BROAD AXE, Pa., March 3, 2011 — Aurora Optics Inc. has created MiniMod, a fully automatic fusion splicer that is as small as a digital camera, making it suitable for use in difficult and hard-to-reach situations. Operated from a remote control unit connected by an umbilical cable, the splicer can offload functions that do not have to be at the fiber location, such as the display monitor, control keypad, microprocessor and power supply. Only the functions that affect the fibers directly – the imaging system, precision fiber positioners and high-voltage fusion arc – are kept in the splicer. The result is a device measuring 23 cu in. in volume and weighing 1 lb, suitable for handheld use. The device retains sophisticated fiber alignment and fusion technologies: full three-axis automatic alignment, automatic fiber placement, subpixel image processing, arc fusion control and splice loss estimation. The MiniMod works in any orientation, even upside down, and survives rough handling per MIL-PRF-28800, including ambient temperatures from -10 to 55 °C, relative humidity from 0 to 95% and altitude to 5000 m. The ergonomic device delivers consistently low losses, typically 0.02 dB on single-mode fiber. Using fiber holders that can proof-test spliced fibers to 500 g, it makes low-loss splices on all standard single- and multimode fibers from 8.5/125-µm up to 100/140/172-µm polyimide-coated, typically in 15 s.