4/21/2010 4:51 AM
The thousands of unmanned aerial systems and their ever-increasing bandwidth needs will lead continued growth in the military market for fiber optics components and systems, according to a new series of reports by IGI (International Gatekeepers Inc.) Consulting.
Aircraft platforms also demand ever-lower weight, size, power consumption and wiring infrastructure.
After many years of research, development and trials, the barriers to acceptance of fiber optics as a new untried technology are coming down due to wide acceptance in the telecommunications field, IGI said. Meanwhile moree flexibility needs to be built into smart wiring systems to reduce cost of retrofits and upgrades and maintenance by using built-in test equipment.?
The Pentagon's UAV fleet has multiplied to thousands, and IGI predicts the production value of UAVs over the next 10 years, will be $17.9 billion, with more than 9,000 units being fabricated. A further $20.9 billion will go toward research and development.
In addition to the military market, there is developing an equally large market for fiber optics in large commercial aircraft, regional jets, private jets, helicopters, and small aircraft of all types. The complete infrastructure of installation, maintenance, retrofits, etc. has yet to be developed by the major carriers for fiber optics. Much of the commercial needs will be drawn from the military market but special requirements such an Inflight Entertainment Systems (IFE), Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and many others will have to be developed at a much lower cost than for military and aerospace systems.?
?The three-volume report will be available at the Information Gatekeepers’ web site www.igigroup.com
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