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Proceedings Paper

Small form factor optical fiber connector evaluation for harsh environments
Author(s): Melanie N. Ott; W. Joe Thomes; Richard F. Chuska; Robert Switzer; Diana E. Blair
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Paper Abstract

For the past decade NASA programs have utilized the Diamond AVIM connector for optical fiber assemblies on space flight instrumentation. These connectors have been used in communications, sensing and LIDAR systems where repeatability and high performance are required. Recently Diamond has released a smaller form factor optical fiber connector called the "Mini-AVIM" which although more compact still includes the tight tolerances and the ratcheting feature of the heritage AVIM. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Photonics Group in the Parts, Packaging and Assembly Technologies Office has been performing evaluations of this connector to determine how it compares to the performance of the AVIM connector and to assess its feasibility for harsh environmental applications. Vibration and thermal testing were performed on the Mini-AVIM with both multi-mode and single-mode optical fiber using insitu optical transmission monitoring. Random vibration testing was performed using typical launch condition profiles for most NASA missions but extended to 35 Grms, which is much higher than most requirements. Thermal testing was performed incrementally up to a range of -55°C to +125°C. The test results include both unjacketed fiber and cabled assembly evaluations. The data presented here indicate that the Mini-AVIM provides a viable option for small form factor applications that require a high performance optical fiber connector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2011
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8164, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments V, 81640E (14 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.895961
Show Author Affiliations
Melanie N. Ott, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
W. Joe Thomes, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard F. Chuska, MEI Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Robert Switzer, MEI Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Diana E. Blair, MEI Technologies, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8164:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments V
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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