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21 June 2024

Smiths Interconnect is one of Smiths Group’s four businesses. We have a truly global reach, with sites in locations around the world including Mexico, Italy, North America, China, and the UK.

Smiths Interconnect has a long engineering heritage creating products and components used in a variety of industries including aerospace & defence, semi-conductor, healthcare and transportation. We are particularly known for designing and manufacturing high reliability customised products and solutions often used in harsh environments. We have deep expertise in fibre optic and radio frequency signals, and we provide solutions to our customers’ toughest challenges, whether that is higher power, higher data rates, wider bandwidth, or greater connectivity within a smaller footprint.

We can proudly say that our products help keep the world better connected. Indeed, if you have ever used Sat Nav in your car, watched satellite TV, made a phone call on your mobile or accessed broadband on a transatlantic flight – it’s highly probable that products made by Smiths Interconnect are somewhere at the heart of the systems enabling these everyday services.

Some of these products are manufactured in our site in Dundee, Scotland, which is our European hub for aerospace and defence. Here we have a cutting-edge manufacturing and R&D facility that not only makes products but also recreates the conditions of space to rigorously test them before they go ‘into the field.’

Over the past 30 years, Smiths Interconnect Dundee has produced and supplied over 215,000 components and equipment for flight use, with >3000 device types supplied, launching on ~700 payloads covering a wide number of applications and orbits.

Our products have been installed on spacecraft and in missions that have visited Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and that have taken us closer than ever before to the Sun. Combined, they have spent an estimated 20bn+ hours in space and travelled over 15bn km.

We are proud to say that our ‘made in Dundee’ components have participated in ~45 deep space programmes, with at least one being launched every year for the past 25 years. These include iconic missions such as:

  • DART or the Double Asteroid Redirection Test – involving a probe firing a projectile at a small asteroid to accelerate this “rock” to hit a second asteroid to deflect its trajectory just enough to avoid the second asteroid hitting the Earth’s surface.
  • JUICE – or JUpiter ICy moons Explorer – the first large-class mission in the European Space Agency’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. Planned for arrival at Jupiter in October 2029, it will make detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.
  • NASA’s mission to send a probe to 16 Psyche – a large asteroid ~25x the size of Mount Everest that scientists believe is made mostly from nickel iron to trial technology that would be required to support space mineral recovery; and
  • Clipper – a forthcoming mission being led by NASA to confirm whether there is water under the moon’s crust and to see whether there is life living under the surface!

Our deep experience in space speaks to the parts we have supplied but it does not speak of the part each of our team plays making them a success. In the 215,000 parts supplied for 700 payloads and probes over the past quarter of a century we have had zero in-orbit failures.

We have an excellent reputation within the global space community - this is something of which we are rightly proud, and we celebrate in the knowledge that it is a reputation that we must all work hard to maintain and continue to build.

This is in no small part to the work of our team here led by David Leniewski and the talented team in Dundee.

I hope this gives you a sense of what we do on just one part of our Smiths Interconnect business. My next Smiths Leaders blog will look at another part of the business in more detail. Stay tuned!

Julian Fagge is President of Smiths Interconnect.

Julian Fagge
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We can proudly say that our products help keep the world better connected.

Julian Fagge, President of Smiths Interconnect

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