New miniature, ultra-robust connectivity solutions for the entire UAV ecosystem

Interview with Guy LACROIX, Director of Fischer Connectors France, stand B08 at UAV Show

What type of connectivity are you presenting to UAV Show dronists on the Fischer Connectors stand?

On Fischer Connectors stand no. B08, we present ourselves as a technology group that meets all the needs of UAV connectivity and the electronics surrounding this market.

Our family-owned Vaud-based Conextivity Group is a global technology leader in high-performance connectivity solutions that manage and harmonize power and data flows, from devices and sensors to the cloud and artificial intelligence, enabling the emergence of new cross-functional and scalable ecosystems.

At the UAV Show, we'll be hosting demos of the leading technologies in UAV-specific connectivity: robustness, miniaturization and high-speed data transmission. Technologies that have earned our connectivity a reputation for reliability and quality among the international community of design engineers since our company was founded in 1954, to the highest standards of the connectivity industry, notably in the defense & security, medical and instrumentation markets.

What new products and solutions is Fischer Connectors presenting for the UAV?

Fischer Connectors designs, develops and deploys end-to-end interconnect solutions for ecosystems requiring the local transfer and management of data, signals and power.

New products designed for UAV ecosystems include some of the densest connectors in the world, with a density factor of 0.83. Ultralight and compact, these connectors feature multifunctional mixed configurations that enable high-speed data and power transfer in extremely small spaces and under extreme operational and environmental conditions - obviously perfectly suited to the specific requirements of the UAV market.

Since June 2023, our flagship miniaturization and high-speed range, Fischer MiniMax, has included new miniature, ultra-robust connectors enabling USB 3.2 Gen 2 data transfers of up to 10 Gbit/s, with additional power contacts of up to 8 A, IP68 sealing and resistance to 5,000 plug-in cycles without altering electrical and mechanical parameters, as well as 1,000 hours salt spray resistance.

Our offering also includes fiber optic connectivity solutions, renowned for their watertightness, ease of use and miniature format.

All these electrical and optical connectors can be supplied with all types of heavy-duty cabling, some of which also use Single Pair Ethernet technology.

As for our integrated electronics solutions, we've just expanded our offering with a soldier-worn tactical data and power hub, the six-port Fischer KEYSTONE.

Another development in on-board electronics: ruggedized switches. One of our switches is used by a French company specializing in the protection of sensitive sites from the use of drones.

Can you give the name of the customer using this switch, and other examples of UAV application customers using your connectivity solutions?

It's CERBAIR, a French company that markets detection and jamming systems against malicious UAVs, and has developed a system using our 8-port full gigabit Ethernet switch capable of supplying power to active PoE (802.3af) and PoE+ (802.3at) devices. The simultaneous supply of power via each port extends the capabilities of the network in use and increases the number of devices connected to the network, while reducing cabling requirements and simplifying network system management. Designed to meet military requirements, the Fischer Switch PoE+ Unmanaged offers IP68 waterproof power supply up to 2m/48h and an extremely robust housing. The switch is fully customizable, CE-approved and can be subjected to shock, vibration or prolonged immersion.



Our ultra-robust, high-performance connectors are used in many UAV applications worldwide. Among our French customers is Hexadrone SAS, a company specializing in the development of solutions for civil and military UAV use, which equips its multifunctional, modular Tundra 2 UAV with a Fischer UltiMate USB 2.0 waterproof connector, reliable in all conditions. The drone's interface accommodates external modules linked by Fischer MiniMax connectors and cabling, enabling miniaturized, high-density solutions for on-board electronics.



An example of a payload carried by the Tundra 2 is the LiDAR "Mapper" for UAVs, also developed by French customer YellowScan. The Mapper uses three Fischer MiniMax connectors and can be quickly mounted on any UAV: a 4-contact connector for the external power port, a 24-contact connector (RJ45 and universal asynchronous transceiver, UART) for the LiveStation port, and a 19-contact connector (USB and general-purpose input/output, GPIO) for the optional camera port.

And what's new in terms of IoT as proposed by Wearin'?

The sensor-integrated vest we are presenting with its central dashboard system at the UAV Show will be able to demonstrate its full potential for use to visitors to the show. It is integrated into an IoT solution powered by artificial intelligence, whose algorithms enhance the safety and efficiency of intervention personnel such as firefighters and first responders, by improving their situational awareness and collective coordination in the field. This solution makes high-risk work environments safer and smarter, thanks to real-time information derived from user-generated field data.

The Wearin' solution has been implemented as a world first with Swiss security guards. It is currently being tested under operational conditions by the Monaco fire department, and is of interest to other major players in French national security.