Automated and Computer Controlled Precision Method of Fused Elongated Optical Fiber Coupler Fabrication.
Patent, Filed 29 Mar 87, patented 9 Aug 88,
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC
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An apparatus and method of manufacturing optical couplers of at least two optical fibers make explicit use of computer control to assure automation and reproducibility. The method and apparatus are independent of human operation for the precise and timely control of the coupler fabrication procedure which is necessary for reliable and high yield production. The steps of the method performed by the apparatus call for the exact starting and stopping of the movement of motor driven translation stages at an exact translation speed after at least two juxtaposed optical fibers have had a heating source positioned and toggled at an exact rate relative to the fibers in order to control the temperatures of the fibers. A computer controls the timed removal of the heat source which had raised the temperatures of at least portions of the fibers to the fusion temperature and the timed termination of the fiber elongation translation stages which draw the fibers in the proper proximity for coupling. These and other functions are all controlled independently of an operator by a computer which has been preprogrammed and which has been interfaced to optical power monitoring detectors at outputs of the individual fibers and to a control unit which appropriately actuates the motorized translation stages connected to the heat source and the fibers. The coupling characteristics of the fibers can be specifically adjusted by appropriately monitoring the power outputs of the optical fibers so that the heating and elongation of the fibers are controlled to achieve the desired results. rh
- Computer Hardware