Active alignment of a 1 × 8 free-space optical switch was studied experimentally. Optical signals, carried on single-mode fibers, were switched by a ferroelectric liquid-crystal-on-silicon spatial light modulator. Continuous measurement of the in-coupled power to the fibers provided feedback for the switch control. The switch automatically located and locked to the output fibers. An advantage with adaptive switches of a similar kind is relaxed geometrical tolerances in the switch assembly. Further, such switches can adapt to possible geometrical changes and light wavelength drift during operation.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(060.0060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics and optical communications
(060.1810) Fiber optics and optical communications : Buffers, couplers, routers, switches, and multiplexers
(230.0230) Optical devices : Optical devices
(230.1950) Optical devices : Diffraction gratings
(230.6120) Optical devices : Spatial light modulators
Mathias Johansson, Sverker Hård, Brian Robertson, Ilias Manolis, Timothy Wilkinson, and William Crossland, "Adaptive Beam Steering Implemented in a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal Spatial-Light-Modulator Free-Space, Fiber-Optic Switch," Appl. Opt. 41, 4904-4911 (2002)