Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New automated process simplifies alignment and splicing of multicore optical fibers

Date:
March 12, 2013
Source:
The Optical Society
Summary:
New multicore optical fibers have many times the signal-carrying capacity of traditional single-core fibers, but their use in telecommunications has been restricted because of the challenge in splicing them together. Now, a new technique offers an automated method for aligning and splicing multicore fibers, allowing engineers to take manual splicing out of the lab and into an automated production line.

The Fujikura FSM-100P+ fusion splicer is used for the automated alignment and splicing of MCF with PC control software developed by AFL.
Credit: Image courtesy Fujikura Splicer Department

New multicore optical fibers have many times the signal-carrying capacity of traditional single-core fibers, but their use in telecommunications has been severely restricted because of the challenge in splicing them together-- picture trying to match up and connect two separate boxes of spaghetti so that all of the noodles in each box are perfectly aligned. Now, a new splicing technique offers an automated way to do just that, with minimal losses in signal quality across the spliced sections.

The method will be described next week at OFC/NFOEC 2013.

In the telecommunications industry, engineers maximize signal-carrying capacity using a process called multiplexing, which allows multiple signals or data streams to be combined within a single fiber cable. One digital phone line, for example, uses 64 kilobits per second of bandwidth, but with a technique called time multiplexing, more than 1.5 million phone conversations can take place at the same time, carried by one fiber core. With wavelength multiplexing, that one fiber core can send up to 200 different wavelengths of light simultaneously, increasing the capacity to 10 terabits per second, serving about 200 million phone lines. Those multiplexed fibers, in turn, can be bundled together into a so-called multicore fiber (MCF), consisting of up to 19 cores -- and up to 19 times the signal-carrying capacity.

The challenge, however, is splicing those multicores together.

Researchers who work with MCFs in the lab usually have their own preferred manual processes for aligning and splicing fibers, explains Wenxin Zheng, manager of splice engineering at AFL in Duncan, S.C., who developed the new technique. "Although the manual way may be good for a skilled operator in a lab environment for research purposes, automation is the only path that can push MCF to factories and production lines."

In Zheng's process, which uses a Fujikura FSM-100P+ fusion splicer (see image), the fibers to be spliced are stripped and loaded into the splicer, then rotated and imaged with two video cameras so that their cores can be roughly aligned using a pattern-matching algorithm. Next, using a power-feedback method and image processing, a pair of corresponding cores in each fiber are finely aligned, as is the cladding around the cores. Finally, the cores are heat-spliced.

"To align the multiple cores simultaneously is a big challenge," Zheng says. "If two fibers to be spliced have random core locations, there is no way to align the entire core." However, the component cores of MCFs can be aligned if they are created using the same design standard, and if the cores are distributed symmetrically in the MCF -- such as in a seven-core MCF with one central core surrounded by six cores oriented like the spokes of a wagon wheel. In that case, Zheng notes, "we can fine-align one side-core in an MCF and its cladding at the same time. Based on the geometric specifications of the fiber, the rest of the cores will be automatically aligned."

Zheng's presentation, "Automated Alignment and Splicing for Multicore Fibers," will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, March 18 at the Anaheim Convention Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Optical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Optical Society. "New automated process simplifies alignment and splicing of multicore optical fibers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134656.htm>.
The Optical Society. (2013, March 12). New automated process simplifies alignment and splicing of multicore optical fibers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134656.htm
The Optical Society. "New automated process simplifies alignment and splicing of multicore optical fibers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312134656.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins