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Faraday-Effect Fiber-Optic Switch

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047902D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Noel, FE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a fiber-optic switch which uses the Faraday effect to selectively transmit or block incoming light. The switch can be normally open or normally closed and can be readily reconfigured from one to the other without additional components. Referring to the drawing, the Faraday-effect fiber-optic switch could be part of a switch 10 capable of diverting incoming optical energy to a terminal 12 or of allowing the optical energy to be transmitted directly from an input fiber 14 to an output fiber 16. The switch 10 includes a first fiber-optic Y 18 which splits the incoming signal, with part of the signal being directed to an optical receiver 20 and the remainder of the signal being directed to the Faraday-effect switch 22.

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Faraday-Effect Fiber-Optic Switch

This article describes a fiber-optic switch which uses the Faraday effect to selectively transmit or block incoming light. The switch can be normally open or normally closed and can be readily reconfigured from one to the other without additional components. Referring to the drawing, the Faraday-effect fiber-optic switch could be part of a switch 10 capable of diverting incoming optical energy to a terminal 12 or of allowing the optical energy to be transmitted directly from an input fiber 14 to an output fiber 16. The switch 10 includes a first fiber-optic Y 18 which splits the incoming signal, with part of the signal being directed to an optical receiver 20 and the remainder of the signal being directed to the Faraday-effect switch 22. The switch includes a second Y 24 which accepts optical energy either from the switch 22 or from an optical transmitter 26 on the output side of the terminal 12. The switch 22 includes a first polarizing filter 28, a second polarizing filter 30 and an intervening coil 32, which can be used to selectively establish an electrical field about the optical fiber connecting the filters 28 and 30. If the filters 28 and 30 are oriented in the same way, optical energy is transmitted through filters 28 and 30 in the absence of an electrical field. This configuration is the optical equivalent of a normally open relay. The light path through the switch 22 is blocked by energizing the coil 32 to create an ele...