High power coaxial cables balance electrical performance with mechanical and thermal properties to ensure maximum power transfer efficiency and reliability. When combined with optimized connector designs, high power interconnects provide loss and high thermal performance.
Radio frequency (RF) technology is used in military, telecom, healthcare, and many other advanced industries to enable communications and deliver the high power required to operate a broad range of electronics systems.
Most common high power RF applications involve high levels of continuous wave (CW) energy. When power is transmitted through a cable assembly, insertion loss becomes heat that dissipates from the cable and connector, resulting in inefficiency and higher system operating temperature.
While commonly referred to as high power applications, these applications typically encompass high current, high voltage, and high power.
High current is often found in industrial applications like semiconductors. High currents can approach fusing currents of conductors or generate “hot spots” due to high resistance contact points. High current applications are primarily limited by resistance. The challenges of high current include the carrying capability is directly promotional to cross sectional areas of conductors and small contact surfaces can create localized high resistance areas that limit the capacity of even large conductors. To solve these challenges, select cables with sufficiently low conductor resistance, limit the number of sub-component parts, and use large surface area contact points.
High voltage is found in energy storage applications of high power and fractional duty cycle applications. Voltage arcover and partial discharge failures cause carbonized conductive paths leading to catastrophic failure. High voltage applications are primarily limited by spacing and dielectric strength. The challenges of high voltage include dielectric working voltage (DWV), “line of sight” paths between conductors, and voids and material flaws. To solve these challenges, design systems with high voltage in mind, include overlapping dielectric parts, and plan for proper materials with sufficient thickness.
High power is usually found in aerospace applications like electronic warfare countermeasures. The most common problem is thermal management and dissipation of excess energy lost due to signal attenuation. High voltage applications are primarily limited by the ability to dissipate heat. The challenges of high power include the parts must be able to dissipate heat faster than it is created and material temperature is a concern. To solve these challenges, select cables with low attenuation as that means low dissipation requirements. Also plan for large surface areas, high thermal conductivities, high emissivity, and convective air flow.
Our broad portfolio of specialty cables designed for high-power RF applications
Coaxial cable assemblies deliver RF power from the equipment room to the electromagnetic coils