Our Connected World: Advanced Fiber Optic Applications in Aviation Aircraft


Aircraft are becoming more advanced in their use of technology. Still, it’s difficult to know how they’re advancing when much of the technology is internal to aircraft. Mark Benton, Rugged Fiber Optics Engineering Manager and Product Manager at TE Connectivity, joined Our Connected World host Tyler Kern to discuss one aspect of advancing air technology—rugged fiber air optic applications for urban air mobility.

Weight, space, bandwidth, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) drive current aviation applications. While emerging eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) applications are electro-powered and enable weight reduction and EMI immunity advantages rather than high-speed needs.

One product TE manufactures that support eVTOL applications is fiber optic cable assemblies. Compared to traditional Ethernet cables, a duplex fiber optic cable offers 25% space savings and 50% weight savings. It’s also immune to electrical noise and eliminates the need for shielded copper cables, decreasing size and weight. This translates into longer flight time and range or increased passenger capacity.

Optical flex circuit assemblies include thousands of fibers positioned on flexible routing, creating versatility in applying crossovers and minimizing stress. The materials that protect the fibers allow bending and twisting in any direction.

TE takes a systems approach to engage early with customer design teams and create solutions that meet their requirements. “TE in general tries to develop products and capabilities that align with the standards that are emerging. We can then offer the entire market access to these solutions, which ultimately lowers the cost to everyone due to the scale,” Benton declared.

To learn more about TE fiber air optic applications, reach out to Benton on LinkedIn or email him at mbenton@te.com.

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