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Publication numberUS3550065 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 22, 1970
Filing dateJan 11, 1968
Priority dateJan 11, 1968
Publication numberUS 3550065 A, US 3550065A, US-A-3550065, US3550065 A, US3550065A
InventorsJohn J Phillips
Original AssigneeG & H Technology
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical connector
US 3550065 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 22, -1970 J. J. PHILLIPS ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR Original Filed Oct. 18, 1965 United States Patent O ELECTRICAL CONNECTOR John J. Phillips, Rolling Hills, Calif., assignor, by mesne assignments, to G & H Technology, Inc., Santa Monica,

Calif., a corporation of Delaware Continuation of application Ser. No. 497,064, Oct. 18,

1965. This application Jan. 11, 1968, Ser. No. 697,135 Int. Cl. H01r 13/52 U.S. Cl. 339-94 22 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention is related to electrical connectors and more particularly to electrical connectors for use in severe environments. The embodiment of the connector specifically disclosed herein contains at least three significant important improvements over the prior art whereby the connector may be utilized in environments having extremely high temperatures, electrically conductive plasmas and/or large quantities of stray electromagnetic energy, etc. One of these improvements includes a thermoplastic insert effective to tlow into and around the electrical contacts when the temperature of the atmosphere approaches the region where it becomes electrically insulated from each other and from any surrounding electrically conductive atmospheres. A second improvement includes the use of a seal of non-communicating material having a plurality of gas lled closed bubbles whereby a rise in temperature into the above mentioned region causes the bubble to greatly expand and increase the sealing pressure and prevent any atmospheres from entering into the connector and shorting out any of the electrical contacts. A third improvement includes an electrically conductive face plate disposed in front of the contacts and includes a plurality of access passages whereby complimentary mating pin contacts may extend through the access passages. The access passages form waveguides wherein the cut-olf frequency is suiciently high to prevent any incident electromagnetic energy passing therethrough.

CROSS 'REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation of copending application ISer. No. 497,064, filed Oct. 18, 1965, and now abandoned in the name of John J. Phillips and assigned of record to Automation Industries, Inc.

BRIEF SUMMARY It is frequently desirable to temporarily interconnect a pair of electrical circuits and then to subsequently disconnect them whereby they may operate independently of each other. For example, prior to launching certain types of aerial vehicles, such as airplanes and missiles, it is desirable to dircetly interconnect the various onboard circuits carried by the vehicle with a ground control station whereby the on-board circuits can be remotely actuated and/or monitored prior to launching. The interconnection is normally accomplished by means of a so-called umbilical cable attached to the vehicle. Just prior to launching it is, of course, necessary for such an umbilical cable to be disconnected from the vehicle.

Normally the umbilical cable is coupled to the onboard circuitry by means of a mating a pair of quick disconnect connectors. One connector, for example the plug connector, is provided on the end of the umbilical cable and includes a plurality of pin contacts. The other connector, for example the receptacle connector, is mounted on the vehicle and includes a plurality of socket con- Patented Dec. 22, 1970 ice tacts. The receptacle Contact is mounted on the vehicle so that the socket contacts are exposed for receiving the mating pin contacts. When the two connectors are mated together, satisfactory coupling is provided beween the on-board circuitry and the ground control circuitry. However, when the plug connector is removed, the socket contacts in the receptacle connector remaining on the vehicle are exposed to the environment in which the vehicle is operating. Although this is normally not objectionable, under some circumstances it may be.

During the re-entry phase when a missile enters the earths atmosphere from high altitudes the missile is traveling at an extremely large velocity. This produces high temperatures on the skin of the missile and in the connector, Also, in certain types of high performance aircraft operating within the earths atmosphere the temperature of the skin may rise far above ambient temperatures. These temperatures may become high enough to burn or otherwise destroy a portion of the connector whereby one or more of the contacts may short out and cause a malfunction in the on-board circuitry.

Moreover, the air adjacent to the vehicle and particularly on re-entering missiles -may be heated enough to be ionized to form an electrically conductive plasma. If this plasma ows around one or more of the various socket contacts, the circuitry within the missile may be energized or shorted out whereby a malfunction may occur within the missile.

It has also been found that very frequently a vehicle, such as an airplane or missile, may be exposed to high intensity electromagnetic energy in the microwave region. As is well known to those skilled in the art, a microwave is a very short wave of electromagnetic energy, as for example a wave of less than l0 meters in wavelength. More particularly, it is a wave between 1 centimeter and centimeters in wavelength. This can be said, then, to be generally a radio frequency (RF) which is somewhere between the area of 10 kHz, to 300,000 kHz. This may occur when the vehicle is being tracked by a high powered radar system and particularly relatively close ranges. As is well known to those skilled in the art, the radar systems emit energy in the ultra high frequency (UHF) which of course is in the RF range. If this electromagnetic energy is incident upon one or more of the socket contacts in the receptacle connector, spurious currents may be produced in various portions of the onboard circuitry. This in turn may cause a malfunction of the on-board circuitry and jeopardize the proper operation of the vehicle. It will thus be seen that prior connectors have not been entirely satisfactory for all applications and particularly for use on missiles.

The present invention provides means for overcoming the foregoing disadvantages and limitations of prior connectors. More particularly, this invention provides a connector that is not only simple and light weight but is also not subject to malfunctions as a result of exposures to high temperatures, electrically conductive plasmas or high intensity electromagnetic radation. This is accomplished by providing a receptacle connector which may be ush mounted with the exterior surface of a vehicle but includes means for isolating the contacts therein from the surrounding environments.

In the single embodiment of the invention disclosed herein connector means are provided wherein socket contacts are disposed in a thermoplastic material and protected by a seal of a non-communicating material and shielded by means having wave traps for electromagnetic energy. During the re-entry phase the high temperature will cause the gas trapped in the non-communicating material to expand whereby the seal completely blocks the entry of any plasma. If the temperature rises above a preselected level the thermoplastic material supporting the sockets will melt and ow in and around the socket contacts. This will encase the socket contacts in the plastic and further protect them from the plasma and prevent them shorting out by contacting each other. In addition, an electrically conductive face plate is disposed over the socket contacts. A plurality of perforations are aligned with the socket contacts whereby the pin contacts can have access to these contacts. These perforations form waveguides having a high frequency cut-off whereby they act as wave traps to any electromagnetic energy incident upon the face whereby they cannot pass therethrough nor reach the socket contacts. If there is any electromagnetic microwave energy incident upon the missilo the contacts will be shielded therefrom by the wave traps. Such wave traps are known as waveguides and are used for channeling or blocking energy in the UHF which of course is in the radio frequency ranges.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent from the detailed description of a single embodiment thereof, particularly when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts and wherein:

FIG. l is a cross sectional view of a connector embodying one form of the present invention, and;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary cross sectional view, on an enlarged scale, of a portion of the connector in FIG. l.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings in more detail, the present invention is embodied in an electrical connector means for temporarily interconnecting two sets of electrical circuits. Although this connector means 10 may be employed in a wide variety of installations, in the present instance it is particularly adapted for use in interconnecting the conductors in an umbilical cable with the on-board circuitry carried by an aerial vehicle such as an aircraft operating within the earths atmosphere and/ or a missile which may operate inside and/ or outside of the earths atmosphere.

The connector means 10 includes a plug connector 12 that is carried on the end of the umbilical cable 14. The various conductors included in the cable 14 are connected to a corresponding number of contacts 16 in the plug connector 12. The connector means 10 also includes a receptacle connector 18 permanently mounted on the vehicle and carried with the vehicle during its flight.

The receptacle connector 18 is accessible through an opening 20 in the skin 22 of the vehicle whereby the plug connector 12 may mate therewith. The contacts 24 in the receptacle connector 18 are electrically permanently interconnected with the various onboard circuits carried by the vehicle. The contracts 24 are adapted to electrically engage the contacts 16 in the plug connector 12 when the plug and receptacle are mated.

The plug connector 12 is preferably of the quick release variety whereby it may be rapidly disconnected from the vehicle immediately preceding launching. The connector 12 includes a housing 26 having a substantially cylindrical extension 28 on the outer end thereof. This extension 28 is adapted to t through the opening 20 in the vehicle skin 22. A support 30 may be attached to the connector 12 by means of a universal joint 32 on the end of the housing 26. The support 30 is effective to assist in positioning the' connector 12 next to the vehicle.

A spring Abiased sleeve 34 is provided around the exterior of the housing 26 for movement axially of the housing 26. The end 36 of the sleeve 34 bears against the exterior of the vehicle skin 22 and/ or the receptacle connector 18 when the connectors 12 and 18 are mated. When in this condition the spring 38 is compressed but the 4 sleeve 34 does not produce any separating force on plug connector 12. When the sleeve 34 is released, the spring 38 expands and forces the end 36 of sleeve 34 against the connector 18. When this occurs the extension 28 is withdrawn from the opening 20 and the plug connector 12 is separated from and thrown clear of the vehicle.

An insert 40 of electrical insulating material is provided in the housing 26. A plurality of substantially parallel passages 42 extend axially through the insert 40 and forrn openings on the front and back surfaces 58 and 60. The contacts 16 are disposed in these passages 42. Although the contacts 16 may be of any desired variety, the present ones include an enlarged head 44 and a pin 46 that extends axially from the head 44.

The end of the head 44 fits against a shoulder 48 and prevents the contact 16 moving through the passage 42. A spring detent 50 is provided in an enlarged portion of the passage and includes a plurality of fingers 52. When the Contact 16 is forced into position, the lingers 52 snap into the annular recess around the head 44 as the head 44 engages the shoulder 48 whereby the contact 16 is locked in position.

The end of the umbilical cable 14 extends into a shell 56 that fits into the end of the housing 26. The ends of the conductors in the cable 14 are attached to the individual contacts 16 by suitable means such as crimping the head 44 onto the conductors.

The pins 46 project beyond the surface 60 of the insert 40 and are preferably surrounded by the extension 28. The pins 46 are adapted to extend into the receptacle contact 24 and thereby electrically mate with their respective contacts therein when the two connectors 12 and 18 are mated. A resilient seal 62 may be provided on the end of the insert 40 for engaging the receptacle connector 12. The extension 28 thereby protects the pins 46 when the connectors are separated and also guides the plug connector 12 when it is being mated to and separated from the receptacle connector 18.

The receptacle connector 18 includes a receptacle assembly 64 having a mounting bracket 66 and a guide 68. The mounting bracket 66 includes a radial mounting flange 70 attached directly to the inside of the vehicle skin 22 whereby the bracket 66 and guide 68 are fully electrically grounded to the skin 22. A passage 72 extends axially through the bracket 66 in substantial alignment with the opening 20. The guide 68 is secured in the passage 72 with one end positioned next to the skin 22 and the other end bearing against a radial shoulder 74 on the bracket 66. The interior of the guide 68 includes a substantial cylindrical passage 75 that is concentric with the opening 20 and is adapted to receive the extension 28 on the end of the housing 26.

An insert assembly 76 fits into the receptacle assembly 64. This assembly 76 includes a housing 78 having a substantially cylindrical barrel 80 and a substantially plane face 82. The inner end of the barrel 80` includes a flange 84 which ts inside of the bracket 66 and bears upon the flange 84. A backshell 86 is secured in the passage 72 to assist in securing the insert assembly 76 in position.

The exterior of the barrel 80 is separated from the inside of the guide 68 by a space 88 that receives the extension 28. Suitable keys and detents 89 may be provided on the barrel 80 and/0r extension 28 to insure the connectors 12 and 18 being properly aligned with each other when they are mated and to retain them locked together.

When the receptacle connector 18 is properly installed, the exterior of the face 82 is substantially flush with the exterior of the vehicle skin 22. The face 82 includes a plurality of passages 90 that extend therethrough in alignment with projecting pins` 46. The passages 90 are preferably of suficient diameter to allow the pins 46 to extend through the passages 90 without establishing an electrical contact with the face 82.

Although the housing 78 may be fabricated from any desired material it is preferably electrically conductive and electrically grounded to the skin 22. As a consequence when the vehicle is in flight and the plug connector 12 is removed, if electromagnetic energy should be incident upon the skin 22 and/or upon the receptacle connector 18, the skin 22 and/or the face 82 of the housing 78 will act as a shield and absorb and/or reect the energy with little or no energy entering into the interior of the vehicle or the conductor 18. A coating 79 of paint, anodizing, etc. may be provided on the exterior of the face 82 to electrically insulate the surface of the face from the pins 46, particularly when the plug connector 12 is being mated with or separated from the receptacle connector 18.

It is to be noted there are a large number of passages 90 extending through the face 82 to allow access for the pins 46 when the connectors 12 and 18 are mated. When the connectors are not mated these passages 90 may act as waveguides which open into the interior of the assembly 76. Any electromagnetic energy which might propagate through these waveguides would be dispersed throughout the connector 18 and received by the socket contacts 24 and/or the electrical conductors attached thereto. This received energy would then tend to circulate throughout the various portions of the on-board circuitry. If the received energy is of sufficient magnitude it may cause a possible malfunction of the on-board circuitry. However, as is well known in the microwave arts all Wavegiudes have a critical or cut-off frequency. Only energy having a frequency above this critical or cut-off frequency can be propagated through a waveguide. Energy having a frequency which is below the cut-off frequency will be severely attenuated and completely absorbed as it attempts to propagate through the waveguide. Accordingly, the dimensions of the passages 90 are selected such that the cut-off frequency is materially above the highest frequency of any electromagnetic energy which is anticipated and particularly above the frequency of any energy which would be of an intensity capable of causing a malfunction of the on-board circuitry. The cut-off frequency for a waveguide has a wavelength less than four times as long as the largest transverse inside dimension of the waveguide. As a result energy having a quarter wavelength greater than the diameter of the passage 90 will not traverse the passage. The diameters of the pins 46 are, of course, less than this dimension.

As a consequence the housing 78 and the skin 22 will function as shields to any electromagnetic energy and prevent such energy entering into the connector 18 and/ or the vhicle. It is to be noted since the housing 78 is grounded to the skin 22 by way of backshell 86, bracket 66 and guide 68, the electrically conductive face 82 closes the opening 20 whereby said opening is completely sealed and opaque to any incident electromagnetic energy.

The insert assembly 76 also includes an insulating insert 92. The insert 92 is a substantially cylindrical member having front and back surfaces 94 and 96. The insert 92 is lpositioned in the barrel 80 with the surfaces 94 and 96 substantially parallel to the face 82.

A plurality of substantially parallel passages 98 extend axially through the insert 92 and form openings in the front and back surfaces 94 and 96. These passages 98 are aligned with the passages `42 in the first insert 40 and the passages through the face 82. A contact 24 is positioned in each passage 98.

The contacts 24 may be of any desired variety capable of mating with the contacts 16 in the plug connector 12. Since the contacts 16 are of the pin variety, the contacts 24 are of the socket variety. More particularly, each contact 24 includes a head 100 having a passage 98 that extends axially inwardly from the end to form a socket 102. This socket 102 forms a tight friction fit upon the exterior of the pin 46 whereby a low resistance electrical path is formed. The end of the passage 98 has a section 103 of reduced diameter that is approxi- -mately equal to the inside diameter of the socket 102. This will act as a guide to align the pin 46 with the socket 102 and also to form a shoulder 104 to prevent the contact 24 passing through the passage 98.

Detents 106 similar to the first detents 50 may be provided in the passages 98. These detents 106 include resilient lingers 108 that snap into an annular recess around the heads and thereby lock the connectors 24 in position against shoulders 104. The opposite ends of the connectors 24 are electrically interconnected with the individual conductors leading to the on-board circuitry.

The insert 92 may be fabricated from any suitable material; preferably it is rigid and electrically non-conductive. In addition it has been found desirable for the material to be thermoplastic. At normal operating temperatures the material is right and self-supporting. However when the temperature rises above a predetermined critical level the material becomes plastic and flows. The material is selected so that this critical temperature at which the material begins to flow is somewhat below the temperatures which are expected to be generated on the skin 22 during flight. In the case of a missile this temperature would be reached during the re-entry phase of the flight. The critical temperature at which the insert 92 melts and begins to flow is somewhat below the temperatures at which the surrounding atmosphere tends to ionize and/ or form onto an electrically conductive plasma. As a consequence before an electrically conductive plasma forms so as to short out the contacts, the insert has flowed into and around the contacts and completely isolated them from the plasma. This critical temperature is below the temperature at which the insert 92 burns, ignites, chars, etc.

If the insert 92 is of a thermoplastic material and if the temperature rises above the critical level the material will commence flowing into and around the contacts 24. Also the material will flow into and across the section 98 (as seen in FIG. 2) whereby the contact 24 becomes completely encased in the insert material. It can thus be seen once the insert has flowed around the contacts 24 and electrically non-conductive envelope is provided which completely seals them against an electrically conductive plasma and prevents shorting the contacts.

The end surface 94 of the insert 92 is substantially plane and parallel to the face 82. However, it has 'been found desirable for the surface 94 to be separated from the face 82, by an intervening space. A sealing member 110 is then disposed in this space. Although this sealing member 110 may be of any desired material it is preferably of a self-sealing nature, i.e. it will flow into and seal any openings therein. In the present instance the sealing member 110 includes a non-communicating material, such as a silicon sponge. Such a material is resilient whereby it may be easily deformed and completely fill any space into which it will fit. It also includes a large number of relatively small gas led pockets or bubbles. Each bu-bble is completely sealed and independent from all of the adjacent bubbles. As a consequence the gas trapped within any given bubble will remain fixed throughout the life of the material.

Normally when the seal 110 is initially installed between the surface 94 and the face 82, it is a solid member free from any openings or passages. However, when the connectors 12 and 18 are mated and pins 46 are forced through the openings 90 in the face 82 and into the sockets 102, the pins 46 may be easily forced through the seal 110 and open up small passages by cutting, tearing, etc. When the pins 46 are withdrawn from the seal 110` the passages will still remain. However, due to the natural resilience of the seal 110 it will tend to flow into and ll the spaces formerly occupied by the pins 46 whereby the passages will be closed.

In the event the temperature rises, and particularly if it rises into an elevated range as occurs during re-entry, the gas contained within the bubbles will expand. When the temperature exceeds some predetermined level the expanding gas will be effective to expand the size of the seal 110 whereby it will flow into the passages made by pins 46 and completely fill and seal them. The predetermined level wherein the seal expands is normally in the same general region or somewhat below the critical temperature level where the insert 92 begins to flow over and around the contacts 24. As a result the insert 92 and seal 110 will effectively compliment each other in sealing the contacts against the severe environment encountered during re-entry.

In order to employ the connector means 10 for coupling the on-board circuitry with a ground control station, the plug connector 12 on the end of the umbilical cable 14 is plugged into a receptable connector 18 on the missile. The pins 46 on the contacts 16 will then project through the openings 90 and seal 110 and extend into the sockets 102 on the contacts 24. When the missile is ready to be launched the sleeve 34 is released whereby spring 38 forces the plug connector 12 from the missile and withdraws the pins 46 from the sockets 102.

After being disconnected and throughout the iiight of the vehicle, the contacts 24 remain electrically coupled to the on-board circuitry. As a result any currents in any of the contacts 42 may cause a malfunction in this circuitry. In th event a large amount of electromagnetic energy is incident upon the skin 22 of the vehicle, this energy is either reflected or absorbed by the skin 22. If any such energy is directed toward the opening the face 82 of the housing 78 forms and effective shield that grounds the energy to skin 22 and thereby precludes such energy passing through opening 20 or reaching the contacts 24. It is to be noted that even though there may be a large number of passages 90 through the face 82 that act as waveguides, their cut-off freqency is above the frequency of the incident energy. As a result the passages 90 act as wave traps and no energy reaches the contacts 24.

During re-entry of a missile the friction of the air flowing across the surface of the skin 22 generates very high temperatures. This results in a heat transfer into the connector 18. As the temperature of the gases in the seal 110 rises, the seal 110 expands. This in turn results in the seal 110 tightly engaging all of the inner surfaces and closing any passages left by pins 46. This prevents any of the electrically conductive plasma reaching any of the socket contacts 24.

In the case of a re-entering missile the high temperatures do not persist for any extended period of time. By way of example, normally they do not last for more than about 10 to l5 seconds. As a result if the seal 110 is of thermally non-conductive material such as silicon and has a large percentage of dead air space, very little heat will actually reach the insert 92 before the extreme temperatures subside. However, in the event enough heat does reach the outer surface 94 of the insert 92, the insert 92 will become fluid and `fiow around the Contact 24 as illustrated in FIG. 2. This will insure each of the contacts 24 being completely encased in an electrically non-conductive material and protect them from being shorted by ionizing plasma.

It will thus be seen that a new and improved connector is provided that is particuarly adapted to `be employed in adverse environments such as those containing large amounts of electro-magnetic energy, high temperatures and ionized plasmas. It will be apparent to persons skilled in the art that the connector disclosed and described herein may be extensively modified and changed while still employing the present invention. Accordingly, the foregoing disclosure is for illustrative purposes only and do not limit the scope of the invention which is defined only by the claims which follow.

What is claimed is:

1. A receptacle connector adapted for interconnection with a plug connector having a plurality of contacts projecting therefrom, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector,

a face on said housing having a separate opening therethrough for each contact in the plug connector, said openings being positioned to allow said contacts to project therethrough, said face forming a portion of the outer surface of a device which is subjected to an environment wherein the temperature exceeds a predetermined level and is also sufficiently high to ionize the atmosphere and form a conductive plasma,

an insert in said housing positioned adjacent said face,

separate contacts in said insert aligned with said openings and effective to receive the contacts from the plug connector extending through the face,

thermal responsive means in said housing for electrically isolating the contacts in said insert from said environment whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level, and

a second insert in said housing and thermal responsive means in said second insert for expanding said insert and electrically isolating the contacts in said first insert from said environment whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level.

2. A receptacle connector adapted for interconnection with a plug connector having a plurality of contacts projecting therefrom, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector.

a conductive face on said housing, said face forming a portion of the outer surface of a device which is subjected to an environment wherein the temperature exceeds a predetermined temperature and is also sufiiciently high to ionize the atmosphere and form a a conductive plasma, said environment including high intensity electromagnetic wave energy.

a separate passage through said face for each of the contacts in the plug connector, said passages being positioned for alignment with the contacts to allow the contacts to pass therethrough,

an insulating insert in said housing positioned adjacent to the face,

passages in said insert forming openings in said end aligned with the passages through said face,

contacts in the passages in the insert positioned to receive the contacts from the plug connector,

the dimension of said passages through said face being selected to form waveguides having a cut-off frequency above the highest frequency of said wave energy, whereby said passages through said face act as wave traps and prevent said wave energy from reaching said contacts in said passages in said insert,

thermal responsive means in said housing for electrically isolating all of the contacts in said insert from each other and the face of the housing Whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level, and

a second insert in said housing and thermal responsive means in said second insert for expanding said insert and electrically isolating the contacts in said first insert from said environment whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level.

3. A receptacle connector for being interconnected with a plug connector having a plurality of contacts projecting therefrom, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector,

a face on said housing,

separate passages through said face for each of the contact pins in the plug connector, said passages being positioned for alignment with the contact pins to pass therethrough,

an insulating insert in said housing, said insert having one end thereof parallel to said face and separated therefrom by a space,

passages in said insert aligned with the passages through said face,

contacts in the passages in said insert, said contacts being aligned with the passages in the face and effective to receive the contacts on the plug connector, and

a seal disposed in the space between the end of the insert and the face of the housing, said seal including a non-communicating material having a plurality of independent gas filled pockets.

4. A receptacle connector for being interconnected with a plug connector having a plurality of contact pins projecting therefrom, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector,

a face on said housing having a plurality of openings therethrough positioned to allow the contact pins to project therethrough,

an insert in said housing positioned adjacent said face,

separate socket contacts in said insert for each contact pin, said socket contacts being aligned with said openings to receive the pin contacts projecting therethrough, and

a seal of non-communicating material disposed between said insert and said face, said seal being effective to allow the contact pins to pass therethrough and into said contact sockets, and including a plurality of independent gas filled pockets.

5. A receptacle connector for being interconnected with a plug connector having a plurality of contact pins projecting therefrom, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector,

a face on said housing,

separate passages through said face, said passages being positioned for alignment with the contact pins to allow the contact pins to pass therethrough,

an insulating insert in said housing having the end thereof positioned adjacent said face and separated therefrom by a space,

pas-sages in said insert aligned with the passages through said face,

a socket contact in each of said passages in the insert and aligned with the passages in said face and positioned to receive the pins, said insert being thermoplastic to flow around the contacts when the temperature exceeds a predetermined level, and

a non-communicating sealing member disposed in said space and effective to allow the pin contacts to pass therethrough and into the socket contacts, said member having a plurality of independent gas lled pockets and being self sealing to close the spaceleft by the pin contacts when the temperature exceeds a predetermined level.

6. A receptacle connector adapted for interconnection with a plug connector having a plurality of contacts, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector,

a face on said housing forming a portion of the outer surface of a device which is subjected to an environment wherein the temperature exceeds a predetermined level and is also sufficiently high to ionize the atmosphere and form a conductive plasma,

separate passages through said face for each of the contacts in the plug connector positioned for alignment with contacts in said plug connector to allow the contacts to pass therethrough,

an insulating insert in said housing positioned adjacent said face,

passages in said insert aligned with the passages through said face,

a contact in the passages in the insert and aligned with the passages in said face and positioned to receive the contacts in said plug connector,

said insert including a thermoplastic material effective to flow into the regions of said passages and encompass the contacts whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level, and

a second insert in said housing and thermal responsive means in said second insert for expanding said insert and electrically isolating the contacts in said first insert from said environment whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level.

7. A receptacle connector adapted for interconnection with a plug connector having a plurality of contact pins projecting therefrom, said receptacle connector including the combination of a connector housing for mating with the plug connector,

a face on said housing forming a portion of the outer surface of a device which is subjected to an environment wherein the temperature exceeds a predetermined level and is also sutiiciently high to ionize the atmosphere and form a conductive plasma,

separate passages through said face for each of the contact pins in the plug connector, said passages being positioned for alignment with the contact pins to allow the contact pins to pass therethrough,

a thermoplastic insert in said housing, said insert being rigid at normal ambient temperatures and having passages therein aligned with the passages through said face, said insert becoming fluid above said predetermined temperature and closing said passages,

a socket contact in each of said passages aligned with the passages in the face, and

a second insert in said housing and thermal responsive means in said second insert for expanding said insert and electrically isolating the contacts in said first insert from said environment whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level.

8. A connector of the class described for operating in an environment having high intensity RF electromagnetic energy and including the combination of a housing,

a face on said housing forming a portion of the outer surface of a device which is exposed to the surrounding environment,

a plurality of passages extending through said face having transverse dimensions less than a quarter Iwavelength of the highest expected frequency of said electromagnetic energy and forming waveguides for electromagnetic energy,

a thermoplastic insert disposed in said housing and adjacent the face,

a plurality of passages in said insert aligned with said first passages, and

a plurality of electrical contacts in said passages spaced from the face and aligned with the openings to receive contact pins projecting through the face,

said insert being effective to fiow around the contacts and close the passages when the temperature of said surrounding atmosphere approaches an elevated temperature at which said atmosphere ionizes,

said passages comprising high-pass waveguide filters having a cut-oli frequency above the frequency of the electromagnetic energy.

9. A connector of the class described including apparatus for ltering incident objectionable electromagnetic energy including the combination of a housing having a face with a plurality of openings therethrough, the thickness of the face and the transverse openings of the face being selected to form waveguides, said dimensions being about a quarter wavelength of the objectionable incident 1 l energy, said face forming a portion of the outer surface of a device which is exposed to a surrounding atmosphere,

a plurality of electrical contacts disposed in said housing, said contacts being spaced from the face and aligned with the openings, and

a thermoplastic material disposed in said housing, and effective to flow into the space between the contacts and the face when the temperature of said surrounding atmosphere approaches an elevated temperature at which said atmosphere ionizes.

10. A connector of the class described including the combination of a housing,

a thermoplastic insulating insert disposed inside of said housing and having a plurality of openings therein,

a plurality of electrical contacts disposed in the openings in said insert for receiving mating contacts, said thermoplastic insert being effective when heated to flow and at least partially close any openings and enclose the co-ntacts when the temperature of a surrounding atmosphere approaches an elevated temperature where said atmosphere ionizes, and

a second insert in said housing and thermal responsive means in said second insert for expanding said insert and electrically isolating the contacts in said rst insert from said environment whenever the` temperature exceeds said predetermined level.

11. A connector of the class described including the combination of a housing having a plurality of openings therethrough for receiving contact pins,

an insert in said housing positio-ned adjacent to the face and separated therefrom by a space,

a plurality of electrical contacts in said insert, said electrical contacts being aligned with the openings in the face for receiving contact pins extending through the face, and

a seal including a non-communicating material disposed in the space between the face and the insert, said seal being effective to allow the contact pins to form passages through the seal between the openings and electrical contact, said non-communicating material including a plurality of lindividual gas filled pockets effective to expand when heated and close the passage.

12. A connector of the class described including the combination of a housing having a face with a plurality of openings therethrough,

an insert disposed in said housing and spaced from the face,

a plurality of electrical contacts in said insert, said contacts being aligned with the openings in the face for receiving contact pins propecting therethrough,

a non-communicating seal disposed between the insert and the face, said seal being effective to allow the the contact pins to form passages therethrough between the openings and contact, said seal -being effective to expand when heated and close any passages formed by the contact pins, and

a second insert in said housing and thermal responsive means in said second insert for expanding said insert and electrically isolating the contacts in said first insert from said environment whenever the temperature exceeds said predetermined level.

13. A connector of the class described for operating in an environment having high intensity electromagnetic energy and including the combination of a housing having a face which forms an outside surface adapted to be exposed to said environment,

a plurality of passages extending through the face, said passages forming wave guides for electromagnetic energy,

an insert disposed in said housing in spaced relation to the face,

a plurality of electrical contacts in said insert, said contacts being aligned with said passage to receive contact pins projecting through said openings, and

a self-sealing member disposed between the face and the insert, said sealing member being effective to allow contact pins to pass through said openings and into the electrical contact, said sealing member being effective to close any openings formed by the contact pins and including a plurality of individual gas filled pockets effective to expand when heated to substantially completely fill and seal the space between the face and insert, the dimension of said passages being so small the cut-off frequency of the waveguides is above the frequency of the electromagnetic energy.

14. A connector of the class described including the combination of a housing,

a plurality of electrical contacts disposed in said housing, and

a self-sealing non-communicating member including a plurality of individual gas filled pockets disposed in said housing, said seal being effective to allow contacts to pass therethrough and into the contacts in said housing.

15. A connector of the class described which includes apparatus for filtering selective objectionable incident energy from entering the connector including the combination of a housing having a face with a plurality of passages therethrough for receiving contact pins, and

a plurality of' electrical contacts in said housing and aligned with the passages in the face of said housing the passages in the face of said housing having transverse dimensions about a quarter wavelength of the incident objectionable frequency 16. A connector of the class described which includes apparatus for filtering selective objectionable incident energy from entering the connector including the combination of an electrically conductive face being disposed over said connector, said face forming a portion of the outer conductive surface of a device which is subjected to selective objectionable incident energy.

a plurality of waveguides extending through said face,

said plurality of waveguides being positioned for receiving a corresponding plurality of contact pins and allowing said plurality of Contact pins to pass through said face, and

a plurality of electrical contacts in said housing, said plurality of contacts being aligned with corresponding ones of said plurality of waveguides, said contacts being aligned to receive the plurality of contact pins which are projected through said face,

each waveguide of said plurality having transverse dimensions about a quarter wavelength of the objectionable incident energy 17. An umbilical connector for mounting on a vehicle so as to be accessible through an opening in the conductive skin of the vehicle for mating with a second connector and being exposed to electromagnetic wave energy when said connectors are not mated, said connector including an electrically conductive housing for being mounted upon said vehicle in initimate electrical contact with said skin and closing said opening,

an electrically conductive face on said housing for being disposed in said opening substantially ush with said skin of said vehicle for exposure to said incident electromagnetic energy,

a set of electrical contacts disposed inside of said housing and behind said face for mating with complementary contacts projecting from said second connector, and

a plurality of access passages extending through said face and aligned with the contacts in said set, said passages being effective to allow said complementary contacts to pass therethrough and mate with the contacts in said set, the transverse dimensions of said vehicle which travels through an environment containing high intersity RF electromagnetic wave energy and which carries onboard circuitry that is temporarily connected to ground support electrical circuitry when said vehicle is not traveling but operates independently when said veaccess passage being less than a quarter wavelength hicle is traveling, said receptacle connector including of the highest expected frequency of incident eleca connector housing adapted to be permanently tromagnetic energy and comprising high-pass Wavemounted on said vehicle so as to be accessible guide filters having a cut-off frequency above the through an opening in the skin of the vehicle, said highest RF frequency of said incident electromagnetconnector housing being adapted to temporarily mate ic energy and preventing said incident energy from with a plug connector connected to said ground supreaching the contacts in said set and passing through port circuitry. the opening in the skin. a set of electrical contacts in said housing for being 18. In an umbilical connector which is adapted to be permanently electrically connected to said on-board exposed to an environment of objectionable incident elec- 15 circuitry, the contacts in said set being adapted to tromagnetic energy when said connector is not mated, the electrically mate with a complementary set of concombination of j tacts in the plug connector when said connectors are an electrically conductive connector housing, mated whereby the on-board circuitry is electrically an electrically conductive face being disposed over said coupled to the ground support circuitry, said conhousing, said face being positioned for exposure to 2o tacts being effective when exposed to said wave enthe objectionable electromagnetic energy incident ergy to receive at least a portion of said energy and upon the connector, produce spurious currents in said on-board circuitry, a plurality of electrical contacts disposed in said housthe energy below a predetermined frequency being ing and behind said face for mating With cornpleeffective to produce spurious currents of sufiicient mentary contacts in a second connector, and magnitude to cause a malfunction of the on-board a plurality of access openings in said face aligned with circuitry,

Said Contact to allow the Contacts in Said Connectors an electrically conductive face on said housing disposed tO mate With each Other, said Openings having transin front of the contacts to shield them from said en- VerSe dimensions of about a quarter Wavelength Of vironment, said face being positioned to be disposed the objectionable electromagnetic energy to provide in said opening substantially flush with said skin a cut-Off frequency above the objectionable incident whereby said face is exposed to incident electromagelectromagnetic energy, whereby each said access netic energy when said plug connector is not mated, Opening Of Said plurality is a Wave trap tO the Obmeans for electrically interconnecting said face to said jeetionnble incident energyskin whereby said face is grounded to said vehicle 19. A quick disconnect umbilical receptacle connector and said opening is electromagnetically closed to adapted for interconnection with a plug connector having Said Wave energy, and a plurality of plug contacts projecting therefrom, Said a plurality of waveguides extending through said face receptacle Connector Comprising and aligned with the contacts in said first set, said a connector housing for rnating With the plug connector, waveguides being effective to allow the contacts ori an electrically conductive face on said housing having Said plug connecter t0 pass through Said face and a separate Opening therethrough for each contact in mate with the contacts in said `first set when the two the Plug connector, said openings being positioned connectors are mated, said waveguides having a ditO allOW said ping contacts to project therethrOugh, mension less than a quarter Wavelength of the highsaid Openings having transverse dimensions less than est expected frequency of said electromagnetic wave a quarter Wavelength of the highest expected RF energy and forming high-pass waveguide filters for frequency of said incident electromagnetic energy electromagnetic energy when said connectors are not and comprising high pass filters having a cut-oit mated, said high-pass waveguide filters having a suifreluency above said highest expected RF frequency, ciently high cut-off frequency to form wave traps said face forming a Portion of the conductive outer for incident electromagnetic wave energy having fresurface of a device which is subjected to an environqueneies below Said predetermined frequency Inent including high intensity electromagnetic energy 22. An umbilical receptacle connector for mounting incident on said Outer surface, upon a vehicle which travels through an environment a plurality Of receptacle contacts in said housing, said which includes objectionably high intensity electromagcOntacts being aligned With said Openings to receive netic energy having a predetermined maximum frequency Said plug contacts projecting through said openings, and which has an access opening in a skin which is effecsaid receptacle contacts being connected to circuitry tive to reflect and/or absorb said energy, said umbilical within said device, said electromagnetic energy being receptacle connector including of sufficient intensity, if incident upon said receptacle a receptacle housing, contacts, to cause spurious currents in said circuitry means adjacent to the Opening in the Skin of the ve of sufficient magnitude to causeamalfun'ction therein. 60 hide for mounting said receptacle housing to the 20. -In a connector for being exposed to incident elec- Vehicle trmagnetlc emirgy at an Obiecuonabl frquency when an electrically conductive face ori said receptacle houssaid connector is not mated, the combination of ing for being disposed in said opening substantially a connector housing, Sh W.th th k. f .d h. 1 f b d a plurality ,of electrical contacts disposed in said housu 1 e s m 0, Sal Ve 1C e or emg expose ing for mating with complementary contacts in the to Said electromagneuf energy second connector, and means for electrically interconnecting said face with a plurality of waveguides aligned with said contacts to the skin of the vehicle for grounding said face t0 the allow access thereto, said waveguide having transvehicle and thereby effectively closing said Opening verse and relative depth dimensions which are about to said incident 'electromagnetic energy, and one quarter wavelength of the objectionable frequency a set of contacts disposed inside of said housing and of incident electromagnetic energy whereby said behind said face, said contacts being adapted to elecwaveguides act as filters and prevent said objectiontrieally mate With a Seeond set 0f Complementary able incident energy reaching said contacts. contacts on a connector which mates with said re- 21. An umbilical receptacle connector for use on a ceptacle connector,

1 5 1 6 a separate waveguide for each of said contacts extend- References Cited ing through said face in alignment with said contacts UNITED STATES PATENTS whereby the complementary contacts may pass 2 619 515 1l/1952 Doane 339 94 through said face when electrically mated with the ,2700141 1/1955 Jones 339 96 contacts in the rst set, each of said waveguides hav- 5 35063,032 11/1962 Brush 339 45(M) ing transverse dimension of about one quarter wave- 3,262,084 7 /1966 Armstrong 339 96 length of the frequency of the objectionable incident 3,288,958 11/1966 Walther et aL 200 5112 high intensity electromagnetic energy and thereby having a cut-off frequency above the frequency of MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner the objectionable electromagnetic energy incident 10 J. H. MCGLYNN ASsiSmntEXaminer upon said vehicle whereby said waveguides act as filters and prevent said incident energy reaching the U S C1, X R

contacts inside of said housing. 339-96

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3982812 *Oct 1, 1973Sep 28, 1976General Electric CompanyPower cable separable connector having gasket means for restricting the flow of arc-generated gases therefrom
US3997232 *May 19, 1975Dec 14, 1976Century Electric Motor Co.Submersible electric motor and electrical connector assembly
US4053196 *Sep 9, 1976Oct 11, 1977Century Electric Motor Co.Submersible electric motor and electrical connector assembly
US4264115 *Mar 1, 1978Apr 28, 1981Bunker Ramo CorporationInterstage electrical connector
US4362348 *Jul 3, 1980Dec 7, 1982Automation Industries, Inc.EMI: X-Ray protected multi-contact connector
US4516821 *Jun 28, 1982May 14, 1985International Telephone & Telegraph CorporationElectrical connector locking mechanism
US4568133 *Sep 25, 1984Feb 4, 1986Sony CorporationConnector socket
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US6048229 *Jul 29, 1999Apr 11, 2000The Boeing CompanyEnvironmentally resistant EMI rectangular connector having modular and bayonet coupling property
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EP0043636A1 *Feb 24, 1981Jan 13, 1982Automation Industries Inc.Emi:X-ray protected multi-contact connector
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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/272, 439/426, 439/607.1, 439/933
International ClassificationH01R13/533
Cooperative ClassificationY10S439/933, H01R13/533
European ClassificationH01R13/533
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 13, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: G&H TECHNIOLOGY, INC., 1649 - 17TH STREET, SANTA M
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:AUTOMATION INDUSTRIES, INC., FORMERLY PCC;TECHNICAL INDUSTRIES, INC., A CORP. OF CA.;REEL/FRAME:004513/0924
Effective date: 19860114
Aug 27, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: AUTOMATION INDUSTRIES, INC., 500 WEST PUTNAM AVE.,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:G & H TECHNOLOGY, INC., A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:003903/0364
Effective date: 19810817