Page 50 - 2019 Mil/Aero eBook
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2. Which vendors can provide the COTS or custom connections you need?
Are the active optical connectivity solutions you need readily available, or will you need to have them custom designed? Using custom connectors and cables can extend the timeline of your project, due to multiple rounds of revisions and added manufacturing time. However, using custom parts gives you much more control over the design, and knowing that the connector products for a project were made with its unique specs in mind can instill extra confidence in end customers. In addition, custom designs can help mitigate or eliminate direct competition for your customers.
Today’s market also offers an extensive array of existing active optical solutions. So, before you move forward with specifying custom parts, it’s worth investing some time in researching top vendors’ current offerings. Oftentimes, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) connectors and cables are capable of meeting the specific requirements of a given application and supporting a faster design-in process.
Lastly, whether you choose COTS or custom active optical connection links, be sure to double check that the vendor(s) you’ve selected are able to supply the parts you need within the timeframe you need to avoid any unexpected delays and associated costs, like rush shipping.
Radiall’s Mil/Aero Fiber Optic connectors and cable assemblies are rugged, lightweight, and easy to use, and provide excellent optical performance in operating temperatures extending from -55°C to +125°C. They are ideal for use in defense applications including radar and avionics systems and are available in both COTS and customizable variations.
3. Is standards compliance important for compatibility?
If there is a specific standard or protocol that an active optical connector or cable solution needs to comply with to ensure compatibility with related products, it’s important to let your vendor know from the start. If you’re designing custom connection links for an application, researching industry standards and identifying all those that apply should be one of the first things you do. Designing active optical solutions that are compatible with specific standards will make them easier to integrate into end products and will also make them easier to commercialize, market, and sell, which can help defray the costs of some custom developments.

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