The solution must demonstrate :
- An ability to operate in an explosive atmosphere without causing inadvertent ignition,
- That an explosive or burning reaction occurring inside the encapsulated material will be contained and will not spread outside the object,
- That it can structurally and functionally withstand the infrequent shock effects caused by the detonation of a pyrotechnic device on a structural configuration on which the equipment is mounted,
- It can withstand sudden temperature variations (>10°C per minute) in the surrounding atmosphere without physical damage or deterioration in performance,
- Immunity to electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic interference.
The SHARK program
To protect light and heavy armored vehicles such as the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle against incoming threats such as RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenade) and anti-tank missiles, France launched the SHarK (System Hard Kill) program in 2008.
SHARK is an active protection system using pyrotechnic countermeasures triggered by opto-pyrotechnic devices. The system detects threats at very short range (less than 15 m) and creates an explosion at a distance of 3 meters from the vehicle, destroying the threat with a very short response time of 0.1 seconds.
Our solution: hermetic optical connections
SEDI-ATI has worked on the <stronghttps://www.sedi-ati.com/multimode-wavelength-division-multiplexers-en/>optical fiber part of such a system, and is able to supply and control the complete optical line, from coupling the laser into the optical fiber, to checking the integrity of the line. In fact, we design hermetic optical links that include multimode multiplexers and are terminated by free-standing connectors. Hermetic sealing prevents the propagation of explosions within the system. The multiplexer prevents inadvertent ignition of the pyrotechnic initiator, and the free-standing connector prevents high laser power from damaging the optical fiber output.
The heart of the system: the opto-pyrotechnic initiator
The SHARK system can be described as a kind of intelligent shield capable of destroying a rocket or missile in mid-air. At the heart of the system is a trigger: the opto-pyrotechnic initiator. The opto-pyrotechnic initiator comprises 3 elements:
- At the beginning of the chain: a laser activated by a threat detection system.
- At the end of the chain: the pyrotechnic initiator, which triggers an explosion to destroy enemy munitions.
- In between: the optical fiber through which the laser pulse will travel to activate the initiator.
A democratized concept: an activated protection system for armored vehicles
The program was launched by the French DGA (Direction Générale pour l’Armement). The program was led by TDA, a subsidiary of the Thales Group, with contributions from IBD Deisenroth Engineering, the original developer of this countermeasure system. In 2016, the French government validated the SHARK concept through intensive trials. Today, such an active protection system is widely deployed on French armored vehicles operating in urban terrain, where threats are fired at close range and the risk to non-combatants is high.
We offer an optical link consisting of an optical fiber adapted to the power used, combined with a multiplexer and optical connectors.
- Watertightness: we offer watertight fiber optic feedthroughs using 3 sealing technologies, such as epoxy, brazing and spooling.
- Optical power: expertise in connectorization (free-standing connector, cleaved fiber, etc.)
- Line integrity control: our evaporation solutions enable us to offer customized treatments (dichroic filters, anti-reflective coatings, etc.) directly at the fiber end, or along the stripped fiber.
SEDI-ATI’s multimode wavelength division multiplexers are manufactured using a proprietary process based on a dichroic filter directly deposited onto the optical fiber.
Injecting high optical power into a fiber is quite tough. That is why SEDI-ATI has designed a broad range of power fiber optic cables.