A Tunable Interferometric Random Optical Cross-Switch

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: F33615-01-M-1993
Agency Tracking Number: 01-0044T
Amount: $64,836.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2001
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
55 Middlesex street, Chelmsford, MA, 01863
DUNS: 964430169
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Kerr
 Director of Research
 (978) 251-4554
 kerr@sci-sol.com
Business Contact
 John Noto
Title: President
Phone: (978) 251-4554
Email: noto@sci-sol.com
Research Institution
 BROWN UNIV.
 Alice A Tangredi-Hannon
 Division of Engineering, Box D, 182 Hope Street
Providence, RI, 02912
 (401) 863-2777
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
A random access, solid-state, optical cross-switch capable of 770 channel discrimination in the telecommunications C-band is designed and proven as an alternative to current thin-film WDM devices and as a mechanically robust alternative tomicroelectromechanical (MEMS) WDM devices. The device may be used in multiplexing (mux), demultiplexing (demux), or complete cross-switch configurations, and is based upon tunable Fabry-Perot technology. A solid state air-gap Fabry-Perot is configured intandem with a switchable holographic optic element established by holographic polymer liquid crystal dispersion. This tuning element is the innovative centerpiece to be fabricated during Phase I research. By stacking these tuning elements, one perwavelength channel, any discrete channel within the C-band can be selected for transmission to any client in a communications network, and the client channel can be switched to any other channel in milliseconds. The device can thus isolate three times thenumber of channels within the C-band purported by any other WDM device, can randomly and disperse those channels to clients, and can rapidly switch these channels as required in a communications network. These capabilities are accomplished with no movingparts, and with a significant cost advantage over competing technologies.The Tunable, Interferometeric, Random Optical Cross-switch (TIROC) is expected to satisfy the demand for the next generation of multiplexing,-demultiplexing cross-switches within thefiber optic telecommunications industry. By virtue of simple, solid-state design, low component fabrication costs, low power operation, and unequaled C-band channel discrimination, the TIROD device is aptly positioned for commercial success in all aspectsof data and telecommunications networking. The TIROD innovation expands the channel discrimination capabilities of commercially available devices 50-fold, and expands WDM add-drop capabilities (in terms of channel number) by two orders of magnitude overcommercially available devices. TIROD establishes the unprecedented capability of random optical switching between clients in a data or telecommunications network. Although the technology is intrinsically targeted to the large and expandingtelecommunications commercial market, extrinsic advantages to general spectrographic applications and their markets are also evident.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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