2015-Fiber Optic Sensors Global Market Forecast

According to ElectroniCast, the combined use of Continuous Distributed and Point fiber optics sensors reached $2.28 Billion in 2014…

Aptos, CA (USA) – February 18, 2015  — ElectroniCast Consultants, a leading market/technology forecast consultancy, today announced the release of their market forecast and analysis of the global consumption selected Fiber Optic Point Sensors and Continuous Distributed Fiber Optics Sensor systems.

According to ElectroniCast, the consumption value of the combined use of Continuous Distributed and Point fiber optics sensors reached $2.28 Billion in 2014.

Continuous Distributed fiber optic sensor systems involve the optic fiber with the sensors embedded with the fiber.  ElectroniCast counts each Point fiber optic sensor as one unit; however, the volume of Distributed Continuous fiber optic sensors is based on a complete optical fiber line and associated other components, which are defined as a system.

“Since a distributed continuous optical fiber line (system) may have 100s of sensing elements in a continuous-line, it is important to note that ElectroniCast counts all of those sensing elements in a distributed continuous system as one (system) unit – only.  In the case of some applications, the price of the system may be several thousand dollars,” stated Stephen Montgomery, Director of the Fiber Optics Components group at ElectroniCast Consultants.

“POINT sensors are often used in Distributed fiber optic sensor systems (installed at multiple-points/ point-to-point); however, we count their use in the Point fiber optic sensor category and not in the continuous (non-stop) distributed sensor category,” Montgomery added.

DK Photonicswww.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for telecommunication, fiber sensor and fiber laser applications,such as 1064nm High Power Isolator,1064nm Components, PM Components, (2+1)x1 Pump Combiner,Pump Laser Protector,Mini-size CWDM,100GHz DWDM,Optical Circulator,PM Circulator,PM Isolator,Fused Coupler,Mini Size Fused WDM.

DATA FIGURE

According to ElectroniCast, The EMEA region held a slight lead in the worldwide consumption value of fiber optic sensors last year (2014)…

Fiber Optic Sensor Global Consumption Regional Market Forecast

($2.28 Billion in 2014)

Source: ElectroniCast Consultants

fiber optic coupler

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2015-Optical Isolators Global Market Trends

According to ElectroniCast, the worldwide optical isolator consumption reached $584.2 million last year…. 

Aptos, California (USA) – March 2, 2015 — ElectroniCast Consultants, a leading market research & technology forecast consultancy addressing the fiber optics communications industry, today announced the release of a new market forecast of the global consumption of optical isolators in optical communication and specialty applications.

According to ElectroniCast, the worldwide optical isolator consumption reached $584.2 million last year in 2014.  Optical isolator use was led by Telecommunication applications with a 72 percent market share or $419.2 million.  Market data in this study report refers to consumption (use) for a particular calendar year; therefore, this data is not cumulative data.

1064nm-High-Power-Collimated-Free-space-Beam-Output-Isolator

1064nm-High-Power-Collimated-Free-space-Beam-Output-Isolator

Optical isolators are devices that allow light to be transmitted in only one direction. They are most often used to prevent any light from reflecting back down the optical fiber, as this light would enter the source and cause backscattering and feedback problems. This is especially important for high data rate transceivers and transponders, or those devices requiring long span lengths between transceiver pairs. Optical feedback degrades signal-to-noise ratio and consequently bit-error rate.

1550nm Polarization Isensitive Isolator-300mW

1550nm Polarization Isensitive Isolator-300mW

“Continuing demand for upgrading communication networks to accommodate rapidly increasing bandwidth requirements will drive the steady consumption of optical fiber links. Optical isolators are used in with high-speed transmitters that are required to transmit longer distances and/or multiple wavelength transmitters,” stated Stephen Montgomery, Director of the Fiber Optics Components group at ElectroniCast Consultants.

Optical isolators are not widely used in Private Enterprise applications. The worldwide use of fiber optic isolators in Cable TV device deployments are forecast to grow in value at an annual rate of 4.9 percent (2014-2019), as optical fiber is deployed closer to the home driven by multi-media applications.

Optical isolator units are used in a variety of Military/Aerospace applications requiring rigorous testing and harsh environment fiber optic (HEFO) certification to ensure reliability and performance.  Laser-based fiber optic technology incorporating optical isolators are used in a wide variety of air, sea, ground, and space applications.

A major user-group within the Specialty application category is instrument-Laboratory/ R&D.  Optical isolators are used for noise reduction, medical imaging, pulse selection for mode locked lasers, sensing, regeneration switches, disc master, optical trapping, phase shifters, frequency modulation spectroscopy and general shuttering. The optical isolators are also used in sensing for industrial, structures and other many other communication product-oriented manufacturing/test/R&D uses.

 

DK Photonicswww.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for telecommunication, fiber sensor and fiber laser applications,such as 1064nm High Power Isolator,1064nm Components, PM Components, (2+1)x1 Pump Combiner,Pump Laser Protector,Mini-size CWDM,100GHz DWDM,Optical Circulator,PM Circulator,PM Isolator,Fused Coupler,Mini Size Fused WDM.

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2015-Fiber Optic Circulators Global Market Analysis

The market value of fiber optic circulators increased 10.77% in 2014…

Aptos, CA (USA) – March 9, 2015 ElectroniCast Consultants, a leading market research & technology forecast consultancy addressing the fiber optics communications industry, today announced the release of a new market forecast of the global consumption of fiber optic circulators in optical communications.

During 2014-2019, the consumption value is forecast to increase with rising quantity growth partially offset by declining average prices.

The fiber optic circulator market is presented by the following port-count configurations: 3-Ports; 4-Ports; and more than 4-Ports (> 4 – Ports).  According to ElectroniCast, the worldwide use of fiber optic circulators reached $244.8 million in 2014, an increase of 10.77% over he total consumption value of $227.4 million in 2013.  3-Port fiber optic circulators held an 80% market share in 2014.  Well-over 70% of the 3-Port fiber optic circulator market value in 2014 was in Telecommunication applications.

Telecommunications is set to maintain its dominant market share lead throughout the forecast period.  Specialty applications (R&D laboratory, sensors, test equipment, oil/gas, other) are set to maintain the position of second-place, according to the ElectroniCast market forecast and analysis study.

Fiber Optic Circulators are non-reciprocal devices, which means that changes in the properties of light passing through the device are not reversed when the light passes through in the opposite direction. The optical device is commonly used in a wide variety of systems, here are just a few examples: dispersion compensation, optical sensors, optical amplifiers, WDM systems, optical add/drops multiplexing (OADMs) and test/measurement instruments such as optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDRs), remote fiber (optic) test systems (RFTS) and other test equipment.

The deployment of optical fiber in the metro/access, the continuing demand for upgrading networks to accommodate rapidly increasing bandwidth requirements, plus the need for additional monitoring and testing of the optical fiber networks will drive the steady consumption of fiber optic circulators.

According to ElectroniCast Consultants, 3-Port fiber optic circulators held an 80% (value) market share in 2014…

Fiber Optic Circulator Global Market Share (%), By Port Count

(2014 – ElectroniCast Estimate: $244.8 Million)

 

fiber optic circulators

 

DK Photonicswww.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for telecommunication, fiber sensor and fiber laser applications,such as 1064nm High Power Isolator,1064nm Components, PM Components, (2+1)x1 Pump Combiner,Pump Laser Protector,Mini-size CWDM,100GHz DWDM,Optical Circulator,PM Circulator,PM Isolator,Fused Coupler,Mini Size Fused WDM.

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Introduction of the Transients in Optical WDM Networks

A systems analysis continues to be completed to consider dynamical transient effects in the physical layer of an Optical WDM Network. The physical layer dynamics include effects on different time scales. Dynamics from the transmission signal impulses possess a scale of picoseconds. The timing recovery loops in the receivers be employed in the nanoseconds time scale. Optical packet switching in the future networks will have microsecond time scale. Growth and development of such optical networks is yet continuing. Most of the advanced development work in optical WDM networks is presently focused on circuit switching networks, where lightpath change events (for example wavelength add/drop or cross-connect configuration changes) happen on the time scale of seconds.

It is focused on the dynamics from the average transmission power associated with the gain dynamics in Optical Line Amplifiers (OLA). These dynamics may be triggered by the circuit switching events and have millisecond time scale primarily defined by the Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) kinetics in Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs). The transmission power dynamics will also be influenced by other active components of optical network, for example automatically tunable 100GHz DWDM, spectral power equalizers, or other light processing components. When it comes to these dynamics, a typical power of the lightpath transmission signal is recognized as. High bandwidth modulation from the signal, which actually consists of separate information carrying pulses, is mostly ignored.

14_nodes Ring WDMRing WDM networks implementing communication between two fixed points are very well established technology, in particular, for carrying SONET over the WDM. Such simple networks with fixed WDM lighpaths happen to be analyzed in many detail. Fairly detailed first principle models for transmission power dynamics exist for such networks. These models are implemented in industrial software allowing engineering design calculations and dynamical simulation of these networks. Such models could possibly have very high fidelity, but their setup, tuning (model parameter identification) and exhaustive simulations covering a variety of transmission regimes are potentially very labor intensive. Adding description of new network components to such model could need a major effort.

14_nodes Mesh WDMThe problems with detailed first principle models is going to be greatly exacerbated for future Mesh WDM networks. The near future core optical networks will be transparent to wavelength signals on a physical layer. In such network, each wavelength signal travels through the optical core between electronic IP routers around the optical network edge using the information contents unchanged. The signal power is attenuated in the passive network elements and boosted by the optical amplifiers. The lightpaths is going to be dynamically provisioned by Optical Cross-Connects (OXCs), routers, or switches independently on the underlying protocol for data transmission. Such network is basically a circuit switched network. It might experience complex transient processes of the average transmission power for every wavelength signal at the event of the lightpath add, drop, or re-routing. A mix of the signal propagation delay and channel cross-coupling might result in the transmission power disturbances propagating across the network in closed loops and causing stamina oscillations. Such oscillations were observed experimentally. Additionally, the transmission power and amplifier gain transients could be excited by changes in the average signal power because of the network traffic burstliness. If for some period of time the wavelength channel bandwidth is not fully utilized, this could result in a loss of the average power (average temporal density of the transmitted information pulses).

First circuit switched optical networks are already being designed and deployed. Fraxel treatments develops rapidly for metro area and long term networks. Engineering design of circuit switched networks is complicated because performance has to be guaranteed for all possible combinations of the lightpaths. Further, as such networks develop and grow, they potentially need to combine heterogenous equipment from a variety of vendors. A system integrator (e.g., DK Photonics) of such network might be different from subsystems or component manufacturer. This creates a necessity of developing adequate means of transmission power dynamics calculations which are suitable for the circuit switched network business. Ideally, these methods should be modular, independent on the network complexity, and use specifications on the component/subsystem level.

DK Photonics has technical approach to systems analysis that’s to linearize the nonlinear system around a fixed regime, describe the nonlinearity like a model uncertainty, and apply robust analysis that guarantees stability and gratifaction conditions within the presence of the uncertainty. For a user of the approach, there is no need to understand the derivation and system analysis technicalities. The obtained results are very simple and relate performance to basic specifications of the network components. These specifications are somewhat not the same as those widely used in the industry, but could be defined from simple experimentation using the components and subsystems. The obtained specification requirements may be used in growth and development of optical amplifiers, equalizers, optical attenuators, other transmission signal conditioning devices, OADM Modules, OXCs, and any other optical network devices and subsystems influencing the transmission power.

DK Photonics – www.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for telecommunication, fiber sensor and fiber laser applications,such as WDM, FWDM, CWDM, DWDM, OADM,Optical Circulator, Isolator, PM Circulator, PM Isolator, Fused Coupler, Fused WDM, Collimator, Optical Switch and Polarization Maintaining Components, Pump Combiner, High power isolator, Patch Cord and all kinds of connectors.

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Large Mode Area Fibers

Optical fibers with relatively large mode areas and a single transverse mode or only a few modes.

For some applications, it is desirable to use optical fibers with a large mode area (LMA fibers) – often with single-mode guidance. Due to the reduced optical intensities, such fibers effectively have lower nonlinearities and a higher damage threshold, which makes them suitable for example for the Amplification of intense Pulses or single-frequency signals in Fiber amplifiers, or in case of passive fibers for delivery of such light. While standard single-mode fibers have an Effective Mode Area below 100 μm2, large mode area fibers reach values of hundreds or even thousands of μm2.

DK Photonics – www.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for fiber laser applications such as 1064nm high power isolator, Cladding Power Stripper, Multimode High Power Isolator, pump combiner,1064nm Band-pass Filter,(6+1)X1 Pump and Signal Combiner, PM Circulator, PM Isolator, optical Coupler. More information, please contact us.

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Testing Fiber Optic Splitters Or Other Passive Devices

A fiber optic splitter is a device that splits the fiber optic light into several parts by a certain ratio. For example, when a beam of fiber optic light transmitted from a 1X4 equal ratio splitter, it will be divided into 4-fiber optic light by equal ratio that is each beam is 1/4 or 25% of the original source one. A Optical Splitter is different from WDM. WDM can divide the different wavelength fiber optic light into different channels. fiber optic splitter divide the light power and send it to different channels.

Most Splitters available in 900µm loose tube and 250µm bare fiber. 1×2 and 2×2 couplers come standard with a protective metal sleeve to cover the split. Higher output counts are built with a box to protect the splitting components.

Testing a coupler or splitter (both names are used for the same device) or other passive fiber optic devices like switches is little different from testing a patchcord or cable plant using the two industry standard tests, OFSTP-14 for double-ended loss (connectors on both ends) or FOTP-171 for single-ended testing.

First we should define what these passive devices are. An optical coupler is a passive device that can split or combine signals in optical fibers. They are named by the number of inputs and outputs, so a splitter with one input and 2 outputs is a 1×2 fiber splitter, and a PON splitter with one input and 32 outputs is 1×32 splitter. Some PON splitters have two inputs so it would be a 2X32. Here is a table of typical losses for splitters.

Splitter-Ratio

Important Note! Mode Conditioning can be very important to testing couplers. Some of the ways they are manufactured make them very sensitive to mode conditioning, especially multimode but even singlemode couplers. Singlemode couplers should always be tested with a small loop in the launch cable (tied down so it does not change and set the 0dB reference with the loop.) Multimode couplers should be mode conditioned by a mandrel wrap or similar to ensure consistency.

Let’s start with the simplest type. Shown below is a simple 1X2 splitter with one input and two outputs. Basically, in one direction it splits the signal into 2 parts to couple to two fibers. If the split is equal, each fiber will carry a signal that is 3dB less than the input (3dB being a factor of two) plus some excess loss in the coupler and perhaps the connectors on the splitter module. Going the other direction, signals in either fiber will be combined into the one fiber on the other side. The loss is this direction is a function of how the coupler is made. Some couplers are made by twisting two fibers together and fusing them in high heat, so the coupler is really a 2X2 coupler in which case the loss is the same (3dB plus excess loss) in either direction. Some splitters use optical integrated components, so they can be true splitters and the loss in each direction may different.

optical coupler

So for this simple 1X2 splitter, how do we test it? Simply follow the same directions for a double-ended loss test. Attach a launch reference cable to the test source of the proper wavelength (some splitters are wavelength dependent), calibrate the output of the launch cable with the meter to set the 0dB reference, attach to the source launch to the splitter, attach a receive launch cable to the output and the meter and measure loss. What you are measuring is the loss of the splitter due to the split ratio, excess loss from the manufacturing process used to make the splitter and the input and output connectors. So the loss you measure is the loss you can expect when you plug the splitter into a cable plant.

To test the loss to the second port, simply move the receive cable to the other port and read the loss from the meter. This same method works with typical PON splitters that are 1 input and 32 outputs. Set the source up on the input and use the meter and reference cable to test each output port in turn.

What about the other direction from all the output ports? (In PON terms, we call that upstream and the other way from the 1 to 32 ports direction downstream.) Simply reverse the direction of the test. If you are tesing a 1X2 splitter, there is just one other port to test, but with a 1X32, you have to move the source 32 times and record the results on the meter.

fiber-splitter

What about multiple input and outputs, for example a 2X2 coupler? You would need to test from one input port to the two outputs, then from the other input port to each of the two outputs. This involves a lot of data sometimes but it needs to be tested.

There are other tests that can be performed, including wavelength variations (test at several wavelengths), variations among outputs (compare outputs) and even crosstalk (put a signal on one output and look for signal on other outputs.)

Once installed, the splitter simply becomes one source of loss in the cable plant and is tested as part of that cable plant loss for insertion loss testing. Testing splitters with an OTDR is not the same in each direction.

Other Passive Devices

There are other passive devices that require testing, but the test methods are similar.

Fiber optic switches are devices that can switch an input to one of several outputs under electronic control. Test as you would the splitter as shown above. Switches may be designed for use in only one direction, so check the device specifications to ensure you test in the proper direction. Switches may also need testing for consistency after multiple switch cycles and crosstalk.

Attenuators are used to reduce signal levels at the receiver to prevent overloading the receiver. There is a page on using attenuators that you should read. If you need to test an attenuator alone, not part of a system, use the test for splitters above by using the attenuator to connect the launch and receive cables to see if the loss is as expected.

Wavelength-division multiplexers can be tricky to test because they require sources at a precise wavelenth and spectral width, but otherwise the test procedures are similar to other passive components.

Fiber optic couplers or splitters are available in a wide range of styles and sizes to split or combine light with minimal loss. All couplers are manufactured using a very simple proprietary process that produces reliable, low-cost devices. They are physically rugged and insensitive to operating temperatures. Couplers can be fabricated in custom fiber lengths and/or with terminations of any type.

DK Photonicswww.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for telecommunication, fiber sensor and fiber laser applications,such as PLC Splitter, WDM, FWDM, CWDM, DWDM, OADM,Optical Circulator, Isolator, PM Circulator, PM Isolator, Fused Coupler, Fused WDM, Collimator and Polarization Maintaining Components, Pump Combiner, High power isolator, Patch Cord and all kinds of connectors.

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China laser innovation awards program now accepting nominations

The 2015 Ringier Technology Innovation Awards – Laser Industry is now open for applications up until January 4, 2015.

Now in its second year, the Awards consist of six categories: Lasers, Laser Systems for Production Engineering (Laser Cutting Systems, Laser Engraving Systems, Laser Marking Systems, and Laser Welding Systems), Laser System Components, System Peripherals of Laser Production Engineering, Optical Materials and Components, and 3D Printing. Only new products and solutions launched during 2013-2015 in the China market are eligible to enter the Awards selection process.

Following the entry and nomination stage, online peer voting and expert judging will take place January 9-25, 2015. Industry experts, including Dichen Li, Ph.D., Changjiang Professor, Xi’an Jiaotong University; Xiahui Tang, Professor, National Engineering Research Center For Laser Processing; Youliang Wang, Chairman, Laser Processing Committee of China Optical Society; Xiao Zhu, Chairman, Wuhan Laser Association of Optics Valley of China; and Qingmao Zhang, Vice Chairman, Laser Processing Committee of China Optical Society, will be among the independent panel of judges. Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on March 18, 2015, to coincide with Laser World of PHOTONICS 2015 in Shanghai, when all the winners, judges, industry professionals, and media will be present.

Organized by Industrial Laser Solutions China, Ringier Trade Media, and supported by Industrial Laser Solutions, these Awards are presented to a select group of innovators each year in China. The purpose of the Awards is to encourage, acknowledge, and reward those individuals and companies who have introduced and developed a new idea, a new methodology, a new product or a new technology for manufacturing production efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and user convenience, which might result in energy saving and more responsible clean manufacturing in the laser industry.

The Ringier Technology Industry Awards Series have been established since 2006 and cover nine different industries. They are recognized as being the most honest, transparent, and fairest of such Industry Awards in China. Nominations are open to all and the final selections are made by the panel of independent judges based solely on merit.

 

DK Photonics – www.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for fiber laser applications such as 1064nm high power isolator, Cladding Power Stripper, Multimode High Power Isolator, pump combiner,1064nm Band-pass Filter,(6+1)X1 Pump and Signal Combiner, PM Circulator, PM Isolator, optical Coupler. More information, please contact us.

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Pump and signal combiner for bi-directional pumping of all-fiber lasers and amplifiers(7)

Pump and signal combiner for bi-directional pumping of all-fiber lasers and amplifiers(7)

5. Simulations and results for a multi pump port configuration

So far, the modeling results consider a TF with only a single pump port. However, for monolithic high power fiber laser and amplifier systems, it is often required to provide multiple pump ports due to the limited output power of available fiber coupled pump diodes and the efforts to develop laser systems with redundancy. Thus, in this section, we investigate the impact of multiple pump ports on the coupling efficiency and the loss mechanism. The setup of each pump combiner is identical to the description in Section 2 (see Fig. 1), but with several additional ports placed around the cladding of the TF, leading to a fiber bundle. A schematic of a fiber combiner with multiple pump ports is shown in Fig. 7

Pump and signal combiner for bi-directional pumping of all-fiber lasers and amplifiers(7)

Fig. 7 Fiber combiner with multiple pump ports, PFF: pump feeding fiber with a piece of coreless intermediate fiber (IF) as described in Fig. 1, TF: target fiber, TP: transmitted power.

5.1 Simulations of the pump coupling efficiency

The experiments and simulations in Section 4 showed that for a pump combiner with a single pump port, a TL of 20 mm and a TR of 6 yields an excellent coupling efficiency in the range of 95%. In comparison, for a fiber band pass filter with multiple pump ports, the simulations for a TL of 20 mm (Fig. 8(a)

Pump and signal combiner for bi-directional pumping of all-fiber lasers and amplifiers(7)-2

Fig. 8 Simulated coupling efficiency for a pump combiner with up to 6 pump ports for (a) a TL of 20 mm and (b) a TL of 10 mm for a pump light input NA of 0.22.

) revealed that the pump coupling efficiency of the combined pump power depends on the number of pump ports and significantly on the choice of the TR. In the simulations the input pump light NA of the PFFs was 0.22. In general, it can be seen that the pump coupling efficiency decreases with each additional pump port. A lower TR yields a greater decrease of the pump coupling efficiency with each additional pump port than a higher TR. In the case of a TL of 20 mm and a TR of 2.5, the theoretically obtainable pump coupling efficiency of almost 90% decreases to 73%, if the number of pump ports increases from 1 to 6. However, as already mentioned, the increasing losses due to additional pump ports can be reduced with increasing TR. In Fig. 8(a) it can be clearly observed that for 6 pump ports and a TR of 6, a pump coupling efficiency of 90.2% can be achieved. For a TR higher than 6, it is not possible to achieve a significant improvement in pump coupling efficiency for multiple pump ports by increasing of the TR.

For a single pump port configuration it is already known that the pump coupling efficiency decreases with shorter TLs at constant TRs (Fig. 2(a)). However, for multiple pump ports a reduction of the TL leads to the advantage that the pump coupling efficiency of the combined pump power decreases less with each additional pump port, especially at lower TRs. The simulation results for a TL of 10 mm instead of a TL of 20 mm are presented in Fig. 8(b). A comparison of Fig. 8(a) and 8(b) shows: If the number of pump ports is increased from 1 to 6 at a TR of 2.5, the pump coupling efficiency experiences a decrease of 16.9 and 11.2% for a TL of 20 and 10 mm, respectively. Although the total power losses for a TL of 10 mm are higher than for a TL of 20 mm, the example reveals, that the decrease of the pump coupling efficiency due to additional pump ports can be reduced by using shorter TLs.

Besides having less available combined pump power, the additional pump power losses generated in comparison to a fiber combiner with a single pump port, corresponds to an enhanced risk of damaging the component due to additional thermal load. Hence, the loss mechanism for a fiber combiner with multiple pump ports needs to be investigated in more detail.

About DK Photonics

DK Photonics – www.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for fiber laser applications such as 1064nm high power isolator, Cladding Power Stripper, Multimode High Power Isolator, pump combiner,1064nm Band-pass Filter,(6+1)X1 Pump and Signal Combiner, PM Circulator, PM Isolator, optical Coupler. More information, please contact us.

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Optical Filters: Filter stacks transmit wide-angle incident light without shifting wavelength(3)

To avoid the problem of color change versus incidence angle in an optical system, thin-film-coated filter elements can be replaced by a filter consisting of a stack of different filter glasses.

JASON KECK

Rugged, no coating degradation

Advantages of using a filter stack rather than a thin-film-coated optical element include wide-angle performance (see Fig. 2) and high durability. Because the glass itself performs the blocking, there is no concern of coating degradation due to extreme environmental shifts, contamination, or mishandling. Filter stacks are as durable as the glass they are made from, surviving aggressive cleaning methods, severe abrasion, salt/fog testing, humidity, and temperature cycling per durability standards of MIL-PRF-13830B, MIL-C-48497A, and MIL-C-675C.

Because all filter glass types have approximately the same index of refraction, there is no Fresnel loss as light propagates from one internal layer to another. However, as with any glass, the air-to-substrate interfaces will incur an ~8% total Fresnel loss for the component.

The addition of a broadband antireflection (BBAR) coating on each air-to-substrate surface can mostly eliminate this loss. The spectral range of the BBAR is designed to be much wider than the active spectral region of the 100G DWDM filter, so the stability of the transmission band will not be affected by changes in the angle of the filter. Blocking coatings can also be added if it is necessary to create steeper edges for in-band performance; however, doing so can affect the wide-angle performance at the edge wavelengths.

ColorLock filter stacks can be designed for spectral ranges from ultraviolet to near-infrared, with transmission exceeding 60% at the specified design wavelength. This transmission may not be as high as with dielectric filters, but is sufficient for applications with controlled and stable illumination, such as for machine vision, in which the consistency of wavelengths from wider incident angles is more important than transmission.

Having overcome considerable design challenges, we believe that these filter stacks can be used as an innovative solution in applications that demand consistent wavelengths from incident angles that are wide enough that dielectric filters would not be sufficient, and where the higher transmission that is afforded by dielectric filters is less important.

DK Photonics – www.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components mainly for fiber laser applications such as 1064nm high power isolator, Cladding Power Stripper, Multimode High Power Isolator, pump combiner,1064nm Band-pass Filter,(6+1)X1 Pump and Signal Combiner, PM Circulator, PM Isolator, optical Coupler. More information, please contact us.

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Optical Filters: Filter stacks transmit wide-angle incident light without shifting wavelength(2)

To avoid the problem of color change versus incidence angle in an optical system, thin-film-coated filter elements can be replaced by a filter consisting of a stack of different filter glasses.

JASON KECK

Wide-angle filter stack apps

There is a multitude of applications for this type of filter. In the field of digital imaging, colorimeters-which take wideband spectral energy readings-are used to profile and calibrate display devices, verifying that pixel color and intensity at the edge of a display matches the performance of pixels in the center of the display.

In astronomy, biomedical or fluorescence imaging, and mineralogy, hyperspectral imaging has many important applications. It is essential that the incident light undergo as little iridescence as possible. Also, when precision imaging instruments are expensively launched into orbit, the filters must be robust enough to withstand extreme environmental operating conditions.

In agriculture, the color of crops or food products reveals vital information. The use of Earth-observing satellites to measure the “vegetation index” of crops (a measurement of green hue) is nothing new, but the affordability of aerial drones has brought new possibilities. A drone can be programmed with GPS data to fly on a fixed pattern over a designated crop area and take wide-angle images at regular intervals, building up a picture of the vegetation index of crops. If the images used in such applications provide accurate spectral data that is as free as possible from iridescent distortion, it can give farmers precise control over fertilizer application rates and greatly improve efficiency and productivity. This is a considerable cost saving over low-resolution, narrowband satellite imagery and conventional aerial photography using manned aircraft.

Design hurdles

There are three complicating factors in the design of such filter stacks. The first is the limited choice in filter glass, limited not only by manufacturer availability but also by physics. Filter glass with an ideal edge cut-on or cut-off wavelength for an application is not always easy to find, or may be impossible to precisely manufacture. Where it is available, the designer is then limited by what the manufacturer can deliver in a reasonable time, as melts may be scheduled as infrequently as once every several years, depending on demand.

The second factor is that, while the perfect filter glass for a particular application may not exist, there are hundreds of other glass types from numerous vendors that can be combined to achieve a close approximation of the requirement.

The third complicating factor is that the design of ColorLock filters is a massively multidimensional, nonsmooth optimization challenge. Physical manufacturing requirements restrict the thickness of all combined individual layers to not exceed the overall thickness requirement of the resulting optical component, further putting restrictions on the selection of specific CWDM filter glass types.

Reynard streamlined this complex design process by developing in-house software into which all of the system requirements are fed. The software produces a manufacturable design for a filter in which the necessary materials are combined at the correct thickness in each layer. The design is then manufactured and validated for performance.

About DK Photonics

DK Photonics – www.dkphotonics.com  specializes in designing and manufacturing of high quality optical passive components such as 8CH CWDM Module,100GHz 8CH DWDM,200GHz DWDM,Mini-size CWDM,compact CWDM,Athermal AWG DWDM Module,100GHz AWG,Thermal AWG DWDM Module,1310/1490/1550nm FWDM, PLC Splitter, Optical Circulator,Optical Isolator,Fused Coupler,Mini Size Fused WDM.

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