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A Multi-User, Network-Accessible, Tunable Laser

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010969D
Publication Date: 2003-Feb-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 104K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that uses existing communication pipes (e.g. Ethernet) to enable multiple users to remotely access, diagnose, and interact with a tunable device. Benefits include a reduction in development time and deployment costs.

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A Multi-User, Network-Accessible, Tunable Laser

Disclosed is a method that uses existing communication pipes (e.g. Ethernet) to enable multiple users to remotely access, diagnose, and interact with a tunable device. Benefits include a reduction in development time and deployment costs.

Background

In the field of optical components, very little intelligence has been placed within products. At most, rudimentary protocols over a busable physical layer have been used to test multiple components simultaneously. This however, does not allow multiple users to access a single device, nor does it allow users to access the device remotely. In other fields such as satellites, this scheme has been deployed. Researchers may use remote desktop access software such as PC Anywhere by Symantec or VNC by AT&T research labs. This scheme has the benefit of remote access, but at the expense of resource locking the laser. The disclosed method allows for both remote access and parallel access at a fraction of the bandwidth requirements.

General Description

A tunable laser, and generally tunable devices, often require a microprocessor to control the optical wavelength tuning. The technologies are sufficiently complex over discrete wavelength methods to mandate a microcontroller and an interdisciplinary research and development approach. Control engineers develop specific tuning servos, firmware engineers implement health monitoring and aging functionality, optics engineers study the interaction of the light with the electronic-mechanical surroundings. Testing and assembly specialists require access to similar measurements made by the R&D engineers in order to produce a reliable product under stringent quality and specification demands. Often times, the measurements made for a tunable laser need to be concurrently measured and shared by an interdisciplinary team. Also, data acquisition and analysis needs to be accomplished while the tunable device is in a thermally controlled oven requiring the operator to monitor the environment at potentially all

hours of the night. Given that a microprocessor is onboard, a small software dispatcher engine can be placed within the firmware to provide the following benefits:

 

  • Collaborative, Multi-Disciplinary Approach to R&D. Parallel access and control to laser components allow for simultaneous data collection, analysis, post processing and visualization of laser behavior. Having an interacti...