Axon’ Cable on board the ISS

27 Apr 2021

Crew-2 astronauts joined the International Space Station a few days ago. Their 6-month mission will be an opportunity to implement a large number of scientific experiments. The ISS has been on orbit for over 20 years. This space project integrates not only space agencies from a large number of countries but also many companies including Axon’ Cable which has been contributing to this project since 2004.

Data transmission in mission-critical environment

As an example of Axon’ contribution is the supply of data transmission interconnects including dismountable couplers  and MIL-STD-1553 data bus harnesses to Columbus European laboratory. This 75 cubic metres research facility is dedicated to experiments in space science, earth observation and technology on board the International Space Station.

Axon’ data transmission harnesses also equip the HTV modules provided by the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). These unmanned spacecraft transport supplies including food, clothes and equipment to the ISS. The HTV is then loaded with waste materials, and separates from the ISS before re-entering the atmosphere. Axon’ is already involved in the JAXA’s next generation of transport spacecraft, the HTV-X, with the supply of low mass SpaceWire links and data transmission harnesses characterized by their reduced size and weight.

Weight saving and safety

ESA wires made by the French group equip devices including instruments for microgravity. Axon’ cable assemblies terminated by D-Sub or micro-D connectors are on board of the station too. They are made with halogen-free and non-flammable materials. No toxic smoke must spread in case of fire inside the module which could be a real danger for the astronauts in this confined spacecraft interior.

Other projects are still in progress including harnesses terminated with different types of connectors,  all manufactured with space-grade materials. The contribution of Axon’ to the International Space Station is far from over.