Efficient Fiber Optic Examination and Cleaning Tool

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
Products and Engineering Division, 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100, Torrance, CA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Kang Lee
Principal Mechanical Engi
(310) 320-3088
Business Contact:
Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Research Institution:
ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for automated fiber optic (FO) interconnect cleaning and inspection, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposed, developed, and demonstrated the proof-of-concept Efficient Fiber Optic Examination and Cleaning Tool (EFFECT) handheld prototype during Phase I. In Phase II, we will further the development to optimize, ruggedize and productize the EFFECT system, which will be a robust integration of advanced optics, expert-system analysis/decision making, and automated cleaning/debris removal. EFFECT includes a novel FO interconnect adaptor system that can be made to accommodate all types/form factors of FO interconnects including MIL-C-D38999 series connectors. Phase II development will produce an intuitive, self-contained automated maintenance tool allowing for operation in tight, confined spaces where aircraft/vessel power is not readily available. Further development and optimization of the EFFECT modular quick-connect adaptors (QCAs) will allow restoration of interconnect functionality per NAVAIR (or SAE) specifications in<5 min. In Phase II, POC will refine the EFFECT architecture to meet Air Force needs, and ruggedize the design per MIL-PRF-28800F. The EFFECT prototype will be demonstrated to Air Force personnel, showcasing EFFECT"s ability to maintain both legacy and emerging fiber optic interconnects used by the military, emphasizing reduced cycle time and first attempt performance metrics. BENEFIT: The use of fiber optics for data transmission has tremendous applications in both military and commercial environments. With its many benefits over standard coaxial and copper lines, the use of optical transmission is growing exponentially, particularly in the telecommunication industry, which has invested a considerable amount of money in providing infrastructure directly to consumer households. Additionally, the use of fiber optics in commercial aircraft and even in automobiles is growing every year. Unfortunately the fragility and susceptibility to signal degradation due to fluid and particulate contamination requires ongoing maintenance that is time consuming without the use of automated equipment. EFFECT will greatly help reduce this maintenance burden with an effective system that is efficient, portable, and intuitively operable with negligible infrastructure needs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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