-5, F14, F-15E, F16, GPS, J-Stars, MX missile, SR-71, Space Shuttle, SPS-49, Tomahawk, U-2, Trident, UH-60

Reliability

Our cable assemblies feature rugged all-welded construction, hermetic connectors and silicon dioxide (SiO2) insulation. SiO2 provides unparalleled phase and attenuation stability over a wide temperature range significantly improving system accuracy and reliability in all critical situations.

High performance

Other features include:

  • 80% velocity of propagation
  • EMI Shielding to -120 dB
  • -270 to 950 degrees C operation
  • 300 – 500 lb. connector pull-off
  • vibrations 20Gs 50 to 2000 Hertz
  • capacitance – 25 pf/ft.
  • 0.1 to 26 GHz

Lowest weight and smallest bend radius of any RF cable

In today’s aircraft, space and weight are at a premium. Our semirigid cable is typically 30-50% smaller and lighter than comparable PTFE cables. Meggitt assemblies offer the lightest weight per diameter of any cable available. The small bend radius of SiO2 allows 90 degree bends that replace bulky right-angle connectors which add considerable weight and insertion loss. Installation in confined or extremely tight locations can be easily accomplished. A bend radius as small as 1.5 times the diameter of the cable can be accommodated.

Transition cables for lowest loss

We also offer a broad range of transition assemblies. These cables provide the lowest possible loss with maximum flexibility by using large diameter cable for the greater portion of a cable run and a small diameter where flexure is most important. A 50 ohm impedance is maintained throughout the cable assembly.

Power handling

Meggitt has the off-the-shelf designs for high power applications up to 1 Kw C.W. at 10GHz. Power capability is typically limited by connector selection and design.

Stability offers broad applications

Semirigid cables are not limited to RF applications. The cables are ideal wherever low-level signals are susceptible to EMI or crosstalk degradation. At 25 pf/ft. and shielding to -120 dB, these cables deliver the most accurate signal of any transmission line available. High-speed data and instrumentation signal, from sensitive test equipment and engine/machinery monitoring devices are applications that benefit from the exceptional electrical stability that SiO2 offers.

Multiconductors

Meggitt also offers multiconductor cables for aircraft electrical power distribution systems with up to 10 conductors installed in a 1/2″ cable assembly. This cable weights only 0.3

With an increasing emphasis on loss prevention and fire safety, the need for reliable operation of emergency shutdown systems has never been greater. When a critical system fails to operate as designed, a small flash fire can rapidly grow in intensity. Within five minutes temperatures can reach above 2000ºF producing disastrous results. It is vital that personnel and equipment in areas where the possibility of a flash fire exists be protected to ensure minimal downtime and to avoid loss of valuable resources or life.

Tested for three hours above 2000蚌 and in accordance with ASTM E-119, our fireproof cable proves the reliability that may make the difference between an orderly shutdown and a major catastrophe. SI2400 fire cable is constructed in a number of configurations.

SI2400 Fire Cable is designed to provide continuous power and control signals throughout even the most severe high temperature incidents. The cable has been tested at Southwest Research Institute under load per UL 1709 and Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) for three hours above 2100ºF. In addition, the cable was subjected to 1 hour and 3 hour test by UL in accordance with the requirements of E-119. These tests effectively demonstrate the reliability that may make the difference between an orderly shutdown and a major catastrophe. SI2400 is the most cost effective and reliable electrical cable system available in the world.

  • Exceeds requirements for UL 1 hour and 3 hour fire rating to ASTM E-119
  • CSA Approved, Class I, Class II and Class III, all groups
  • Complies with NEC 501-4(a)
  • Independently tested over 2100ºF by Southwest Research Institute
  • Stainless, Incoloy or other sheaths available upon request

Meggitt has developed a line of SiO2 cable/connector assemblies for critical instrumentation and control systems for nuclear reactor safety-related equipment. Installed in over 66 nuclear power plants globally, these designs were developed and qualified in direct response to post accident scenarios (1E LOCA), where the environmental factors of high radiation, high temperature steam and chemical sprays quickly destroy the electrical and mechanical properties of typical organic cable and connector systems.

The resulting Meggitt cable systems range from the coaxial Quick Latch Nuclear (QLN™) connector shown in the photograph — which significantly reduces human exposure to high radiation during installation or removal — to various multi-conductor power, control and thermocouple cables.

Unlike organic cable, SiO2 cable is not subject to thermal and radiation aging of its dielectric material or the outer jacket. An all-welded construction delivers a highly reliable, long-life cable assembly. The silicon dioxide dielectric in the stainless steel sheathed cables eliminates any concerns about aging and the resulting deterioration of electrical properties.

The hermetically sealed connectors used to terminate the cables ensure complete isolation of the SiO2 dielectric in the cable from the humidity found in normal environments and the steam and chemical sprays of the accident environment. The result is a highly reliable cable system with a 40+ year design life.

Using this same technology for thermocouple, instrumentation and control applications, cables have been qualified for use in Appendix R applications. Typical multi-conductor cables were exposed to a 3-hour fire and hose stream test in accordance with ASTM E-119-95. The test temperature profile included 120 minutes of operation above 1750°F and a maximum temperature of 1935°F.

Meggitt Safety Systems has further exploited the highly reliable SiO2 cable for applications which require truly fireproof and robust performance. The SiO2 cable is currently used in several turbine engine instrumentation and accessory control applications including fire detection, EGT’s, ignition and fan clearance monitoring.

Silicon Dioxide Technology Advances

  • High Insulation resistance (IR) at high temperatures
  • Stable capacitance at high temperatures
  • Stable impedance at high temperatures
  • Light weight and volume
  • Cost efficient
  • Bend radius of less than 3 times the cable diameter as low as 0.141″
  • Can be fitted with a large variety of industrial and RF connectors (38999, terminal studs, GPO, 2.4mm, SMA, SSMA, etc.)

Military specifications

  • MIL-Q-9858A
  • MIL-STD-1535
  • MIL-STD-1520
  • MIL-I-45208A

Construction and operation

  • ISO-9001
  • MIL-T-81490
  • MIL-C-87104
  • MIL-E-5400
  • MIL-STD-45662
  • MIL-STD-202
  • Multipaction Resistant
  • PIM Resistant

Meggitt Safety Systems’ cables are completely sealed so that they can be located in the fuel cells of advanced jet aircraft. The connector and the cable are laser welded together to form a hermetic assembly and an extremely durable interface that is almost electrically transparent. A tensile for of 500 pounds is often required to separate the connector from the cable body. The electrical integrity of the Meggitt assembly cuts crosstalk degradation to a minimum with shielding to -120 dB. MSSI instrumentation provides connectors with standard-industry interfaces, or we will provide a custom-engineered connector to solve unique applications problems.

Meggitt Safety Systems’ signature product is our unique Silicon dioxide cable. Our signature service is RF and microwave engineering. Our capabilities extend beyond providing cable assemblies. Meggitt can provide system engineering for connecting an entire microwave system, whether that might require silicon dioxide cable or flexible PTFE cable assemblies or both.

For example, Meggitt Safety Systems provides an entire microwave cabling system, including SiO2 and drop in, phase matched, bundled, PTFE microwave harness assemblies for the F-22 and other applications where optimum electrical and mechanical performance is required. Similarly, we supply flexible, PTFE cable assemblies for the D-5 strategic missile. Other critical applications that use our PTFE cable engineering and manufacturing resources include the P-3 Orion. We have won many accolades from our customers for engineering and delivering system solutions.

Meggitt Safety Systems’ flex assemblies are designed to endure the most hostile physical conditions while continuing to provide excellent electrical performance against torque, crushing, abrasion, temperature cycling (-50ºC to +125ºC), tension loads (pull force), and extreme flexing.

Meggitt Safety Systems’ flex assemblies are produced for extremely low VSWR and maximum mechanical integrity. Electrical performance is mode free through 18 GHz or 26.5 GHz depending on the combination of connectors used. MSSI can phase match cables to each other to +/- 5° at Ku Band frequencies.

Meggitt works as an extension of our customer’s engineering group. We provide system solutions by identifying the best microwave cable design needed to satisfy critical system demands. The best solution may be an extruded PTFE cable or a precision wrapped PTFE cable. In some instances, we may find it necessary to design a special cable to best satisfy the requirements of certain critical applications. We use our own, qualified PTFE cable manufacturing suppliers to provide cable to our specifications. We are responsible for quality assurance of the raw cable, the connectors, the termination, testing, labeling packaging and final delivery. We may use multiple combinations of cable designs to best address the application. Rather than offering a traditional catalogue of limited cable and connector designs, Meggitt offers the best engineering solutions, consistent product performance and reliable customer service. Meggitt is the premier microwave solutions provider, for not only SiO2, but also flexible cable assemblies.

The calculator below can be used to estimate the maximum insertion loss (dB loss) of Meggitt’s SiO2 cable assemblies. Actual values may vary somewhat from the calculated numbers based on manufacturing tolerances, cable length, connectors, operating frequency, and measurement accuracy. Please contact Meggitt Safety Systems, Inc. for guaranteed Insertion Loss numbers.

The Excel spreadsheet provides the best and most accurate information regarding cable assembly performance.

Download the calculator

Key customers

Our cables are field-proven in a wide variety of extreme environments:

  • RF and microwave cables used on every GPS satellite
  • transmit data from outer space, on Space Shuttle and NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft
  • reliably transmit communication and radar signals for military aircraft such as F-22, F-15, C17, U2 and B2
  • critical safety margins for complex systems such as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Trident missiles

If you need a cable or connector, please contact us on MSSI-SCSupport@meggitt.com.