How Fiber Optics Will Revolutionize Avionics

Fiber optics and fiber optic connectors have been revolutionizing communications since their debut, allowing for signals to be transferred over extreme distances at much higher speeds as compared to traditional copper wiring. While fiber optics have already seen major implementation for internet communication and medical appliances, such technology also poses a major benefit for avionics. With the use of fiber optics for next generation system design, size, weight, and power challenges can all be met alongside ensuring further protection from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI).

As compared to conventional copper wiring, fiber optics can well surpass bandwidths with over 60 Tbps being possible instead of a maximum rate of 10 Gbps. Furthermore, fiber optics are often lighter and have a smaller diameter due to the fact that signals are transferred through glass strands in the form of light rather than having electric signals transferred through heavier copper. As such cables do not use copper or electricity for transfers, they are immune to the effects of EMI and thus will not be affected by the noise generated from surrounding equipment. Immunity to EMI is also beneficial for preventing signal leakage as hackers cannot tap such devices.

The speed that fiber optic connectors provide is highly beneficial for avionics and radar systems as many require high-speed operations to perform optimally. As an example, a radar that displays information in 4K or 8K resolution will need high speed processing to operate, thus fiber optics can be quite advantageous. Outside of cockpit avionics, some aircraft may have video cameras for different uses, and fiber optic connectors can ensure real-time imaging without the need for compression. For defense applications, the advantages offered by fiber optics are many as higher speeds and minimal latency can be achievable for LIDAR, target acquisition systems, avoidance systems, and 4K/8K video feeds.

For the commercial sector, fiber optic accessories and connectors pose a solution to the grand amount of service specific, dedicated parallel wires that run throughout an aircraft. With fiber optic connectors, most services can be consolidated onto a common high speed bus and the process of installing and replacing wire bundles is lessened. Fiber optics also have the potential to greatly improve in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi services, allowing for more powerful networks to be achievable without the need for large copper-based networking systems.

When shopping for fiber optic accessories and COTS connectors, it is important to consider the environment that such cables will be placed in. While fiber optic technology is immune to the effects of EMI, such cables can still be damaged from extreme temperatures, shock, vibration, and other forces. With cables that meet military standards such as MIL-STD 883, MIL-STD 202, and MIL-STD-810, protection from various forces is given for the benefit of aviation operations. By implementing fiber optic cabling and connectors, the weight of an aircraft can be reduced while increasing the speeds and capabilities of avionics and other aircraft systems.

When you are ready to begin sourcing the fiber optic components that you need for your operations, let the experts at ASAP Purchasing help you secure everything you are searching for with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times. ASAP Purchasing is an online distributor of aircraft parts, presenting customers with an unrivaled inventory containing over 2 billion new, used, and obsolete items. To ensure that customers only receive the best, we choose to only stock our inventory from top global manufacturers that we trust such as TE Connectivity and Corning. Furthermore, all purchases ship alongside their qualifying certifications or manufacturing trace documentation as applicable. Get started on the purchasing process with a competitive quote today when you fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website.


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