An Introductory Primer for "The Rest of Us"
Glenair is in the business of making the interconnect components and wiring systems used to carry power and data from one point to another in applications such as aircraft avionics. The overwhelming majority of the technologies we produce are electrical and use copper cabling and contacts as a transmission "medium" to move electrons throughout systems comprised of sensors, controls, and other electronic devices. By contrast, fiber optic interconnect systems utilize photons (light energy) and glass fiber cable as their transmission medium. Fiber optic interconnect technologies are used when data rates, distance, or other considerations such as size, weight or EMI immunity are key requirements. But regardless of the medium (electrical or optical), the system devices that produce and consume the signals and power are always electronic. In other words, they require that the transmitted signal be delivered in a form that can be read and processed electronically. This is where "Optoelectronics" comes in. Optoelectronics (also known as Photonics) are board-level devices that convert received electromagnetic energy into optical energy (and vice versa). The big event takes place on a printed circuit board, via devices called "transceivers" that receive, convert and transmit optical and electrical signals. This special issue of QwikConnect is geared for systems engineers, PCB designers and others who would like to gain a complete understanding of Glenair's optoelectronic capabilities, especially when it comes to the many devices we produce designed for rugged high-temperature, high-vibration and space (radiation belt) environments. This short introduction is geared for “the rest of us” that need a basic understanding of optoelectronics and the applications they serve.
QwikConnect > July 2018