High-Speed, Bistable Optical Switch
Small Business Information
2792 Indian Ripple Rd., Dayton, OH, 45440
Dr. Patrick J. Hood
AbstractOptical switches are fundamental components of survivable fiber network architectures. They are required to enhance the performance of fiber optic networks through load shifting and to provide disaster recovery when communication links are lost. Optical networks will likely be employed in the next generation of military air- and spacecraft (e.g. JAF) to provide communication links between avionic components. Optical switches are an enabling technology for system recovery from battle-damage and black-box failure. The ability for an asset to automatically recover from a system failure or lost communication link without human intervention is especially important for military space-based vehicles. This program will employ a new class of liquid crystalline material, which is stable in multiple states, and existing high-speed electrooptic materials to fabricate a high-speed latching solid-state optical switch. The proposed device will be robust and operate over a wide temperature range (cryogenic to ~50¿C). In Phase I of this program novel drive electronics will be developed to optimally utilize this new bistable materials technology. Currently, no bistable optical switch technology has been demonstrated which can meet the demands of military environments (especially space-environments). The technology proposed in this program can.
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