FAQ: GORE® Microwave/RF Assemblies

United States

Answers to frequently asked questions about GORE® Microwave/RF Assemblies.

Q. Does Gore offer phase-matched sets?

A. Yes. Gore has extensive experience providing phase-matched sets, either to an absolute standard or relative to one another. The exact phase performance depends on the cable construction. Please contact us for assistance.

Q. I have a high power application. What are my options?

A. High power applications can affect microwave assembly construction and performance in several ways.

For spaceflight applications with power levels over 5-10 watts and frequencies between 400 MHz and 6 GHz, you must consider multipaction and ionization breakdown effects. An overview of these effects is available upon request. The second consideration is thermal breakdown. As a rough guide, you should analyze thermal breakdown for applications with a service temperature below 70° and f >3.6 GHz:

when p  √ƒ > 60 for TNC, or

when p √ƒ > 40 for SMA

where p = CW power (Watts) and ƒ = frequency (GHz)

The exact power rating of each cable and connector configuration depends on its thermal environment. Please contact Gore for further information.

For non-spaceflight applications with very low pressure applications, such as vacuum chambers, multipaction and corona breakdown effects must be considered. An overview of these effects is available by request. The second consideration is thermal breakdown. As a rough guide for non-vacuum applications with a service temperature below 70 °C, thermal breakdown should be analyzed when:

when p  √ƒ > 500 for TNC, or

when p √ƒ > 360 for SMA

where p = CW power (Watts) and ƒ = frequency (GHz)

The exact power rating of each cable and connector configuration will depend on its thermal environment. Please contact Gore for further information.

Q. Do you offer radiation-tolerant designs?

A. Gore offers a wide range of radiation-tolerant designs for exposure levels from 5 Mrad to beyond 200 Mrad.

Q. I have an extreme thermal environment. Do I need to specify different materials?

A. Possibly. The standard Gore construction is guaranteed from -55 to +150°C. For lower temperatures, special manufacturing procedures are required to stabilize cable performance. At higher temperatures, different materials may be required. Gore has space-qualified several of our cable assemblies to below -180°C. If your environment extends beyond the range of -55 to +150°C, please contact Gore to specify the appropriate construction.

Q. Do you offer crush resistant designs?

A. Yes, Gore offers several levels of crush resistance. The most common design is our internally ruggedized Mini-CP style construction. This cable offers crush resistance of 250 lb per linear inch while at the same time offering a high degree of flexibility.

Q. Do you make cables for flex applications?

A. Yes. The Gore product line is divided into two categories. The first is an ultra low-loss, solid center conductor construction for static applications. The second is a stranded construction for flex applications. This construction can be optimized for very high flex applications such as antenna gimbals. Stranded cable designs have slightly higher insertion loss compared to the same size solid construction. Please contact us for flex life data on our various constructions.

Q. What is the lowest loss I can specify?

A. Unlimited. The low loss tangent and low dielectric constant of Gore ePTFE dielectric material provides the industry's lowest insertion loss for a given flexible cable size. There may be a significant price premium for specifying loss near the minimum insertion loss line, please consult with us prior to ordering.

Q. What is the best way to install GORE® Assemblies?

A. We can provide suggestions regarding the best way to harness assemblies for multi-line configurations. Also, we have studied the effects of various clamping technologies on assembly performance. Please consult us with your specific installation requirements.

Q. Do I have to worry about outgassing?

A. No. All materials used in a GORE® Spaceflight Assembly meet or exceed NASA outgassing requirements. Depending on the cable configuration, a brief period of time is required for the dielectric to vent. For some very high power applications, you may need to provide venting in the connector housing.

Q. How much design flexibility do I have?

A. A lot. Gore offers assemblies in a variety of common configurations. For unique applications, Gore has a dedicated engineering team ready to solve your microwave interconnect problem.

Q. What if I damage a cable or installation?

A. Ideally, you uninstall the cable and return it to Gore for repair or replacement. However, we recognize that this is not always possible. Gore has resources available to perform repairs at your facility. In most cases, we can begin the repair within 48 hours of notification. We recognize the critical nature of the flight integration schedule and are prepared to meet your needs.

Q. What if I need an emergency turnaround on a microwave assembly?

A. Gore reserves some production capacity for emergency orders. We often can turn around small orders within 72 hours.