Optical Fiber Data Transfer System (slip Ring Replacement)

Period of Performance: 01/01/1986 - 12/31/1986

$432K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Schwartz Electro-optics, Inc.
3404 N. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32804
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE PROPOSED PHASE II EFFORT APPLIES THE RESULTS OF PHASE I TO DESIGN AND FABRICATE AN OPTICAL "SLIP RING" SYSTEM FOR A HELICOPTER ROTOR BLADE/WIND TUNNEL APPLICATION. IN THIS APPLICATION, THERE WILL BE TWO ASSEMBLIES: ONE ON THE ROTATING PORTION OF THE MECHANICAL SYSTEM, ONE ON THE STATIONARY ONE. THE ASSEMBLY ON THE ROTATING PORTION WILL DIGITIZE AND ENCODE 128 PRESSURE SENSOR SIGNALS (20 KHz BAND WIDTH EACH) FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE BLADE, AND TRANSFER OPTICALLY ACROSS THE NON-CONTACTING COUPLING. ON THE STATIONARY SIDE, THE SIGNALS WILL BE DECODED AND RECONSTRUCTED FOR RECORDING AND ANALYSIS. IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, EIGHT SIGNAL CHANNELS ENABLE CONTROL SIGNALS TO BE PASSED FROM THE STATIONARY TO THE ROTATING PART OF THE SYSTEM. POWER TO THE ROTOR MOUNTED ELECTRONICS WILL BE GENERATED BY A BUILT-IN ALTERNATOR WHOSE ROTATION IS INTEGRAL WITH THE ROTOR SHAFT. THE ADVANTAGES OF THE OPTICAL OVER THE TRADITIONAL ELECTROMECHANICAL SLIP RING METHOD OF DATA TRANSFER ACROSS A ROTATING JOINT ARE IMMUNITY TO NOISE AND CROSSTALK, AND WIDER BANDWIDTH. THE CHALLENGE IS THIS PROJECT DERIVES FROM THE LARGE NUMBER OF SIGNAL CHANNELS AND THEIR OPERATING BANDWIDTH. SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THIS EFFORT WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT THIS METHOD IS PRACTICAL AND RELIABLE, AND CAN BE IMPLEMENTED UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS OF AVAILABLE SPACE, POWER, ENVIRONMENT, AND STRINGENT PERFORMANCE AND EQUIPMENT LIFE SPECIFICATIONS.