A fiber optic system can be designed, assembled and installed with many options for active and passive components and system elements. Interconnection systems should be designed with a detailed BOM, including fiber/cable, connectors, ruggedization materials and other passive components for the desired application. The selection of these items should be specific to the requirements of the system when considering environmental and mechanical limitations, and from the standpoint of the users who will be installing, maintaining and possibly repairing the system sometime in the future. Proper installation, maintenance and repair training is essential.
The paper will review various up-to-date alternatives, particularly for mil-aero applications, available when selecting components at design-in stage and discussing options for different scenarios of required optical performance. Considerations of component selection with regard to capabilities of the installers, maintenance and repair personnel and other key people who will be responsible for the success of the system will also be discussed.
Training resources will be discussed. A fiber optic system when compared to an electrical system is not necessarily more difficult to install and maintain, but training for key different issues is a must. With appropriate component selection at the design stage and adequate training of installers/handlers is completed, the fiber optic system will be successful.