Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-1381
2019-03-19

Ground Control- Using Fiber Optics to Reduce Electrical Ground Interaction 2019-01-1381

The increase in the use of composite structures and components is revealing some contiguous consequences for the design of electrical systems: a) reduced electrical shielding and its effects on EMI compatibility, and b) the absence of electrical capacity from global electrical grounds. The first consequence can be mitigated by carefully following best practices for EMI compatibility, allowing for the weight and cost for shielding and other necessary components. The second consequence has been discovered in other industries. Supply and ground circuits must now be carefully planned and risk-analyzed because the power delivery circuits interact. Supply circuits are now more subject to voltage drops across supply and ground lines. Regulated supply voltage levels may interact; an unexpected dropout in one of several supplies can potentially affect all others. This paper has three objectives:
The first is an alert that the consequence of reducing the number of high capacity ground circuits will require more planning and risk analysis with respect to the interaction of electrical supply circuits. Systematic design practices and risk mitigation activities may be required in the future.
The second is to present the capabilities of photonics and fiber optics to help with these issues. The transmission of light does not require a circuit with a ground, and is commonly useful for isolating electrical circuits. Using optical fiber, we have the capability to deliver data signals, light for illumination, and power for electrical circuits.
The third is to communicate the work of the SAE AS-3 Fiber Optics and Applied Photonics Committee toward assisting engineers and designers with transmission of signals via optical fiber.

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