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Proceedings Paper

Installation and through-life operation issues for fiber optic components and systems in aircraft applications
Author(s): Henry White; Geoff Proudley; D. Wez Charlton; Alex A. Kazemi
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Paper Abstract

Installation of fiber optic communication systems on aircraft is very challenging, particularly in military fighters requiring tight confinement. The issues to be addressed include developing an installation approach compatible with maintenance and through-life support whilst having affordable upfront costs. This applies both to the passive harness components (cable and connectors) and to active transceivers. In this paper we discuss the challenges for cable, connector, and transceiver installations and the system implications for civil and military platforms. This paper further demonstrates how an innovative approach to sub-system testing can help to de-risk technology by simulating installation environments in the laboratory and verifying through-life performance. Furthermore, testing of fiber optic cable in the laboratory with prototype components, representative cable lengths, routing and number of connector breaks, and even harness abuse is elaborated upon. A technique was devised using the BAE Systems Optical System and Component Assessment Rig (OSCAR) to evaluate through life operation. This report also shows prototype testing for typical fiber optic harnesses (during build) and the environmental conditions faced on aerospace platforms. Transceiver installation options (integrated onto processor boards, use of daughter PCBs, active connectors and active cables) are discussed and sub-system test setups are described. Results show how test data is used to assess subsystems: passive components have been tested over the -55 °C to +125 °C temperature range and active components over the -40 °C to +80 °C region. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet data is shown operating over the representative hardware with the results tabulated and shown in this paper. The implications for anticipated aircraft installations are summarized.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8368, Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Transportation, and Harsh Environment III, 836809 (10 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.951050
Show Author Affiliations
Henry White, BAE Systems (United Kingdom)
Geoff Proudley, BAE Systems (United Kingdom)
D. Wez Charlton, BAE Systems (United Kingdom)
Alex A. Kazemi, The Boeing Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8368:
Photonic Applications for Aerospace, Transportation, and Harsh Environment III
Alex A. Kazemi; Nicolas Javahiraly; Allen S. Panahi; Simon Thibault, Editor(s)

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