Skip to Main Content
The increasing demand by equipment and system design engineers for greater operational and functional reliability of components has dictated the need for greater understanding and improvement of individual supporting parts. The present trend, in order to obtain reliable systems, is to devote maximum effort to perfecting or developing highly reliable equipments without commensurate effort to the necessary supporting interconnecting network required to integrate the various components into a complex system. This approach to system design is extremely risky and usually costly. Realizing the inefficiencies and risk to this approach, a joint Signal Ordnance Corps program under Contracts DA36-039 SC-73056 and SC-78175 was initiated with RCA Service Company, Alexandria~ Va. to survey and evaluate all external cables and connectors associated with several guided missile systems. During the evaluation phase, it became apparent that a consolidated and functionalized approach to cable design was necessary to obtain the required reliability, especially when dealing with a large and complex system such as the Nike Hercules, which has approximately 150 cable runs, consisting of approximately 13 miles of cables, weighing approximately 13 tons, and over 300 connectors. This paper will discuss the effect of conductor grouping on the inherent cable reliability, signal compatability and operational system reliability. Approaches which will permit the design of optimum and efficient external interconnecting networks for systems application are suggested.