We continue to see fiber optic grow in all aerospace applications

Shawn Swenson, Senior Product Manager, ITT Cannon
Shawn Swenson, Senior Product Manager, ITT Cannon
ITT’s Connect and Control Technologies business designs and manufactures harsh-environment connectors and critical energy absorption, motion, flow and environmental control components. ITT Cannon has a diverse portfolio of end-to-end fiber optic solutions featuring connectors, termini and complex cable harnesses. The fiber optic termini and cabling assemblies integration options complement ITT’s wide range of rugged circular, rack & panel or standard rectangular connectors. This fully customizable, end-to-end solution is designed to reduce weight and footprint requirements while withstanding harsh environments and maintaining high-speed data integrity. 
In this interview with Shawn Swenson, Senior Product Manager, ITT Cannon’s Fiber Optic Specialist talks about evolving customer demands driving Cannon’s latest connectivity technologies featuring smaller, lighter, faster design solutions.
Q: What are the current industry demands that ARINC 801-Compatible Fiber Optic meets? What are the unique features of ARINC 801-Compatible Fiber Optic Series, and which solutions are being showcased at International Paris Air Show?

The ARINC 801-Compatible Fiber Optic Solution was developed for commercial aerospace applications and continues to grow due to rising demand from aircraft manufacturers seeking cost and weight reductions, while supporting increasing demands for high-speed data, video and signal transmission.

In addition to its lightweight design and reliable signal integrity, two primary benefits of the ARINC 801 include the genderless termini, which provides a common solution for plug and receptacles and its reliable pull-proof and non-pull proof termini designs. The pull-proof design feature is sought after due to the end face on a standard D38999 being able to separate the end face of the termini. This ensures that cables won’t detach if a fiber is accidentally pulled through normal wear and tear.

Although ITT’s end-to-end ARINC 801-Compatible solution is primarily used in commercial avionics, radar equipment, IFEC (In-Flight Entertainment Connectivity) and signaling, ITT has a diversified portfolio of other fiber optic solutions servicing mission critical defense applications.

In addition to ITT’s ARINC 801-Compatible Fiber Optic Solution, during the Paris Air Show ITT Cannon featured their comprehensive portfolio of ruggedized interconnects for high-speed data and connectivity including:

  • ARINC 801-Compatible Fiber Optic Series
  • OctoGig™ 10Gb Ethernet Solution
  • Multi-Signal Quadrax Contact Systems for High-Speed Data
  • BKA ARINC 600 Connectors
Q: What is the market share for this product and ITT Cannon’s competitiveness in this industry?

The market for fiber optic solutions and custom cabling continues to grow due to the evolution of the commercial aviation and military industries’ demand for lighter, faster and more reliable connectivity solutions. ITT Cannon is extremely competitive in this market and is committed to providing high quality, end-to-end solutions that meet our customer’s needs.

Q: What are the major growing applications for this product in the industry?

At ITT, we continue to see fiber optic grow in all aerospace applications. From commercial aircrafts developing new IFEC systems to manage the ever-connected world, to defense helicopters looking for weight reduction and reliable, high-speed data solutions.

The ARINC 801 specifically meets rising demands for quick and accurate data transfer for commercial avionic platforms and IFEC. For IFEC, Cannon’s connector, termini and cabling solutions transmit video and data to IFEC junction boxes, which then converts to seatback displays for passenger use and enjoyment.

Q: Can you identify some of the key trends and technologies in the industry?

Expanded beam is a technology that reduces common maintenance issues that many platforms face including contamination of connectors. ITT Cannon helps to reduce maintenance problems by implementing active electronics within cable assemblies and connectors. In addition, aircraft manufacturers continue to push to shrink the footprints of box sizes and MT ferrules incorporated into circular and rack and panel connectors is a growing trend.

Q: How will you forecast the next 5 years of growth for your products?

The fiber optic market is an important area for ITT Cannon. With a strong portfolio of ruggedized interconnect solutions complemented by our end-to-end fiber optic solutions, ITT Cannon will continue to provide high quality service and invest to meet the needs of our customers in evolving market.

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