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Benefits of COTS Products in New Space Applications

April 2022

Space is a growing market, and it is evolving very quickly. With this growth comes the need for interconnect components that meet the demanding requirements of new space applications. COTS products provide cost-effective, timely and reliable solutions for companies designing and testing applications in space.

Benefits of COTS products

The primary benefit that many people look for when considering COTS products for a new space application is reducing overhead. Budget is the first thing many people are concerned with, and cutting costs by finding lower priced alternatives is key with COTS products.

COTS products also offer shortened lead times, so if time is a constraint, having products readily available can be beneficial for many businesses.

COTS solutions may perform better than recognized EEE parts. It can be important to weigh the pros and cons for the mission specific application needs. These products also provide a solution for parts that are unavailable or do not exist for certain applications.

Considerations for COTS products in new space applications

Level of Reliability Required
Longevity can be a concern for some applications, as maintenance can be hard (or impossible) with some missions. With low earth orbit, however, COTS products can often be a good solution for many applications.

Component Specific Factors
For certain companies or applications, the primary factor is the material of the product, which then can lead to weight and dimension factors, as well as the temperature certain products can withstand.

Length of Mission
COTS products are not always compatible with long missions. But with shorter missions of five years or less, COTS solutions can work well.

Mitigation of the Effects of Radiation
With any space application, radiation is always a concern. How well does the material of the COTS product withstand the radiation it will inevitably be exposed to?

COTS Products from Radiall

Radiall offers a wide range of COTS cable assemblies, connectors and active optics components to support new space applications, including payloads, satellites, launchers and more. Our product experts can help you find the right interconnect solutions for your specific applications.

  • Optical Cable Assemblies
    Our optical cable assembly offer features an array of components that can meet your application requirements. Q-MTitan is Radiall’s high density MT-based connector for harsh environments. Q-MTitan contacts bring multi fiber capability through one standard size 8 quadrax cavity, providing excellent cable retention and sealing on round multi-fiber cables. This robust series can withstand high temperature ranges and vibration levels, which enables the use of an MT optical ferrule in harsh environments. The scoop-proof design ensures the protection of the optical end face even in difficult mating conditions

  • Low Loss High Frequency Flexible Cable Assemblies
    Radiall’s SHF cable assemblies are flexible cable assemblies featuring ultra low loss performance and deliver the lowest insertion loss currently available. These assemblies are often used in ground testing applications.

  • Hand-Formable and Semi-Rigid Cable Assemblies
    Our hand-formable cable assemblies provide the same electrical performance as semi-rigid cables while being hand-formable. They allow easy routing during installation. Their balance of performance and flexibility make them ideal for ground testing applications.

  • Multipin Connectors
    HDQX connectors combine the compact and rugged qualities necessary for high reliability and signal integrity in space applications. MPX connectors offer enhanced sealing, high conductivity and corrosion resistance in a robust shell. QuickFusio and QR connectors provide one-finger mating to space applications while also saving time, increasing performance and reducing costs.

  • Active Optics Components
    Our end-to-end optical links have the potential to be used in a variety of space applications. The D-Light family offers the highest channel integration density, while the S-Light family offers single-channel optical transceivers.

  • Coaxial Switches
    Radiall’s Quartz-S SMT Relay switch provides strong RF performances, minimizes cost and improves integration. Learn more about our switches for space.

Want to talk to a Radiall expert about COTS products for your new space application? Book a virtual meeting today.