SNAP is a fully modular GVA compliant patch panel that provides the interface boundary between between a vehicle system and third party subsytem.

Development So Far

The development of SNAP started 12 months ago with the original concept design, which met the installation and size requirements. However, it was going to be extremely difficult to terminate the connectors in such a small footprint.

The latest version of the SNAP module chassis has removeable lids for each connector, this approach allows for the connectors to be attached to the lids and the wires can be terminated and prepared before assembling the module.

Fibre Issues

The fibre optic module was a challenge from day one.

The connector part number template within DEF STAN 23-009 Part 1 made little sense and was not representative to any product on the market. After reaching out to all the major connector manufacturers we finally found out that the only connector the meets the requirements is the Souriau Elio connector series.

Once the Elio connectors were inserted into the model it became clear that the back to back arrangement was not going to be feasible for the fibre interfaces.

The decision was made to have a double width module that would host the fibre connectors side by side and allow for the bend radius of the fibre within the module. The double width module still allows for the integration of other modules by utilising the same fixing arrangements and pattern.

What Next

Now that the modules are designed the prototype phase can now begin. In the next few months we will be working to manufacture and print prototypes to ensure the modules are manufacturable.

Whilst the current versions of the modules are going through the prototyping phase we will be carrying out FMEA on the components and assemblies to ensure they’re fit for installation on a military vehicle.

We’re aiming to be at a point for manufacture later this summer and will be looking at distribution partners to work with us in getting SNAP in the hands of platform integrators.

Will There Be Other Modules?

The short answer is yes.

Whilst SNAP is fully GVA compliant, we’re looking to add in further NGVA standard interfaces, the extra interfaces are for extra power options, although not UK GVA compliant these new modules will still have the same chassis and fixing arrangement so can be used within the UK market.

We will also be looking at options for faster Ethernet modules that will handle up to 10Gbps.

With the updated fibre module chassis, there is now and option to add in some intelligence in to the SNAP modules. The aim is to produce PoE to USB conversion, to allow for the extension of USB interfaces in a military platform, this is still in a very early concept and may not be released for some time.

In conclusion, the development phase is almost complete and the commencement of the prototyping phase is about to begin. We will be on the hunt for manufacturers and distributors very soon, so if you fit into one of those categories, please get in touch.