All-purpose, non-magnetic, rugged: the ideal connector for SENSYS magnetometers

SENSYS Magnetometers & Survey Solutions relies on Fischer Freedom™ connectors for optimal connectivity in its magnetometers for archaeologists and UneXploded Ordnance (UXO) disposal services. For quick and easy assembly in the field, users need connections that ensure easy mating, yet withstand wind and weather, and are easy to clean. An additional key criterion: all device components must have no or very little residual magnetism to prevent any interference with the measurements. With the Fischer LP360 7-contact connector™ from the new Fischer Freedom Series, SENSYS found exactly the right solution for its magnetometers – and benefits from personalized service.

Fischer Connectors and SENSYS, a leading manufacturer of magnetometers used to detect residues in soil, both archaeological and military, worked closely together to find connectors that were perfectly suited to the demands of field use. For this, it is particularly important that the connectors can be plugged in easily and securely, to prevent misuse, and that they are resistant to wind and weather, as well as easy to clean. When looking for a connectivity solution up to the IP68 sealing level, SENSYS' design engineers came across the innovative Fischer Freedom™ Series with "plug-and-use" technology. This was convincing on account of its uncomplicated 360-degree mating freedom, thanks to doing away with a key code. A blind-mate, non-magnetic quick-release locking mechanism makes any false manipulations impossible and enables intuitive handling of the mating process. The contacts, sealed by a membrane, are protected against contamination and moisture, providing a degree of protection up to IP68 on both the plug and the receptacle and, at the same time, enabling easy cleaning. Thanks to the 360-degree mating capability, the magnetometer cables can be securely fixed to the bracket in the desired position, so that they fit snugly and do not generate their own magnetic fields that would interfere with the measurement.

Large area survey systems towed by car

 

CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

Safe operation in extreme environmental conditions

Ever since mankind first inhabited the Earth, he has left traces in the soilwhether in the form of prehistoric sites from past cultures or in the form of military relics from recently ended conflicts. Magnetometers help to locate and identify them. They detect any distortions or irregularities in the Earth's magnetic field caused, for example, by objects or structures and can map their shape and position. SENSYS Sensorik & Systemtechnologie GmbH (SENSYS Magnetometers & Survey Solutions in English), based in Bad Saarow, in Brandenburg, Germany, supplies these kinds of special sounding equipment and solutions. Their magnetometers measure the magnetic field of the area under investigation, registering distortions or deviations and displaying any detected anomalies in the form of a geomagnetic colored map. The measurement is accurate to one or two centimeters. In order to examine a pre-determined section of ground, several magnetometers are connected in series and either attached to trolleys or to a vehicle. SENSYS magnetometers have to withstand extreme weather conditions. Since the measurements are taken on all kinds of terrain – from desert to jungle – and in extreme weather conditions ranging from -40 to +70 degrees Celsius and up to 100% humidity, the connectors also have to be extremely robust and hard-wearing. At the same time, it is important that no disturbing magnetic fields be generated by the cables. Because they are used in the field, maintenance and cleaning also need to be as simple and efficient as possible.

Since any form of magnetism on the components makes the measurement less precise, the devices – up to 16 connected in series – have to be attached to the vehicle with a drawbar up to seven meters long. On trollies it is also necessary to maintain a large distance from the mounts. This means that, when setting up the measuring equipment, lots of cabling is needed and the number of plugging processes and cycles involved in connecting, disconnecting, setting up and dismantling the devices is high, putting a strain on the equipment installed. This therefore calls for particularly durable and easily mated connections.

A single all-purpose connector

Up until that point, SENSYS had been using military-standard connectors (MIL connectors) in its field-measuring instruments. However, despite their robust design and suitability for continuous field use, these had several limitations. For example, they use male-female plug contacts that can break easily if used incorrectly and are difficult to clean. In addition, the plugs are cabled without any additional protection against moisture, so need to be laboriously covered with a special rubber grommet. SENSYS was therefore looking for a connectivity solution up to the IP68 sealing standard that would be easier to handle and maintain, preventing the risk of misuse. During routine checks on the inventory lists and components, the design engineers came across the first product in the innovative Fischer Freedom™ Series with "plug-and-use" technology, the Fischer LP360™ connector.

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"We have all the components in our sensors tested for residual magnetism, because they mustn’t distort the measurement readings. The Fischer LP360™ is extremely satisfactory when it comes to its technical features. We’re fully satisfied with the cooperation. Fischer Connectors’ product range also provides suitable alternatives for other products. And we can discuss customized solutions any time. This connectivity specialist is also the right partner for us because it reacts very flexibly and supplies customized solutions in smaller volumes. This is very important for us, because we operate in niche markets and so don’t rank behind large manufacturers and don’t have to wait a long time for the products we’ve ordered.”

Wolfgang Süß, Managing Director, SENSYS

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THE PROJECT IN BRIEF

Project outline

When looking for suitable connectors for magnetometers, the manufacturer SENSYS Magnetometers & Survey Solutions came across the first product in the innovative Fischer Freedom™ Series with "plug-and-use" technology, the Fischer LP360™ connector. The specific requirements for magnetometers include several aspects: the connectors need to be easy to handle, but at the same time prevent misuse. They must be robust against wind and weather, easy to clean, and must not generate any magnetic fields that interfere with measurements. The Fischer LP360™ also scored highly in the test for residual magnetism. These connectors not only meet all the requirements, but also satisfy SENSYS because they are readily available, even in small quantities.  

Key challenges

  • IP68 sealing
  • Weather resistance
  • Do not generate any magnetic fields
  • Easy mating, preventing misuse

Main technical requirements

Robustness, reliability, durability, weather resistance, extremely low residual magnetism, no misuse possible      

 

THE SOLUTION

Selected connectivity solution

Fischer LP360™ 7-contact connector from the Fischer Freedom™ Series

Customer benefits

  • Easy handling of the connectors while preventing misuse
  • Longevity
  • Weather resistance
  • Easy to clean
  • No disruptive magnetic fields generated