Q-Peak’s High Power SM Fiber Connectors
Q-Peak, has been awarded a contract from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop an environmentally insensitive, low insertion loss, expanded beam fiber connector with high average and peak power handling.
The most promising systems for implementing long range, high bandwidth, Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) links for deep space missions rely on fiber-based transmitter architectures. While such systems offer benefits in power conversion efficiency, size, weight, and cost (SWaP-C), these systems generally lack modularity since there is a lack of high power fiber connectors and switch gear. Due to the specialized equipment and training needed to splice fiber components, this lack of modularity confounds the installation of fiber systems through various mechanical interfaces, and makes field repair of an integrated fiber system nearly impossible.
Q-Peak is well positioned to achieve high levels of transmitted power by leveraging novel opto-mechanical technologies that were developed in a number of recent efforts to achieve similarly high power connectors for flight applications at both short and Mid-IR wavelengths. This technology can be used in the assembly, testing, and integration of high power fiber laser systems for FSOC. Other potential NASA applications are power distribution for laser tools and appliances, as used for cutting, welding, stripping, 3D printing, and other tasks by connecting tool to source using a fiber optic cable assembly. Power supplied remotely from the laser source through hermetic bulkhead fittings may also find use in on-orbit and landed Extra Vehiclular Activities (EVA) environments. Such a connector will widely benefit all sectors of the fiber laser industry. By enabling modular construction of laser subsystems, it will be possible to qualify high power fiber components ex-situ, thus drastically improving first-pass yields. For medical and industrial applications, a common laser source can be more easily paired with multiple tools. This flexible use of laser sources will help to make laser technology more economically viable to a wider variety of industries.
For more information, contact:
Vice President, Systems
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730