Optical fibers for aerospace industry withstand the harsh environment

Now it is difficult to imagine modern technologies and devices without using optical fibers that became an integral part of our life. The fiber applications include reaction monitoring, biomedicine, and biotechnology, IR-Fiber pyrometry, laser technology, spectroscopy, IR radiation delivery, thermosensing, IR-imaging, etc. Moreover, optical fiber systems are widely used in the aerospace sphere.

It should be mentioned that the composition of bare optical fibers includes a silica core and a cladding. Nevertheless, such fiber is not so efficient while its use in harsh conditions because it is very sensitive to the environment. That is why it is necessary to develop coated fiber systems with high flexibility and mild protection.

Optical fiber cables for special purposes differ from fiber cables for conventional use. For example, cables for the military field must have such qualities as quick installation, short repair period, resistance to hard weather conditions and mechanical impact. The aerospace industry is not an exception.

Aerospace optical fibers must maintain different negative factors, for example, extremely high or low temperatures, stroke, outgassing, oscillation, radiation, debris, pressure, corrosive attack etc. Otherwise, all mentioned conditions will cause the failure of fiber optic components.

Recently, the market demand for harsh-environment fiber optics causes the need in reliable systems for both aircraft and spacecraft application using fiber technology. However, the development of optical fiber systems for these areas is the real challenge because a lot of concerns such as air voids in connectors, the resistance of fiber should be taken into account.

The indispensable qualities for aerospace optical fiber systems:

  • Temperature resistance

One of the main difficulties for aerospace fiber cables is temperature because it is necessary to create new coated fiber cable, differently, a coating on conventional fiber will degrade. Also, temperature influences on optical fiber performance changing the index of refraction of the core and cladding.

  • Vibration resistance

Vibration is the result of propulsion system operation of an aircraft that has a great impact on the end of the fiber cable, in the connectors and termini. This vibration is similar to a wave on a string. Moreover, connectors and termini suffer the most from vibrating and finally, it will cause loss and inconsistent data transfer within the optical cable.

  • Outgassing resistance

The problem of outgassing is often ignored at the time of harsh-environment fiber optics building, in spite of its great influence on the choice of components. Although there is no danger for cable, particles from outgassing can reduce the performance of other aircraft components.

Optromix is a provider of top quality special fibers and broad spectra optical fiber solutions. The company delivers the best quality special fibers and fiber cables, fiber optic bundles, spectroscopy fiber optic probes, probe couplers and accessories for IR fiber spectroscopy to clients. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@optromix.com

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