Product News: Test & Measuring Instruments

Cable Installation Simulator targets airframe assemblies.

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Press Release Summary:

June 11, 2014 - To minimize risk of cable assembly damage or failure during installation in aircraft, Cable Installation Simulator evaluates stress of installation on microwave airframe assemblies. Device uses 4 mandrels to simulate routing of assembly around internal structure and abrasion bar to simulate routing across sharp edges or through access holes. Assembly is then connected to vector network analyzer to test insertion loss and VSWR, and results are compared to baseline results prior to installation.

W. L. Gore & Associates Cable & Assemblies

385 Starr Rd., Landenberg, PA, 19350, USA

Original Press Release

New Cable Installation Simulator from W. L. Gore & Associates Proves Installed Performance of Airframe Microwave Assemblies

Press release date: June 3, 2014

LANDENBERG, PA, - - To minimize the risk of cable assembly damage or failure during installation, W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) has developed a Cable Installation Simulator to evaluate the stress of installation on microwave airframe assemblies. By comparing signal integrity before and after installation, Gore can engineer assemblies that withstand airframe installation as well as the demands of the aircraft’s flight envelope.

Gore has long been a proponent of showing accurately how its products and technologies function in real-world environments before bringing them to market.  Because nearly one-third of cable failures occur during installation, this is a crucial risk factor to minimize. Damaged airframe assemblies can lead to compromised signal integrity and failures over time, as well as additional testing, maintenance and replacement costs. With the new Cable Installation Simulator, military and civil aircraft manufacturers can be confident they are getting a reliable cable assembly solution that withstands the rigors of installation and reduces the total cost of ownership.

Prior to installation in the simulator, new cable assemblies are tested to verify the insertion loss and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) over a given frequency range. This information serves as the baseline to evaluate any performance change after being routed through the simulator.

Gore's Cable Installation Simulator replicates the conditions a cable assembly experiences while being routed during installation in an aircraft. The device uses four mandrels to simulate routing an assembly around the internal structure of an airframe. The mandrels replicate minimum bend radius (MBR) conditions that the assembly will encounter in an aircraft.  Several routing guides are used to induce torque into the assembly as it is pulled through the simulator.  Next, the assembly is pulled through an abrasion bar to simulate routing across sharp edges or through access holes in the airframe structure.

After being fed through the Installation Simulator, the assembly is ready for testing. The assembly is connected to a vector network analyzer (VNA) to test the insertion loss and VSWR, and the results are compared to the baseline results of the assembly tested prior to installation. Depending on the results of the test, the assembly may be routed through the simulator multiple times and re-tested to verify its durability.

Use of the Installation Simulator gives aircraft manufacturers and installers evidence that their assemblies will provide the same level of electrical performance after installation as when they are brand new. And they can be assured that the assemblies will continue to perform reliably throughout the service life of the aircraft.

“Aircraft manufacturers need reliable solutions that can be installed deep within an aircraft and left there for the life of the platform. Therefore, we want to create ‘fit and forget’ solutions that will survive the demanding environments within an aircraft,” said Jim Foreman, product manager at Gore.

"We are committed to designing next generation products that solve key challenges, and mitigate risk for aircraft, said Paul Pino, Lead Principal Design Engineer at Gore, "To do this, we test and simulate real world conditions to ensure that our products do what we say they will do, consistently and reliably even in harsh conditions."

For more info on Gore's Cable Installation Simulator, go to gore.com/simulator to download the white paper or contact a Gore applications specialist at electronics.usa@wlgore.com.

About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Gore is a technology-driven company focused on discovery and product innovation. Well known for waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® fabric, the company’s portfolio includes everything from high- performance fabrics and implantable medical devices to industrial manufacturing components and aerospace electronics. Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Newark, Del., Gore posts annual sales of more than $3.2 billion and employs approximately 10,000 associates with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and China, and sales offices around the world. Gore is one of a select few companies to appear on all of the U.S. “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists since the rankings debuted in 1984. The company also appears regularly on similar lists around the world. Learn more at gore.com 

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