Low-Cost Rugged Fiber-Optic Switches Based on Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 28483
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1995
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Optivision, Inc.
4009 Miranda Ave., Palo Alto, CA, 94304
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Robert F. Kalman
 (415) 855-0200
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
Fiber-optic switching is required in a variety of commercial and government applications, including datacom and telecom networks, photonically-controlled phased array antennas and fiber-optic sensor systems. Conventional electromechanical fiber optic switches are commercially available and exhibit low insertion loss, but are not sufficiently rugged, compact, integratable, or low-cost for many applications. Fiber-optic switches based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology have the potential to achieve very low cost in compact, rugged packages, and are well-suited to integration to implement arrays of switches and more complex switches. In this document, Optivision (acting as prime contractor) and Texas Instruments (TI, acting as a subcontractor) propose the development of MEMS fiber-optic switches using TI's digital micromirror device (DMD) technology and Optivision's fiber-optic packaging expertise. We will: (1) Investigate DMD designs with adequate pixel size and deflection angle for single mode and multimode MEMS fiber-optic switches, (2) investigate packaged switch architectures for 1x2, W, and 1xN switches, (3) investigate MEMS package components and implementations, (4) demonstrate operation of a MEMS fiber-optic switch in the laboratory, (5) identify a Navy program customer for the Phase II MEMS switch, and (6) perform a high-level design for a switch to be built during the Phase II effort. TI has world-class optical MEMS fabrication capabilities and design expertise, while optivision has extensive experience in fiber-optic packaging and in commercializing technology developed under government programs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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