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Review of Updated Aerospace Recommended Practices ARP5061A, "Guidelines for Testing and Support of Aerospace, Fiber Optic, Inter-Connect Systems"

PRESENTATION ABSTRACT (ROI Approval BOE021811-122) REVIEW OF UPDATED AEROSPACE RECOMMENDED PRACTICES ARP5061A, Guidelines for Testing and Support of Aerospace, Fiber Optic, Inter-Connect Systems RATIONALE: A single source document to capture current best practices, methods, test equipment, and materials that support fiber optic interconnect systems including high-density applications deployed in Aerospace platforms. SCOPE: This presentation will describe how the ARP5061 document provides the maintainer unique guidelines for optical performance testing of short haul fiber optic inter-connect systems used in aerospace vehicles. The focus of this document is to establish common pre and post installation test methods, equipment, materials, and troubleshooting methodologies. QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING STANDARDS: The repair and maintenance of a fiber optic system should ONLY BE PERFORMED by qualified personnel. The unique nature of fiber optic connectors, termini, installation, cleaning, inspection and certification, requires personnel that have been formally trained on the proper handling and maintenance practices to maintain and restore a fiber optic system. A qualified trainer in a formal training environment should provide fiber optic training. This training should be documented and a certification issued for both hands on practical skills and theory. Qualification should be by a written examination(s) and a physical skills performance test. CERTIFICATION: The need for a national or internationally recognized licensing or certification body to be responsible for the administration of the training and testing requirements will also be presented. CABLE PLANT HUSBANDRY: The importance of how the preferred methods of installation and handling that are identified in this standard shall be used to ensure the proper operation and performance of the components that make up the fiber optic cable plant interconnect system. SAFETY AND HANDLING: The importance of safe practices when handling bare optical fibers will be emphasized; care should be taken to prevent fibers from puncturing the skin and fiber breakage causing fragments to fly into the eye region. Your best defense against injury by fibers is common sense. Eating and drinking around fibers is considered dangerous. Also, since fragments can stick to skin oils, thoroughly wash your hands before touching your face, mouth or eyes after working with fibers. The fiber waste must never be put in ordinary garbage for routine disposal. EYE SAFETY: Unmated connectors and fibers may transmit non-visible radiation and direct viewing with the eye should be avoided. Do not inspect active fiber optic systems with optical magnifying scopes. Protective end caps and connector covers should always be kept on all unmated connectors. The most reliable form of protection for eyes is to prevent fragments from entering with protective eyewear. The clear lenses can stop a fiber end from piercing the eyeball or prevent minute fragments from entering the eye. Flying glass fragments are often the results of cutting and cleaving operations. What is worse is that the presence of these fragments often goes unnoticed due to their small size.

David Zika

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