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Proceedings Paper

Synopsis of fiber optics in harsh environments
Author(s): Ronald Pirich
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Paper Abstract

Fiber optic technology is making significant advances for use in a number of harsh environments, such as air and space platforms. Many of these applications involve integration into systems which make extensive use of optical fiber for high bandwidth signal transmission. The large signal transmission bandwidth of optical fiber has a large and positive impact on the overall performance and weight of the cable harness. There are many benefits of fiber optic systems for air and space harsh environment applications, including minimal electromagnetic interference and environmental effects, lightweight and smaller diameter cables, greater bandwidth, integrated prognostics and diagnostics and the ability to be easily upgraded. To qualify and use a fiber optic cable in space and air harsh environments requires treatment of the cable assembly as a system and understanding the design and behavior of its parts. Many parameters affect an optical fiber’s ability to withstand a harsh temperature and radiation environment. The space radiation environment is dependent on orbital altitude, inclination and time, contains energetic magnetically-trapped electrons in the outer Van Allen radiation belt, trapped protons in the inner belt and solar event protons and ions. Both transient and permanent temperature and radiation have an attenuation effect on the performance of the cable fiber. This paper presents an overview of defining fiber optic system and component performance by identifying operating and storage environmental requirements, using appropriate standards to be used in fiber optic cable assembly manufacturing and integration, developing inspection methods and fixtures compliant with the selected standards and developing a fiber optic product process that assures compliance with each design requirement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2014
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 9226, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII, 92260F (17 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061002
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald Pirich, Long Island Forum for Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9226:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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