Electrical wiring harnesses have been used to interconnect control and communication equipment in mobile platforms for over a century. Although they have served this function successfully, they have three problems that are inherent in their design: they are mechanically heavy and stiff, and they are prone to electrical faults, including arcing and Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI), and they are difficult to maintain when faults occur. These properties are all aspects of the metallic conductors used to build the harnesses.
The Optical HarnessTM is a photonic replacement for the legacy electrical wiring harness. The Optical HarnessTM uses light-weight optical fiber to replace signal wires in an electrical harness. The original electrical connections to the equipment remain, making the Optical HarnessTM a direct replacement for the legacy wiring harness. In the backshell of each connector, the electrical signals are converted to optical, and transported on optical fiber, by a deterministic, redundant and fault-tolerant optical network. The Optical HarnessTM:
* Provides weight savings of 40-50% and unsurpassed flexibility, relative to legacy signal wiring harnesses;
* Carries its signals on optical fiber that is free from arcing, EMI, RFI and susceptibility to HPM weapons;
* Is self-monitoring during operation, providing non-intrusive predictive and diagnostic capabilities.