A Plastic Optical Fiber Termination System Designed for Automotive Manufacturing, Assembly, and Service Environments 920618

The electronics content in the automobile is projected to dramatically increase in the 1990's leading to the proliferation of automotive communications networks. In addition, the data rate required by these networks is projected to be too high to meet EMI requirements when transmitted over traditional copper media, necessitating the use of an optical medium such as Plastic Optical Fiber (POF). This requirement has prompted the development of key technologies (such as passive optical star couplers, integrated electrical and optical connection systems, and opto-electronic devices suitable for use in automotive environments) necessary for the use of POF for automotive network applications. A crucial technology which has received little attention to this point but which is critical to the automotive application of optical data links is the development of a suitable optical termination process. This paper discusses the various methods for terminating and finishing POF cables, the ability of each method to meet the requirements of automotive applications, and the development of an optical end finishing process which meets all automotive requirements.


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