The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has recognized the need to rapidly test and evaluate (T&E) Generation II commercial, fiber optic and photonic components for use in harsh, military aerospace environments. This paper describes the Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) Fiber-Optic Network (FON) demonstration program for the Navy EA-6B aircraft. The EA-6B Integrated Program Team is designing, developing and flight-testing a broadband fiber-optic Local Area Network (LAN) using ruggedized commercial WDM components and single mode cables and connectors. This WDM fiber optic backbone will be the first test demonstration of a network capable of simultaneously transferring both multi-protocol digital information and broadband radio frequency (RF) analog signals. Flight-testing of the digital portion of the system will take place on the EA-6B Tactical Electronic Attack aircraft with the support of NAVAIR at Patuxent River, MD. RF performance testing will take place at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Pt. Mugu California EA-6B Weapon System Support Laboratory. The first phase of this program [Flight Testing Optical Communication Using Open Standards (FOCUS) Phase I] demonstrated the survivability of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) fiber-optic single mode and multi-mode network hardware technology (cables, connectors, transmitters, receivers, encoders, decoders, and test equipment) on the EA-6B aircraft. The objective of the second phase of this program (FOCUS Phase II) is to design, develop, test and demonstrate, in the laboratory a (WDM ) network capable of simultaneously transmitting ultra wideband Radio Frequency (RF) analog signals as well as digital transmission protocols including Ethernet (10baseT), MIL-STD-1553, and ARINC-429 (et. al.) over a single fiber cable. The WDM FON system will then be installed and tested in the EA-6B aircraft. This paper will describe the backbone network design, which includes the network topology, test results on the proposed COTS components (lasers, couplers, add/drops, receivers etc.), and bandwidth allocation on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) grid. Packaging of the COTS components to survive the extremely harsh military aircraft environment is also described.

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