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ReliabilitY of opto-Transceivers for Health Monitoring Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RYTHMS (ReliabilitY of opto-Transceivers for Health Monitoring Systems)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-04-30

In-service Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is now established as a key technique to assess performance and integrity of composite aircraft structures for in situ monitoring. RYTHMS project will develop optoelectronic transceivers and define tools and methodology to validate and certify such systems in compliance with the general requirements of DO-160 and Space Quality Standards.

A new opto-transceiver developed by RYTHMS will enable large data rate capability in the range of 28 Gbps with the purpose to predict the reliability of this new technology.
To demonstrate the development of a multi-channel high data rate transceiver (28 GBps per channel), a series of activities have been conducted and completed:

An efficient project management was conducted despite the COVID crisis and supported by a series of teleconference meetings, communication & reporting between consortium partners.
This second period of reporting was impacted by the sanitary crisis involving containment, forced unemployment, deliveries delays… The main impact has been on the project schedule hence delivery document D3.4 delay. The second impact is linked to the transceiver manufacturing and production of various version. Finally, the third impact occurred on the test process protocol and validation of test bench definition and implementation. All these impacts have had as consequence to amend the current GAP by extending the project end date by 6 months (November 2021 -> April 2022).

The electro-optical transceiver specifications were defined and detailed in periodic report RP1.

The design/industrialization of a new opto-transceiver module is derived from existing COTS technology in term of new packaging and high frequency capability. During RP1, some difficulties related to design conducted to reevaluate the workplan by adding prototyping iteration in order to mitigate the technical challenges stepping from 10 Gbps up to 28 GBps. In this way, a new development approach was proposed based on 3 prototypes.

Due to COVID-19 crisis, the project was strongly impacted in 2020-2021 including difficulties with suppliers linked to scrap parts, supply chain issues and short time of expiry of the components. Nonetheless, the critical parameters needed for evaluation phase were defined and the test platform compatible for in-situ monitoring and ex-situ characterization was constructed. For each parameter, the bench performances were verified and confirmed to be in line with the targeted level of accuracy and reproducibility.

Regarding the V1bis, the transceiver CDR was defined in September 2020 and the Electrical Optical Test Readiness Review was conducted in February 2021.
In consequence, the D3.4. Characterization report is split in 3 parts:
- Part 1 (V1Bis design + test): to be delivered in July 2021
- Part 2 (V2 design): to be delivered in September 2021
- Part 3 (V2 tests): to be delivered in February 2022
The test bench validation is set with some delay because the transceiver v2 parts were not available at the needed schedule. Nevertheless, partial validation was possible using v1 and v1bis versions.

The reliability tests are based on V1bis and V2 ( (expected in February 2022), submitted to thermal cycling tests. In addition, consequently to COVID-19 crisis, all the deliverables & milestones linked to the WP04 were delayed to cope with the planning “Roadmap V11”.
- Estimated date for the D4.1 - Evaluation Test Report: September 2021.
- Estimated date for the D4.2 - Reliability assessment report: March 2022
The activity to develop adequate reliability prediction methodologies is not yet started even if a preliminary model is developed in advance and presented at Lambda Mu conference.

The reliability prediction methodology was presented during the Lambda-Mu 22 conference virtually held in October 12-15 2020 titled “Caractérisation de l’usure des composants électroniques et estimation de leur durée de fonctionnement avant défaillance (RUL: Remaining Useful Life)”. The paper deals with the reliability model and methodology to assess the wear out failure mechanism of VCSELs components to estimate their Remaining Useful Life (RUL) in operation. Based on trials accelerated components (or feedback operational) and the degradation model adjustment, it takes into account aging (wear out) and Random failures in reliability analyzes, component at the system level. The reliability model template is ready to be carried out and is set to accumulate data reliability figures extraction from the forthcoming experiments.
From the basic economic impact …

Space application KET (Key Enabling Technology) knowing the Airframe application is the main target of RYTHMS study. It is of great importance to show how the breakout of using such innovative technologies with huge increase of data rate will grow in adjacent market segments allowing their use thanks to the deployment and qualification/certification actions as done by RYTHMS project.
In Europe, THALES and AIRBUS have developed and qualified their own Digital Transparent Processor at high data rate (> 10 Gbps). Nevertheless, the overall capacity of future digital payloads is bounded by overall power and mass/volume budget at satellite level and to remain competitive regarding US manufacturers, there is a strong need to improve EU optical interconnect data rate in the range of 28 Gbps and higher. The establishment of a European supplier for a COTS optical transceiver is essential in the context of future European space programs.

The Reliability model developed by the Consortium includes several considerations of prime importance which allow to assess the RUL of a device under operational application and specific assembly process characteristics.

How can we develop such a watch dog reliability parameter to assess the RUL of each channel during operation?

The ambition of the RYTHMS project is to define the rules and guidance’s to make such RUL quantification a true advanced tool to identify and anticipate as early as possible any risk of failure during in operation in order to take the decision either to replace the part for Aeronautic application or to reduce thermal and signal stress operation to optimize functionality and durability.

… to the socio-economic impact and to the wider societal implications.

Transceiver technology combined with multiple health sensor survey will open new market application to satisfy the ultimate goal to prepare the future of Health Monitoring and Health Management required in System Maintenance survey of large infrastructures. Combining Artificial Intelligence, Neural Network and Deep Learning processes with Big Data management will allow to issue an innovative protocol to determine RUL of module and on-survey Heal Management of structures. Ultimately we will built-in a reliability growth technic involving AI’s based on last innovations to benefit the future big challenge of RYTHMS project.

An SHM concept architecture has to be developed in Europe, based on a new generation of optoelectronic transceiver working at high data rate (28 Gbps). Regarding the market share of the European industry, the major needs will come from the manufacturing Aeronautic market foreseen to use hundreds of high data rate optical transceivers modules per airplane to collect and transmit sensor survey data for preventive maintenance of mechanical structures (fuselage, wings, motors…).
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