The Development of a Fiber Optic Illumination System for Cars and Trucks 2000-01-0343
The development of an automotive qualified fiber optic illumination system is presented from conceptual design through validation testing. Fiber optic illumination has been demonstrated in show cars and trucks for many years, but now, an OEM quality system has been developed, tested, and is due for initial production in model year 2001. Using Delphi’s Advanced Development Process (ADP) and a team of product and process engineers, Delphi has invented and submitted patent applications for a hybrid fiber optic illumination system the system uses both glass and plastic optical fiber where appropriate and is ready for application in an OEM’s vehicle. Integrated design and analysis tools were used to optimize the system’s design thermally, mechanically, and optically. Key drivers in the system’s development included thermal management, environmental performance (dust, high temperature endurance, thermal shock, vibration, and mechanical shock), manufacturing, luminous output and uniformity of the multiple fibers. The illumination system is very robust, as proven by the environmental testing performed during the final phase of the development process.