This fiber-optic solution is based on opto-electronic conversion modules that are the core devices for the Active Optical Cables (AOC). AOCs allow to substitute current electrical harness for an optical fibre one in order to reduce the harness mass in the S/C without impacting on the terminal connectors of the equipments. This enables introducing optical fibres in S/C without impacting either on the equipment manufacturing or on the S/C Assembly Integration and Testing process.
The current space harness has limitations associated with the use of copper cables in the intra-satellite networks. The main advantages of optical fibre data links, when compared to traditional harnessing, are mass reduction and EMI immunity. These advantages have raised the interest for advanced satellite harnessing of several satellite integrators and the European Space Agency (ESA). The space community has identified fibre optics as a desired solution for both payload interconnections, and potentially, for platform applications and for the high bit-rate links as the new standard “SpaceFibre”, extension of the "SpaceWire", is being developed making exclusive use of fibre optics. Similarly the use of optical fibre for the current standards such as Spacewire, CAN, 1553 or other links (TM/TC-Calibration, clock signals) conveying lower data rate is of great interest as it could take advantage of the properties inherent to the optical fibre such as significant mass and volume saving, mechanical flexibility, electronic isolation and EMI-free operation.