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Proceedings Paper

Fiber Optics For Aircraft Engine/Inlet Control
Author(s): Robert J. Baumbick
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Paper Abstract

A review of NASA programs which focus on the use of fiber optics for aircraft engine/inlet control is presented. Fiber optics for aircraft control is attractive because of its inherent immunity to EMI and RFI noise. Optical signals can be safely transmitted through areas that contain flammable or explosive materials. The use of optics also makes remote sensing feasible, eliminating the need for electrical wires to be connected between sensors and computers. Using low level optical signals to control actuators is also feasible when power is generated at the actuator. For engine/inlet control applications, fiber optic cables and cornectors will be subjected to nacelle air temperatures. These temperatures range between -55°C to 260°C. Each application of fiber optics for aircraft control has different requirements for both the optical cables and optical connectors. Sensors that measure position and speed using slotted plates can use lossy cables and bundle type connectors if data transfer is in the parallel mode. If position and speed signals are multiplexed cable and connector requirements change. Other sensors that depend on changes in transmission through materials require dependable characteristics of both the optical cable and optical connectors. A variety of sensor types are reviewed, including rotary position encoders, tachometers, temperature sensors, and blade tip clearance sensors for compressors and turbines. Research on a gallium arsenide photoswitch for optically-switched actuators that operate at 250°C is also described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 January 1982
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0296, Fiber Optics in Adverse Environments I, (22 January 1982); doi: 10.1117/12.932441
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Baumbick, NASA/Lewis Research Center (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0296:
Fiber Optics in Adverse Environments I
Peter B. Lyons, Editor(s)

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