OZ Optics now offer a new series of inline optical power monitor and tap couplers based on a revolutionary, patent pending technology. Optical power taps and monitors available from Warsash Scientific provide a way to measure the signal intensity through an optical fibre in a simple, miniature package. They are suitable to use with optical amplifiers or DWDM systems for real time monitoring and feedback or for fibre optic sensors.
Competing monitoring systems typically use fused couplers to tap a fixed amount of light into another fibre and to a photodiode. This method is bulky and must be done using discrete components. In contrast, OZ Optics' optical taps direct a controlled amount of light from the fibre core to the surface where it can be monitored. This is all done without bending, shaping or otherwise harming the fibre. As a result the tap can be directly incorporated into optical assemblies, without affecting functionality.
Taps can be made into standard single-mode fibres, polarisation maintaining (PM) fibres, or specialty fibres, for any design wavelength. Different tap ratios are available on request. The taps are directional in nature, tapping light travelling in one direction through the fibre, but not in the reverse direction. This directionality is suitable for monitoring traffic in one direction independently of signals travelling in the other direction. It can also be used for measuring return losses instead of transmitted power. Bi-directional versions can be provided on request.
Optical power monitors combine the optical tap design with a photodiode in a single package. The device produces a current proportional to the optical power within the fibre. The small size and simple interface makes it easy to design into optical hardware. Optical taps and monitors are available in different configurations. Single channel optical taps are immediately available, either with or without photodiodes.
Multiple channel power monitors for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) applications will be available shortly. OZ Optics can provide taps with germanium photodiodes to lower costs, provided one can accept a lower dynamic range.
Taps can be directly integrated onto fibre pigtail assemblies and packaged inside devices that rely on optical feedback. For instance laser diodes can be built with inline optical taps directly inside the package to monitor the output signal intensity. This provides a precise means of monitoring the signal intensity, as signals seen by the directional tap are not influenced by return losses from the fibre output, which otherwise would be seen in conventional laser diode modules. This allows the main device and the monitor photodiode to be packaged into a single housing, reducing both size and costs.
OZ Optics is licensing unique technology to passive and active optical component manufacturers and providing the equipment, training and service for incorporating inline taps into new and existing products. Applications tap/power monitor include laser diodes, modulators, attenuators and MEMS systems. The process can also be used to produce inline attenuators, to precisely trim the output power from a device or subsystem.
Following are the advantages of using inline optical taps:
- Size: Fused splitters are at least 30mm long, and users need 10cm of fibre on the arms of the splitters for attaching the splitter to the device and to the photodiode. In contrast, inline taps can be made within a package less than a centimetre in length.
- Consolidation: Inline taps combine the functions of a fused splitter and a photodiode into one package.
- Integration: Unlike fused coupler systems, inline taps can be built within a device at the component level, thus simplifying overall system designs.
- Automation: Inline optical taps can be made in a single automated process. In contrast adding fused splitters with photodiodes require many discrete processes, with some manual operations necessary.
- Flexibility: Inline optical taps can be made with tap ratios as small as 0.1%, allowing one to manufacture optical taps for high power applications.
- Multichannel: Multichannel inline optical taps are manufactured in a small, easy to use package.
- Friendly: Monitors with fused splitters makes a cumbersome package with many fibres to arrange.
Following are the features of OZ Optics directional optical taps and monitors:
- Low cost
- Miniature size package
- Continuous fibre, no interruptions to optical path
- Remotely or locally controllable
- RS232 or USB communication options
- High directivity, large dynamic range
- Low insertion loss, return loss, and polarization return loss
- Wavelength insensitive response
- High power handling
- Specialty fibres and Polarisation maintaining (PM) fibre versions available
- High extinction ratios for PM versions
- Versions for any wavelength from 400nm to 2000nm available
- Available with or without a photodiode
- Can be integrated within other optical components using automated processes
- Multiple channel versions available
- Tested under GR-468 for InGaAs 3 PIN type
OZ Optics directional optical taps and monitors can be used in the following applications:
- Optical power control devices
- Channel balancing for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems
- Dynamic optical amplifier gain monitoring
- Power monitoring
- FTTH network monitoring
- Real time in-line test and measurement