Browse Prior Art Database

Array Light Valve Switches Information Signals Between Fiber-Optic Signal Conductors

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043114D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Callaway, MB: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A solid-state array of mirrors, as described in U.S. Patent 4,229,732, can be used to switch signals from one group of optical fibers to another group of optical fibers under control of a computer. As shown in the figure, an array of light valves 11 is positioned beneath three bundles of fibers. The ends of the bundles of fibers are flattened so as to present substantially a single row of fibers in each bundle. The center bundle 13 represents the optical signal input bundle which shines light on a plurality of reflecting elements 19 of the array. Each reflecting element can be left in its relaxed position, represented by element 19, or in a deflective position, represented by element 19 prime. When in the relaxed position, light from input signal bundle 13 is reflected off one or more elements 19 to output fiber bundle 15.

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Array Light Valve Switches Information Signals Between Fiber-Optic Signal Conductors

A solid-state array of mirrors, as described in U.S. Patent 4,229,732, can be used to switch signals from one group of optical fibers to another group of optical fibers under control of a computer. As shown in the figure, an array of light valves 11 is positioned beneath three bundles of fibers. The ends of the bundles of fibers are flattened so as to present substantially a single row of fibers in each bundle. The center bundle 13 represents the optical signal input bundle which shines light on a plurality of reflecting elements 19 of the array. Each reflecting element can be left in its relaxed position, represented by element 19, or in a deflective position, represented by element 19 prime. When in the relaxed position, light from input signal bundle 13 is reflected off one or more elements 19 to output fiber bundle 15. The optical connection from bundle 13 to 15 thereby represents a normally-closed connection. If all of the elements receiving light from one of the fibers of bundle 13 are deflected, as shown by element 19 prime, the light from input bundle 13 is reflected to output bundle 17. The connection from bundle 13 to 17 represents a normally open switch connection. It will be appreciated that, due to the relative geometry of the light valve elements and the fibers, a plurality of light valve elements are used to switch the light from each fiber to adjacent fibers of ot...