The development of new data communications systems in the aerospace and defense industry is driving the need for more bandwidth. Ethernet standards have evolved to meet the data transfer rate and frequency requirements for these modern systems. Ethernet cables are used in a wide variety of aircraft, ground vehicles and mobile communications shelter applications, including ethernet backbones, avionics networks, in-flight connectivity, navigation systems and digital video. These mission-critical systems are often installed in rugged and harsh environments that make signal integrity and system performance a challenge.
To address these performance requirements, PIC Wire & Cable offers a portfolio of CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6a and CAT7 ethernet cables that transmit up to 10G of data at 600MHz with low loss, lightweight and flexible characteristics for applications that require robust, space-saving and easily routable cables.
Ethernet Classifications: Pairing Data Applications with Cables
There are two main organizations that establish ethernet classifications: Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Ethernet classifications are primarily established based on system frequency and data transfer speed.
To specify the correct ethernet cable for an application and ensure proper performance, the system’s frequency and data speed requirements must be considered first. Once these requirements are identified, choose the ethernet classification that is the best match for the application’s needs.
After identifying the classification best suited for the application, consider other cable characteristics that may impact the system’s performance in a rugged environment:
- Length requirement
Ethernet Cable Construction: System and Environmental Performance
Ethernet cables that are designed to pass high data transfer rates at high frequencies run an increased risk of experiencing crosstalk, or wire pair-to-pair signal interference. Cables with crosstalk issues reduce signal integrity and negatively impact system performance.
To reduce the amount of crosstalk and increase the cable’s max distance, PIC Wire & Cable’s CAT5e and CAT6a cables feature a center spline to separate the wire pairs and reduce potential signal interference. The CAT6a wire pairs undergo additional twisting to further reduce crosstalk since the cable transfers more data at higher frequencies.