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Scalable Matrix Optical Switch

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SA Photonics has introduced the compact scalable matrix optical switch (COSMOS), an all-optical switch designed for space-based communication networks. It provides the foundation for optical communication networks within and between satellites, enabling much higher bandwidth and lower crosstalk than has been possible with radio-frequency communication.

Of optimal size and weight for satellite applications, COSMOS has minimal power requirements, a modular architecture that integrates into any modern satellite, and a design that withstands the extreme temperatures and radiation that satellites encounter in space. It uses a solid-state switching mechanism made from integrated off-the-shelf components, resulting in lower insertion loss, zero drift over years of operation, zero power switch latching and simple integration into communication subsystems.

During rigorous testing, it produced the following performance results: average switch speed of 15 ms; average insertion loss of 1 db; switch component radiation tolerance of 150 kRad Gamma, 150 kRad Proton; temperature cycling from −20 to 700 °C; and vibration of 19.1 g in all axes.

Photonics Spectra
May 2012

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