The unique requirements placed on an optical fiber data system in space are briefly reviewed in this paper. These include temperature extremes, particle radiation, and, in some cases, a stringent electrical power budget. An overriding need is for the best possible reliability. Results related to the power consumption of a fiber terminal pair are reported, with the conclusion that a 32-port transmission star bus configuration could be operated error-free at 10 Mbits/s on 1/8 watt per transmitting terminal. The design of a transmitter terminal optimized for low idling power consumption is discussed. Although the electronic elements on a spacecraft are protected, the fiber cable may be subjected to large temperature extremes. Measured effects of temperature on fibers and cables are discussed and related to bus design. Radiation effects are briefly reviewed, with special reference to the long-duration low dose rate environment of a spacecraft.
A. R. Johnston,
L. A. Bergman,
"Application Of Fiber Optics In Spacecraft", Proc. SPIE 0224, Fiber Optics for Communications and Control, (19 September 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958684; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.958684