Military Applications of Fiber Optics Technology

by Joseph F. Benzoni, David T. Orletsky


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This Note presents an overview of fiber optics technology and potential military applications of that technology. It outlines the dramatic growth of fiber optics technology to the point where it has virtually replaced other means of long-distance telecommunications. It discusses advantages and disadvantages of fiber optics in general, and then considers them in the light of applications to military systems. The Note considers several categories of developmental and proposed military systems that use some facet of fiber optics technology; however, it makes no attempt to analyze these systems in terms of technical feasibility, cost, or military utility. An appendix contains technical information on the principles of fiber optic information transfer.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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