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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Evaluation of optical switches for Space applications
Author(s): David Poudereux; Juan Barbero; José Manuel G. Tijero; Ignacio Esquivias; Iain Mackencie

Paper Abstract

We have evaluated the performance for space applications of commercial off-the-shelf fiber coupled optical switches with no-moving parts, based on different technologies. The technical requirements of several space applications of optical switches were defined. After the technology selection, a tradeoff was performed to select the final optical switches to be tested, which are based on three technologies (Magneto-Optic MO, Bulk Electro-Optic B-EO, and Waveguide Electro-Optic W-EO) and fabricated by four different manufacturers. Other potential technologies (acoustooptic, liquid crystal, thermo-optic, micro/nano photonic waveguides) were not selected due to the lack of commercial products. A test campaign was carried out, consisting of thermal vacuum cycles, mechanical tests (vibration and shocks) and radiation tests (gamma radiation). The main performance parameters were the insertion loss, crosstalk, and switching speed. After the final electro-optical characterization, a destructive physical analysis was made to some optical switches. The results of the tests indicated that B-EO and MO technologies are excellent candidates for the analyzed space applications. They respond very well under typical space conditions as radiation, vibration, shocks and thermal vacuum; B-EO technology presents lower switching time but its crosstalk is worse. WG-EO technology is very fast, but a mechanical failure in one device was observed, the insertion losses are very high and the crosstalk is very low.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 111807H (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2536188
Show Author Affiliations
David Poudereux, Alter Technology TÜV Nord (Spain)
Juan Barbero, Alter Technology TÜV Nord (Spain)
José Manuel G. Tijero, Univ. Politécnica de Madrid (Spain)
Ignacio Esquivias, Univ. Politécnica de Madrid (Spain)
Iain Mackencie, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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