“The integration of power supply and data transfer heralds a new era in hose technology which, while developed for advanced flight systems, has applications across many markets including wind power generation, oil and gas and ship-to-aircraft, “ said Calvin Tan, Chief Technology Officer of Icon Aerospace. A technology company in engineered polymer products and a leading supplier of refueling hoses to Tier 1 suppliers and air forces across the globe, Icon Aerospace has developed a key enabling technology to create the first ´Intelligent Connector (IC)´ for in-flight refueling.
The IconIC™ hose system draws on the company´s mechatronics and polymer-to-polymer technology, to safely and securely accommodate power with telemetry cables and fiber optics for data transfer–something previously considered unattainable.
The technology enables a range of control and communication functions to take place between a tanker and receiver aircraft while the receiver aircraft undergoes mid-air refueling. The new technology is able to play a key role in enabling precise, remote positional control of the refueling hose, which will be suitable in applications with unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (AUAVs). The integration of data transfer capability enables diagnostics, reprogramming, and a host of other functions.
At the end of the hose is an embedded termination collar that connects into a ´clamshell´ user defined interface, switchable in flight, into which a variety of functions can be integrated depending on user requirements.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, Design World articles, Connectors (electrical) • crimp technologies