Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) technology is utilized for wide variety of applications for its easiness of handling and robustness against environmental variation. Thanks to its large core diameter (typically 1mm) and large numerical aperture (typically 0.5) which provides wider acceptance angle, dimensional tolerance of POF can be extremely large. This is the reason why the simple and low cost connection technology can be used with POF.
Among these existing applications, the POF manufactures are primarily focusing on growing automotive and industrial data-com areas. Industrial data-com applications include field-bus system in plant area, power application (power station, sub-station) and locomotive control systems. Automotive data-com with POF is used for In-vehicle networks for infotainment systems or safety information bus.
For these applications, POF is required to be durable against harsh environment such as high temperature (~105C), dynamic mechanical movement for robotic arms and compatibility with machine oil or other chemical substances. To satisfy these application specific requirements, the structure and material of POF and its jacketing are optimally designed. Through these development activities, POF technology evolved into well adopted industrial standard. As an extension of this evolution, aero space application is another great possibility to challenge for POF industry.
The present paper reports the latest technology and the features of those jacketed POF used in these applications, and describe about future possibility for aerospace applications.