Browse Prior Art Database

Optical Bypass Switch

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000050779D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Moore, VS: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A major problem in designing fail-safe fiber-optic switches, for switchably aligning fiber-optic waveguide channels, has been the precision of alignment which must be consistently maintained between waveguides in order to insure proper light transfer. This article describes a possible solution to the problem of alignment.

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Optical Bypass Switch

A major problem in designing fail-safe fiber-optic switches, for switchably aligning fiber-optic waveguide channels, has been the precision of alignment which must be consistently maintained between waveguides in order to insure proper light transfer. This article describes a possible solution to the problem of alignment.

In the present arrangement, the fiber-optic waveguides all remain fixed and less alignment-critical electronic circuitry is moved relative to the paired waveguides in order to cause signal switching action. In particular, the electronic circuitry, a photoreceiver and transmitter, for example, resides on a ceramic substrate that slides between optical cables. This substrate contains an optical window which is positioned between the joined waveguides whenever power is removed from the apparatus, and, therefore, represents a fail-safe bypass connection.

In detail, Fig. 1 illustrates the bypass switch for linking receiving cable 18 to transmitting cable 19. Cables 18 and 19 respectively contain optical fiber waveguides 13 and 24. Connectors 7 and 8 provide the means for mechanically attaching the cables to the body of the switch 5.

Substrate 4, connected to ferrous rod 2, is dual-sided. A photodiode 15, receiver chips 16, and one surface of a "zero thickness" fiber-optic faceplate 9 reside on one side of the substrate. The other side of the substrate contains the light-emitting diode (LED) 10, transmitter chips 17, and the opposite side of the optical faceplate 9.

Electrical signals are passed to and from the movable substrate 4 via spring slides 20 that are terminated to printed circuit board 23.

Substrate 4 slides in groove 21 and is moved by solenoid 1. Fig. 1 illustrates the activated position of the solenoid in which an I/O device not-shown is coupled as a transmission source to waveguide 13 (via LED 10) and as a receiver to waveguide 24 (via element 15). Spring 3 restores substrate 4 to the bypass state when power is removed from solenoid 1. In this state, waveguides 24 and...