Smiths Connectors is now Smiths Interconnect


August 28, 2012

Robust Space-Grade Interconnect Solution Plays a Key Role in Successful Landing on Mars

HUDSON, Mass.-  Smiths Connectors, a world-leading provider of high performance interconnect solutions for the most demanding applications today announces its involvement with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Pasadena, CA on the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity.

A key ingredient in the complex technological mix that went into the Curiosity rover was the JPL requirement for robust space grade connectors that could guarantee signal reliability from liftoff to landing. Smiths Connectors Compact PCI (cPCI) connectors were used by JPL, and proved to play a pivotal role in providing flawless signal integrity throughout the mission. 

Smiths Connectors world renowned Hypertac® contact technology successfully underwent extensive pre-mission testing dealing with the critical requirements associated with stringent signal reliability demands needed for the Mars mission. The Mars Science Laboratory required technology that had the proven capability to perform flawlessly in extremely harsh environments. In addition, JPL demanded an interconnect solution that was robust enough to handle the severe conditions of space flight and those on the surface of Mars. Signal integrity is ensured by electrical connectors that join single-board computers to a cPCI backplane bus architecture that functions as the central nervous system for the Curiosity rover. The Smiths Connectors delivered the level of performance and reliability that was called for by mission planners, playing a key role in the success of the mission. 

“Smiths Connectors congratulates NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on this momentous achievement,” said Vadim Radunsky, President of Smiths Connectors North America. “We are gratified and delighted to have our cPCI interconnect solution play a significant role in contributing to what is indeed a major success in space exploration. Our connectors have undergone rigorous testing by JPL that involved extreme environmental conditions as well as extraordinary shock and vibration, and they have definitely lived up to their billing of fail-proof performance.”