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RSL Fiber Systems has received a contract through NSRP to investigate new compounds that can be used as jackets for fiber optic cables installed on U.S. Navy ships and submarines.

The objective is to identify highly durable materials that will increase the level of protection to the optical fibers and reduce damage to the cables at installation and during service life.

“Fiber optic networks are the communications’ backbone of Navy ships and submarines, transmitting mission-critical data, controlling weapon systems, and monitoring vital equipment. New cable designs will contain over 400 fibers, requiring a highly durable construction to ensure that the fibers are adequately protected” said Giovanni Tomasi, RSL’s CEO and project team lead. “The selection of materials for the outer cable jackets is extremely critical due to high risk of losing such a high number of communication channels. New materials have been developed that provide increased protection while maintaining the safety characteristics required for
shipboard use”.

The project will evaluate new materials and recommend methods to verify the performance even under the most severe operating conditions. The manufacture-ability of the compounds will be taken into consideration to identify possible cost reductions. The project team members include Huntington Ingalls Incorporated, Ingalls Shipbuilding division, NAVSEA SUPSHIP Gulf Coast, and ChemPro Technologies, LLC.