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Development of Techniques to Ruggedize Graded Index Communication Grade Plastic Optical Fiber
Phone: (508) 647-4800
We propose a SBIR program which will provide Basic Research and Exploratory Development of fluorinated graded index plastic optical fiber. Recent breakthroughs in the design of graded index plastic optical fibers have dramatically increased POF's data transmission rate. A bandwidth of more than 3 (three) Ghz at 100 meters has been demonstrated. Fluoropolymers with elevated glass transition temperatures greater than 150 degrees C, addressing the crucial thermal limitation of present POF technology. Fluoropolymers are also capable of much lower light attenuation compared to hydrogen based polymers with attenuation's down to 60 dB/Km or less, and also can exhibit low moisture absorption. In addition, this method of obtaining a graded refractive index in the fiber is particularly able to provide enhanced radiation resistance to the fiber. This program will in addition explore the development of improved coatings which will protect the GIPOF from temperatures of -40 degrees C to +150 degrees C and moisture ingress, and which are tolerant to low earth orbit.
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