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Title: A Novel Termination and Splicing Approach for the Installation and Maintenance of Optical Fiber

Abstract

In modern telecommunications (telecom) and data communications (datacom) networks, optical interconnects are essential to achieve ever increasing data rates exceeding 400 Gbps. High-performance computing (HPC) and data centers are increasingly implementing optical fiber as the preferred interconnect media. Fiber to the premises (FTTP) dramatically increases the connection speeds available to computer users compared with copper interconnect technology, but implementing FTTP on a large scale is costly because it requires installation of new cable sets over the "last links" from existing optical fiber cables to individual users. Datacom, telecom, and FTTP all require new fiber termination and splice technology to reduce cost and simplify field installation for a massive deployment of optical fiber into our network and computer architectures. nanoPrecision Products’ (nPP) high precision forming technology is producing single-fiber and multi-fiber metallic ferrules as shown in Figure 1 to sub-micron tolerances, which provide connectors with extremely good performance. The ferrules use a clamshell design with stamped microstructures that provide retention of the cable jacket and strength member, precise alignment of the fiber, and eliminate epoxy. Laser welding joins the two ferrule halves after placement of the fiber. nPP’s novel metal ferrule and the elimination of epoxy permits the application of novelmore » laser-based factory termination processes, including laser end face finishing, to replace the current costly and time consuming mechanical polishing of optical-fiber end faces. nPP’s precision stamped clamshell ferrule approach can also be used for a very low loss single and multi-fiber mechanical splice and cable restoration for simplified field installation and maintenance. These developments can make optical fiber as easy to use as copper wire and accelerate the deployment of optical fiber in FTTP, data centers and high performance computing. In Phase I, nPP experimentally tested novel methods to polish optical fibers that have already been assembled into fiber-optic ferrules. The laser polishing process can achieve the return loss specifications for fiber-optic cables and endface geometry specifications with a lower termination cost. Additionally in Phase I, we designed a stampable splice connector that can be assembled using nPP’s clamshell approach. This connector includes a novel mechanism to buckle the fiber providing mechanical compliance for a physical-contact mechanical splice. In Phase II of this program, we used the Phase I results to develop and test a low-cost factory process for our single-fiber and multi-fiber ferrules. Additionally, nPP demonstrated and tested the fiber-optic splice approach that used the novel buckling mechanism. Commercial applications of this technology include wide area, metropolitan area and local area networks, fiber to the premises, laptop, tablet, and cloud computers, smart phones, supercomputers and data farms, data servers and routers and commercial aircraft. Military applications include manned and unmanned aircraft, land-based and undersea platforms, military telecommunications and local area networks, tactical and strategic missiles, satellites, advanced robotics and smart munitions.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
nanoPrecision Products, Inc.
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1562113
Report Number(s):
Final Report:DOE-1026-Phase2
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0013176
Type / Phase:
SBIR (Phase II)
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS

Citation Formats

Vallance, Ryan. A Novel Termination and Splicing Approach for the Installation and Maintenance of Optical Fiber. United States: N. p., 2019. Web.
Vallance, Ryan. A Novel Termination and Splicing Approach for the Installation and Maintenance of Optical Fiber. United States.
Vallance, Ryan. Mon . "A Novel Termination and Splicing Approach for the Installation and Maintenance of Optical Fiber". United States.
@article{osti_1562113,
title = {A Novel Termination and Splicing Approach for the Installation and Maintenance of Optical Fiber},
author = {Vallance, Ryan},
abstractNote = {In modern telecommunications (telecom) and data communications (datacom) networks, optical interconnects are essential to achieve ever increasing data rates exceeding 400 Gbps. High-performance computing (HPC) and data centers are increasingly implementing optical fiber as the preferred interconnect media. Fiber to the premises (FTTP) dramatically increases the connection speeds available to computer users compared with copper interconnect technology, but implementing FTTP on a large scale is costly because it requires installation of new cable sets over the "last links" from existing optical fiber cables to individual users. Datacom, telecom, and FTTP all require new fiber termination and splice technology to reduce cost and simplify field installation for a massive deployment of optical fiber into our network and computer architectures. nanoPrecision Products’ (nPP) high precision forming technology is producing single-fiber and multi-fiber metallic ferrules as shown in Figure 1 to sub-micron tolerances, which provide connectors with extremely good performance. The ferrules use a clamshell design with stamped microstructures that provide retention of the cable jacket and strength member, precise alignment of the fiber, and eliminate epoxy. Laser welding joins the two ferrule halves after placement of the fiber. nPP’s novel metal ferrule and the elimination of epoxy permits the application of novel laser-based factory termination processes, including laser end face finishing, to replace the current costly and time consuming mechanical polishing of optical-fiber end faces. nPP’s precision stamped clamshell ferrule approach can also be used for a very low loss single and multi-fiber mechanical splice and cable restoration for simplified field installation and maintenance. These developments can make optical fiber as easy to use as copper wire and accelerate the deployment of optical fiber in FTTP, data centers and high performance computing. In Phase I, nPP experimentally tested novel methods to polish optical fibers that have already been assembled into fiber-optic ferrules. The laser polishing process can achieve the return loss specifications for fiber-optic cables and endface geometry specifications with a lower termination cost. Additionally in Phase I, we designed a stampable splice connector that can be assembled using nPP’s clamshell approach. This connector includes a novel mechanism to buckle the fiber providing mechanical compliance for a physical-contact mechanical splice. In Phase II of this program, we used the Phase I results to develop and test a low-cost factory process for our single-fiber and multi-fiber ferrules. Additionally, nPP demonstrated and tested the fiber-optic splice approach that used the novel buckling mechanism. Commercial applications of this technology include wide area, metropolitan area and local area networks, fiber to the premises, laptop, tablet, and cloud computers, smart phones, supercomputers and data farms, data servers and routers and commercial aircraft. Military applications include manned and unmanned aircraft, land-based and undersea platforms, military telecommunications and local area networks, tactical and strategic missiles, satellites, advanced robotics and smart munitions.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Technical Report:
This technical report may be released as soon as September 16, 2023
Other availability
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