The requirements for a practical optical waveguide cable connector are reviewed. The sources of loss in fiber-to-fiber coupling, both intrinsic (fiber-related) and extrinsic (connector-related), are discussed and quantified. A multiple channel, single-fiber-per-channel connector concept, termed the overlap connector, is then described, with emphasis on the relationship of its individual design features to practical connector requirements. Experimental results with prototype overlap connectors are presented, showing that a mean extrinsic loss of less than 0.6 dB is obtained, with a standard deviation of 0.1 dB, as a result of intermating different connector halves (twelve combinations). Losses from fiber distortions are shown to account for 0.2 dB of this extrinsic loss, and, since these distortion losses are specific deficiencies of the prototype hardware (correctable in a straightforward manner), this overlap connector hardware is taken as demonstrating an extrinsic loss of 0.4 dB. Variations in joint loss and the possibility of damage to waveguides resulting from remating are also discussed. The standard deviation of joint loss obtained in a remating test is 0.09 dB.
F. L. Thiel and R. M. Hawk, "Optical waveguide cable connection," Appl. Opt. 15, 2785-2791 (1976)