This SAE Aerospace Standard (AS) defines fiber optic fusion splicers acceptable for the installation and repair of fiber optic interconnects in aerospace applications. Two different application environments are defined, depending on whether there is risk of flammable vapor or hazardous atmosphere being present. Equipment suited to flammable or hazardous environments may be over specified for factory, depot, or other relatively safe environments. To address these different application environments, two types of fusion splicer will be specified in applicable detail specifications:
Type I. For hazardous environments specifically including potentially flammable or explosive atmospheres.
Type II. For environments in which it is established that there is no risk of flammable or explosive vapors being present.
Successful use of fiber optic interconnects in high-performance platforms and applications depend on viable technologies for their repair and installation. Splicing is often desirable, either to repair a damaged interconnect or to install it, particularly where it is difficult or impossible to access all necessary locations for complete removal and replacement. However, reliable aerospace cable splices must endure conditions as adverse as those for which the original cable was specified. In addition, the splicing technology must be usable with a high degree of reliability under difficult aerospace working conditions. Mechanical splices have shown some promise for the repair of multi-mode aerospace fiber cables, but they face daunting difficulties in splicing single mode fiber cables, which are being ever more seriously considered for new and upgraded systems. Fusion splicing has long been accepted in the telecom industry for making the highest performance fiber splices, both single mode and multi-mode, but the technology has not yet been found adaptable to stricter aerospace requirements. This standard is intended to define fusion splicers suitable for these requirements.