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Proceedings Paper

The Optical Harness: a light-weight EMI-immune replacement for legacy electrical wiring harnesses
Author(s): Jason B. Stark; B. Scott Jackson; William Trethewey
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Paper Abstract

Electrical wiring harnesses have been used to interconnect control and communication equipment in mobile platforms for over a century. Although they have served this function successfully, they have three problems that are inherent in their design: they are mechanically heavy and stiff, and they are prone to electrical faults, including arcing and Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI), and they are difficult to maintain when faults occur. These properties are all aspects of the metallic conductors used to build the harnesses. The Optical HarnessTM is a photonic replacement for the legacy electrical wiring harness. The Optical HarnessTM uses light-weight optical fiber to replace signal wires in an electrical harness. The original electrical connections to the equipment remain, making the Optical HarnessTM a direct replacement for the legacy wiring harness. In the backshell of each connector, the electrical signals are converted to optical, and transported on optical fiber, by a deterministic, redundant and fault-tolerant optical network. The Optical HarnessTM: * Provides weight savings of 40-50% and unsurpassed flexibility, relative to legacy signal wiring harnesses; * Carries its signals on optical fiber that is free from arcing, EMI, RFI and susceptibility to HPM weapons; * Is self-monitoring during operation, providing non-intrusive predictive and diagnostic capabilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6243, Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications II, 624309 (12 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666583
Show Author Affiliations
Jason B. Stark, Defense Photonics Group (United States)
B. Scott Jackson, Defense Photonics Group (United States)
William Trethewey, Defense Photonics Group (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6243:
Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications II
Michael J. Hayduk; Andrew R. Pirich; Eric J. Donkor; Peter J. Delfyett, Editor(s)

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