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Military digital avionics fiber-optic network design for maintainability and supportability

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3 Author(s)
M. W. Beranek ; Naval Air Syst. Command ; A. R. Avak ; R. L. Van Deven

The use of avionics fiber optics technology is becoming more prevalent. Optical fiber is immune to electromagnetic interference, gives increased bandwidth, saves space, and reduces weight. If used smartly, fiber optics technology can effectively "future-proof" avionics networks. The Boeing 777 PlaneNet program provided a textbook example of "how to" build and deploy fiber optic networks on commercial aircraft (Anderson and Beranek, 1998). Tactical aircraft, however, do not yet have history to draw upon for operational readiness, particularly in the area of aircraft squadron fiber optic network maintainability and supportability. Military aircraft fiber optic network designs must not only consider the harsh operational and maintenance environment, but also need to be deployed in a maintainable and supportable manner. The term maintainability defines how quickly, easily, and cost effectively an avionics fiber optic network design can return to operational status (whether by preventive or corrective maintenance). Mean time to repair (MTTR) is used to quantify and measure maintainability. Supportability, on the other hand, is the degree to which the avionics fiber optic network design characteristics minimize the logistics resources (people, skill levels, parts, publications, tools, test equipment, space) required to sustain the system's operational availability (AO) at an affordable cost throughout the life of the system

Published in:

IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 9 )