This paper discusses the implementation of a single optical backbone interconnect that can accommodate the wide variety of information that must be exchanged within a typical avionics system. The building block elements of this common optical backbone are based on products that have been developed for the commercial telecommunications and cable TV industries. During the development of this architecture a subsystem interconnect domain analysis was performed. This analysis focused primarily on the three most demanding interconnect domains in an avionics system; 1) the Vehicle Management System (VMS), 2) the Integrated RF (IRF), and 3) the Integrated Core Processor (ICP). The results of this analysis were used to create an approach for a single fiber optic backbone connecting multiple systems and subsystems together. Each group of communication sources and destinations can use their native format (analog/digital), signaling rate (100KHz to 20GHz), protocol (Fibre Channel, ATM, Mil-Std-1553, etc.), and topology (linear ring, point- to-point). All of these communication types coexist on this single optical backbone. The interconnect media is generally topology, protocol, performance, and signaling format independent. A laboratory system has been developed and demonstrated using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. This system can also be used to provide a common interconnect for a variety of fiber optic sensors used in the creation of smart structures. This can provide a single backbone, distributed throughout the platform, for sensors that exploit various optical properties. Some of the sensor types could be Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBGs), Extrinsic Fabry-Perot Interferometers (EFPIs), and Mach- Zehnder interferometers.