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17 September 2014 On life assessment of high reliability high power optical switch
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High data rate and long range free space lasercom links require multi-watt optical transmitter power, which creates a need for high power redundancy switches to ensure high payload reliability. A high power optical switch (HPOS) with less than 0.15 dB loss and capable of switching more than 40 watts of optical power in a single mode fiber has been previously demonstrated in the Transformational Satellite Communication System program. Prototype switches, in either 1x2 or 2x2 configuration, have been subjected to pyro-shock test, vibration test, and vacuum operation. These switches showed no performance degradation as a result of these tests. Three prototypes went through 60,000 35-watt switching cycles and over 30 million low power switching cycles, and the switches showed no mechanical failure. The HPOS life is about 3.2 million switching cycles with a definition of 3-dB degradation in on/off extinction ratio, which is well suited for space applications.
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Yuanjian Xu and Peter Chu "On life assessment of high reliability high power optical switch", Proc. SPIE 9226, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments VIII, 92260G (17 September 2014);


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