Hiconnex reaches for the stars

Interconnect system specialist Hiconnex is literally reaching for the stars and supplying components for several locally built satellites that have been launched into space.

Hiconnex is aggressively expanding into the space industry as it sees positive growth from this sector. It has already established itself as a supplier of choice for the space industry, through contracts with established companies like Denel.

One of Hiconnex’s biggest space-related contracts came from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope programme. Hiconnex won a contract to supply fibre and connectors several years ago and was responsible for all the fibre between the receivers in the dishes and the digitisers, which convert the signals into information that can be analysed and processed.

Hiconnex is still doing small-scale work for the SKA project. The original SKA tender saw Hiconnex establish South Africa’s only qualified military-spec fibre optic lab that can manufacture custom solutions for clients. The dedicated fibre lab gives Hiconnex a competitive advantage, especially as it is certified by Glenair and Radiall.

Most South African space companies make use of Hiconnex components as well as the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, which both have space programmes.

Whilst Hiconnex in the past mainly supplied cables and connectors for the landward industry, around half its business now comes from this and the other half from the aerospace sector. Aerospace clients include Tellumat, S-Plane, Hensoldt, Paramount Advanced Technologies, Saab, Century Avionics, Cobham and others.

Hiconnex does not just supply components – it provides complete turnkey solutions, from design to manufacture. It offers project management of subsystems – anything electrical and electronics-focussed can be managed from start to finish.

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