The Evolution of Fiber Optics in Avionics 801145

Fiber optics was first proposed for communications in July 1966. Since that time commercial and military programs have evolved fiber optics to a state where practical and economically competitive systems are being implemented. This paper explores the development of fiber-optic components and systems in aircraft. The major benefits of a fiber-optic system are presented, highlighting less obvious features such as reduced susceptibilities to nuclear phenomena and electromagnetic compatibility. A survey of contracted and independent programs in industry is presented that shows those areas where feasibility and proof-of-concept in airborne systems has been demonstrated. The evolution of fiber-optic standardization is also presented, and shows how an effort is being made to confine the direction of fiber-optic systems without excluding technological advances.


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