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Industry News

Space-Qualified 1.2 mm Fiber Optic Cable

High performance fiber optic cable utilizing a patented polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) buffer layer

July 1, 2000
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SPACE-QUALIFIED 1.2 MM FIBER OPTIC CABLE

W.L. GORE & ASSOCIATES INC.

Newark, DE

Fiber optic cable is gaining rapidly in use throughout both military and commercial systems. The very low loss and wide bandwidth provide a significant advantage where relatively long cable connections must be used. However, traditional fiber optic cable materials affect the optical stability of a bare fiber.

The FLEX-LITE" fiber optic cable is different from traditional fiber optic cables in that it uses a patented expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) buffer layer that effectively decouples the optical fiber from other cable elements. As a result, the optical performance of the FLEX-LITE cable closely approximates that of a bare optical fiber even under mechanical or thermal stresses. This differentiating technology is common to all FLEX-LITE products.

Fig. 1 1.2 mm Simplex construction.

One of these products is 1.2 mm Simplex fiber optic cable, designed to provide consistent performance in severe thermal and environmental conditions to meet the requirements of today's space and military optical systems. FLEX-LITE 1.2 mm Simplex cable has demonstrated stable optical performance when subjected to vibration, mechanical shock, tension and temperature extremes. As a result, 1.2 mm Simplex cable is the first single-mode cable qualified for space flight use.

DESIGN DETAILS

FLEX-LITE 1.2 mm Simplex cables incorporate different optical fibers depending on the specific application requirements. However, all variations have a common design utilizing the expanded PTFE buffer, extruded jackets and a high strength braid. Figure 1 shows the cable's cross sectional construction.

The fibers may be either singlemode or multimode, polyimide or acrylate coated, standard or polarization maintaining types depending on the specification. The design accepts any optical fiber with a coated diameter of 150 to 250 mm, providing a small profile that is compatible with standard aerospace connectors including the Diamond AVIM connector family and the Deutsch MC3 MkII and MC5 connector lines. A Kevlar aramid strength member, along with a fluoropolymer jacket provides added strength and isolation. Table 1 lists the various 1.2 mm Simplex cable options available.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS

1.2 mm SIMPLEX OPTIONS

Part Number

Core Type

Coating

Operating
Wavelength
(nm)

 

 

 

 

Recent Articles by W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., Landenberg, PA

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