The military/aerospace platform operational environment challenges the creativity of fiber optic module packaging engineers as they endeavor to develop and mature new active and passive single-mode fiber optic and photonic components for next generation avionics networking applications. Low sales and manufacturing volumes inherent to avionics combined with lack of standard interface specifications for current and next generation fiber optic local area network architectures and sub-systems makes it difficult for avionics suppliers to justify upfront research and development (R&D) investment in advanced fiber optics and photonics packaging technology. Collaboration between commercial industry photonic component and advanced packaging R&D and military/aerospace photonic component and advanced packaging R&D has proven to be a successful formula for mitigating technical and business risk on military/aerospace programs, and gives best value components for military avionics applications. As the avionics industry migrates from multimode fiber optic point-to-point link based systems to fully-interconnected single-mode wavelength division multiplexed-based local area network (WDM LAN) architectures, it naturally follows that similar collaborations will be needed to realize the technical and business success of the avionics WDM LAN. Currently, the SAE Avionics Systems Division (SAE WDM LAN), the IEEE Avionics Fiber Optics and Photonics Conference (AVFOP), and the ARINC Fiber Optics Subcommittee are endeavoring to coordinate avionics WDM LAN standardization efforts internationally via formal committee meetings and conference events. First Generation Legacy Avionics Packaging Lesson’s Learned During the first generation legacy avionics packaging era (1987 to 1997), MIL-STD-883 Test Methods and Procedures for Microelectronics and MIL-STD-38534 General Specification for Hybrid Microcircuits provided significant guidance to engineers interested in packaging fiber optic...
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