FIBER OPTICAL COMPONENTS INDUSTRY
Since 1999 Sercalo Microtechnology Ltd. supplies optical MEMS solutions to the Fiber Optic Industry. Sercalo is the market leader in MEMS components for optical Test and Measurement and Network surveillance. Sercalo products, including Fiber Optic Switches, Attenuators and Tunable Filters, are the solution of choice where high reliability and long-term stability are required. In recent years, new designs of Micro-Mirrors for beam steering and scanning were introduced. Such MEMS mirrors are used in Optical scanning Sensors such as Optical Coherence Tomography, scanning LiDARs for autonomous driving and inter-satellite communication to name just a few.
MEMS are nowadays used in a wide range of every day life applications, but also in space, instrumentation, RF applications and many more...
Their broadest use is in the sensor area. There are MEMS sensors to measure vibrations, temperature, light, movement (1,2 and 3 axis), linear and rotational acceleration. They are integrated into ink jet printers, video games, cell phones, alarms, cars, etc.
In the medical field, they are used as biosensors, pressure sensors, in studies related to drug delivery and other kinds of physical sensors.
In the automotive area they are integrated in intelligent airbags and used in vibration detection and in many other applications. In telecommunications, they are used all along the transmission line. MEMS are used in the implementation of tunable lasers, tunable filters, optical switches, dynamic gain equalizers, attenuators, etc. as it is shown in the image.
APPLICATIONS FOR MEMS SWITCHES
1. Measurement Resource Sharing
Sercalo Switches can be used in measurement environments as a means of resource sharing application. The output signal of a Measurement System is used as the input for a switch which afterwards sends the signal to the appropriate device or fiber, acting in this way as a resource sharing equipment; (the applications can also be seen from left to right).
This is fully advantageous in the case of automatic testing and in the study of a device's behavior under different conditions all in one measurement.
The activity domain of the switches is diverse. Simply by changing the measurement system we change the domain of use: in the telecommunications world an OTDR will be used, in the temperature testing domain a DTS system and in the stress testing a FBG system.
Shortly Switches will also be able to work with visible light expanding the usage to spectroscopy applications.
The main benefits of switches are their high repeatability, no recalibration and no wear out.
Switches can be used in backup environments, in the event of a network failure, or a fiber breakage. In this case scenario, information is transmitted through a backup line. Once the failure has occurred, it needs to be solved in all cases with the fastest procedure. Switches bring the benefit of high reliability and fast response time to this type of scenario.
Switches can be used in remote network monitoring. In this kind of scenario, after taking a sample of the light that is being transmitted over the network, the switch will send it to the measurement equipment, for example, a power meter or a Bit Error Rate Tester. In this way, switches can be used to monitor the network automatically and remotely by effectively using the measuring resources and thus detecting a network failure as soon as it occurs.
In this ring using network protection, when a breakage occurs the solution is to send the information to the backup line. But what if a second breakage also occurs in the backup line? In this situation 1 and 2 cannot communicate anymore. In this case switches can be used as a by-pass switching solution. And by placing a 2x2 switch in 3, information can reach 2 from 1. For this type of applications we can highlight the superior reliability of switches.
Another application of switches is in measurement setup scenarios. In this case, the switch is used to switch between different wavelengths that are used to test the behavior of the Device Under Test; afterwards a phase of analyze can be done.
The benefits of using switches are their high repeatability, no recalibration and no wear out.
MEMS 2D MICRO MIRRORS
Sercalo 2D MEMS Mirror is, between other applications, used to fabricate tunable filters. It can be actuated manually or through software, in two different angles (+/-α, +/-β) with analog controls.
2. Optical Assembly Error Correction
Sercalo 2D MEMS Mirror can be used to correct deviation errors in the input beam. With this correction, we can always adjust the beam in the first part of the assembly and be sure that all the optical equipments that are located afterwards will always be fixed and no recalibration or further adjustment will be needed.