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Wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) optical technology solutions for next generation aerospace networks

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2 Author(s)

MIL-STD-1553 has become the de facto backbone avionics network over the last several decades. Avionics networks incorporating fiberoptic interconnects have recently evolved from point-to-point and ring network link designs with Mb/s LED sources and opto-mechanical switching to higher bandwidth networks based on Gb/s VCSEL sources and opto-electronic point-to-point switching. Looking ahead to the future, there are several military applications under study where fiber optics technology is expected to enable the evolution of avionics networks rather than simply act as a drop-in replacement for lower bandwidth interconnect media solutions based on copper. WDM technology, whereby multiple optical wavelengths simultaneously transmit broadband digital and analog signals via optical fiber throughout the airframe, offers one such possible enabling solution. In this paper we will review the progress in the application of fiber optic networks on military aircraft to date. We will review aerospace WDM network development to date and also propose development of an "industry standard" WDM fiber optic backbone network, herein referred to as AEROLAN©, for future military and commercial aerospace platforms. Finally we will discuss system and component technical issues related to such a development and will postulate a methodology to establish such a standard.

Published in:

Digital Avionics Systems Conference, 2003. DASC '03. The 22nd  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

12-16 Oct. 2003