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ReliabilitY of opto-Transceivers for Health Monitoring Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - RYTHMS (ReliabilitY of opto-Transceivers for Health Monitoring Systems)

Reporting period: 2021-05-01 to 2022-04-30

For aeronautic applications, in-service Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is a now established as a key technique to assess the performance and the integrity of composite aircraft structures for real-time in situ monitoring. For space industry, the Assembly Integration and Test including Electrical Ground Support Equipment is an essential tool enabling a satellite or space launcher developer to integrate and validate the electrical functions of its spacecraft before the launching process. In addition, satellite operators and worldwide SatCom manufacturers are willing to improve the on-board processing capacity, functionality and flexibility. In this context, opto-transceiver technology becomes a major building block regarding the highlighted aeronautic, space and ground telecommunication needs.

The RYTHMS project aims are to bring the benefits of optoelectronics to aircraft and satellite data communications supporting multiple payload networks over a lighter and a more modular physical layer, thereby improving performance (connectivity, flexibility, bandwidth and number of channels). Especially, the development of a multi-channel high data rate transceiver (25 Gbps per channel) and the very dedicated optical test bench oriented to qualify and establish the probabilistic reliability model of such products and systems have been challenging and very innovative regarding the current state-of-the-art.

RYTHMS project defines tools and methodology to validate and certify such fiber-based systems in compliance with the general requirements of DO-160 standard and Space Quality Standards.

Through a complementary consortium involving industrial partners and academics as well as a large knowledge and heritage from their expertise in high data rate optical datacom and telecommunication devices and systems, RYTHMS project has established a set of requirements to characterize the performance, environmental and reliability needs that can drive the final design of an optoelectronic transceiver module. A generic test bench platform has been designed and implemented to carry out both an extensive set of electro-optical characterizations and an optimized program of accelerated tests to predict the reliability of the optical transceiver modules depending on operating conditions and mission profiles.
Three versions of advanced Transceiver (V1, V1bis and V1ter) have been designed and manufactured based on a set of requirements which has been established at the beginning of the project considering the use in Aeronautics & Space and specifying the needs for Environmental Performance and Reliability. The objective of these requirements were clearly to drive the design of the optoelectronic transceiver module as well as the test benches.

While the project suffered from the accumulated delay over the two first reporting periods, during the third RP, the Consortium had to take the difficult decision to abandon the development of the V2 quad transceiver in a unique package version fully compliant with the requirements and focus on the delivery of the V1ter version of separate 4ch emitters and 4ch receivers.

Each of these transceivers has presented an optimized iteration and has allowed the development and the adjustment of RYTHMS reliability test platform. Reliability tests have been performed on two Manufacturers of VCSELS (II-VI and Broadcom) and on the 3 generations of transmitter/receiver modules.

The critical features needed for evaluation phase were defined and the test platform compatible for in-situ monitoring and ex-situ characterization was constructed. Tests have been parallelized namely by the increase of test capacities for VCSELs. The number of VCSELS as well as transmitter modules have therefore been tested according to project specifications and in a short timescale.

A statistical model based on experimental results has been built. Starting from a statistical Wiener simulation, a more practical and applicable reliability model (lognormal type) has been derived. Failure analysis has also been performed on lifetested and failed devices: an analysis which includes non-destructive physical analysis and destructive physico-chemical analysis.

With regards to the Dissemination, during this third reporting period, the Consortium has chosen to organize a dedicated workshop. As the leader of this WP5, UBX has welcomed a two-day teambuilding in its facilities with different optoelectronics’ players (research institutes and industries), which finally gave place to a fruitful brainstorming. This brainstorming concludes that RYTHMS project is a key project to promote telecoms in aircraft and space applications. Next step will be to disclose the results of the research during the COMET presentation organized by the CNES in November this year
Finally, RYTHMS project leads to the following plans in terms of exploitation: RADIALL is continuing the development of advanced transceivers with 10-year Roadmap towards higher bandwidth (50 Gbps) addressing the Space and Defence markets. And ADVEOTEC test house is now offering high data rate testing.
RYTHMS has allowed the development of many innovative techniques of which some are first-time published. The ultra-high resolution spectral characterisation of VCSELs showing the presence of multiple peaks and the Monte-Carlo simulation of an optical component based on Wiener non-linear model are the first known methods implemented in the development of an as complex module as the high data rate optical transceiver. These beyond-state-of-the art techniques within a test platform open up an upstream reliability-integrated-design approach that can be applied to the development of other types of optoelectronic modules and sub-systems. Based on this approach, RYTHMS partners would be willing to elaborate a kind of “RYTHMS II project” for an investigation on V2 transceiver at 28 Gbps and V3 transceiver at 54 Gbps that could be developed by the current partners, keeping in mind that the key point of this research is to reduce the power consumption per Gb.