1989-02-01

Implementation of a Passive Star Based Fiber Optic Network for Full vehicle Control 890203

In late 1987 - early 1988 a fiber optic automobile Local Area Network (LAN) was designed and constructed. The project was a partnership of three companies: Hoechst provided a unique new low attenuation polymer optical fiber (POF) and a custom designed automobile chassis (see figure 1). VDO provided a new three screen color LCD dashboard display. Codenoll built the LAN (see figure 2) using its unique optoelectronics and Codenel® fiber optic LAN products and technology. The local area network, designed to demonstrate the viability of plastic optical fiber LAN technology in a consumer item (i.e. an automobile) provided advantages of higher reliability and robustness, easier maintainability, EMC, reduction of EMI, expandability, size and weight reduction and, potentially, cost savings [1] [2]. This paper discusses the POF and LAN performance, some of the problems encountered in the LAN construction and their solutions. The demonstration vehicle - “Opto 1” - clearly shows the viability of a plastic optical fiber based network for use in controlling an automobile.

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