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Photonic Device Packaging Applications for Future Generation Military Avionics Fiber Optics
Keywords: avionics, fiber optics, photonics
Future generation avionics networks are forecasted to utilize highly integrated and polarization independent single mode multi-wavelength photonic circuits which must be packaged to operate and maintain their performance in the dynamic mechanical, thermal, and humidity military aviation environment. Built-in test (BIT) fault detection and isolation fiber optic packaging and circuit techniques under development at NAVAIR for 850 nm avionics fiber optic point-to-point links must be adapted for the WDM local area networking environment to realize a fully BIT-capable WDM local area network (LAN) technology solution for avionics. The advent of tunable laser, tunable filter, and wavelength converter optoelectronic ICs combined with heretofore undefined WDM routing devices provides a unique photonics packaging engineering challenge to devise cost-effective ways to incorporate built-in test (BIT) capability into multiwavelength fiber optic modules. A new wave of photonic integrated circuit packaging research and development is needed to enable a robust fully BIT-capable avionics LAN technology solution based on single mode fiber optic interconnect and advanced WDM components. Potentially, low-profile (i.e., 2.5 mm high) and power-efficient thermoelectric coolers will be needed in sizes ranging between a few millimeters on a side to up to 35 millimeters on a side. Engineering solutions are also needed to interface single mode fiber optic arrays in a detachable fashion to active and passive WDM optical waveguide devices.
Mark W. Beranek, Fiber Optics Engineer
Naval Air Systems Command
Patuxent River, MD

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