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Proceedings Paper

A variable mechanical optical attenuator
Author(s): Omar Shehab
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Paper Abstract

A new design of a variable mechanical optical attenuator is proposed in this paper. Mechanical attenuators are extensively important in designing optical communication systems. It is also highly used in testing and training purposes. The design consists a novel fiber optic splitter-combiner setup. Each branch of the splitter meets a specific branch of the combiner. A fixed distanced multi-window rotary wheel slides between them. Upon rotation the light is either blocked or allowed to pass from a splitter branch to a combiner branch. By changing the number of open gates, the amount of yielded light can be controlled. There is only one moving part. So, the design is easy to manufacture, use or repair. The basic design and work flow is explained. The formula for calculating the attenuation and calibration guideline is also discussed. Then the design is compared with the other design standards based on the areas of application. The possible effects of linear and non-linear properties of light is also discussed. The primary concerns that should be taken if this design is to be fabricated in photonic integrated circuits is also mentioned briefly.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8397, Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications VIII, 839706 (2 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918900
Show Author Affiliations
Omar Shehab, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8397:
Enabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications VIII
Michael J. Hayduk; Peter J. Delfyett Jr.; Andrew R. Pirich; Eric Donkor, Editor(s)

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