3SAE Large Diameter Splicing System – LDS 2.5
NETWORK GROUP has a unique technology (in Czech Republic) for fiber optic glass processing: LDS – Large Diameter Splicing System from 3SAE Technologies, Inc. With this hi-tech system we are able to perform many customer-defined special fiber-optics components, such as tapers, endcaps, splicing of prisms, lenses, grin lenses, splicing of photonics-crystal fibers (PCF), splicing of fibers with different diameter, etc.
We can offer customer-defined fiber optic glass processing.
About the LDS 2.5
Whether the application is splicing of fiber end caps, tapering, high power fiber laser component fabrication, the LDS 2.5 provides capabilities that overcome the hurdles of current fiber component fabrication processes to meet the most demanding requirements. Designed for reproducibility, precision, and user-friendly operation, the LDS 2.5 provides the user a manufacturing approach to optical component product development. Its extreme flexibility enables customers to realize current and future glass processing and fusion splicing possibilities. Precision mechanical design, high contrast optics, and absolute control of positional and angular fiber alignment sets the LDS 2.5 apart from competing technologies.
A sophisticated image processing software package allows the user to view, in real time, the progress of a splice or taper. The system handles fiber diameters from 125 µm to 2.5 mm, as well as optics such as prisms, end caps, and lenses, with alignment and fusion of unsurpassed quality [3SAE].
LDS 2.5 Attributes and Capabilities of our configuration [3SAE]
- Powerful, positionable Ring of Fire® heat source provides even heating for fiber splicing, fiber end-capping, Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) splicing and many other applications including tapering, collapsing, and fusing.
- Splicing of 125 μm – 2.5 mm diameter fibers.
- System capable of splicing materials with high melting temperatures.
- Ability to splice dissimilar fiber diameters or materials surpasses capabilities of existing splice technologies.
- Provides unique capability to fuse pre-made End Caps having vastly dissimilar diameters than that of the input fibers.
- Automatic Pitch and yaw alignment that aligns the pitch and yaw axes of the right stage to 0.01 degrees.
- Real time data and high quality images (before, during, and after splice or other process).
- “Hot” imaging provided simultaneously using two independent, orthogonally mounted cameras, enables the user to view fiber processes in real time.
- Many Photonic Crystal Fibers (PCF) can be spliced with little or no air hole collapse.
- Capability of uniformly collapsing Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) allows for positional cleaving, ultrasonic cleaning (no liquid wicking into air holes), and achievement of excellent splice losses.
- Extremely high splice strengths are achievable without repetitive passes of the plasma field.
- Up to 10 axes of alignment.
- Pitch and yaw axes provide +/- 5° range of motion with 0.01° adjustability
- Piezo-driven flexure stage and software package providing 130 μm of vibration-free z-axis motion with 0.25 μm theoretical resolution.
- Fiber splicing to End Caps or other shorter-length optical elements that cannot be held using traditional fusion splicer fiber-holding mounts using a vacuum system for stable, precise control of hard-to-handle optical components.
Tapering Package [3SAE]
- Automated software providing precise motor speed and load cell control, enables reproducible fabrication of low loss and high ratio tapers up to 85mm in length.
- Taper scanning function, exclusive to the LDS 2.5, allows for immediate process feedback by measuring diameter over length.
- Proprietary Power-Ramp Technology, unique to the LDS 2.5, can compensate for thermal mass changes along the length of a taper via controlled power adjustments to the plasma field during the tapering process.
- Versatile GUI is detailed enough to allow the user unprecedented control, yet can be as simple as one button operation.
- Single direction tapering for pulling tapers through the stationary Ring of Fire heat source. This is utilized for tapering symmetric and asymmetric linear tapers. This function is generally used for taper ratio’s equal to or less than 10:1.
- Bidirectional tapering method is created by pulling both left and right stages outward as the Ring of Fire sweeps left to right. This method is used for producing adiabatic tapers with the ability to alter the exponential shape of the taper. One major advantage of bidirectional tapering is that this method is not taper ratio limited allowing the user to produce adiabatic tapers such as 500 micron fiber tapered down to 10 microns. In addition to the taper ratio advantages, the default exponentially shaped taper performance allows for tapering 125um single mode (SMF) down to less than 10 microns (O.D.) while only inducing <0.05dB insertion loss [3SAE].
Integrated Piezo LDF Cleaving System Package [3SAE]
- Provides an in-the-box cleaving solution for production of end caps, tapers, mode-field adapters (MFAs) and optical fiber combiners up to 500 μm in diameter.
- High quality diamond-tipped ultrasonic blade with piezo-based frequency/amplitude control as well as a fiber-deflection control mechanism.
- Real time scanning and image feedback capabilities provide reproducible reference and cleave location control.
- Cleave location precise to +/- 1 μm
What is Ring of Fire® Technology [3SAE]?
Conventional arc fusion machines utilize a high voltage glow discharge between two electrodes, forming a heat source in the shape of a narrow cylinder perpendicular to the fiber. Such heat sources are inadequate for larger fibers, because of the inability to heat evenly.
Flame and filament machines can be optimized to provide circumferential heating, but they also extend the heat zone along the fiber axis. This is advantageous for some applications, such as Thermally Expanded Core splicing (TEC), but causes substantial limitations in the geometries that can be processed. For example, these heat sources are poorly suited for splicing a small diameter fiber to a much larger fiber or optical device (end cap, lens and prism). The heat required to splice the larger object will typically destroy the smaller fiber.
A multi-electrode plasma discharge is advantageous for these applications, as the resulting heat zone is isothermic around the circumference of the fiber, but remains relatively narrow. This allows for precise heating of larger or higher temperature materials. With this system, accurately aligned, high strength splices can be performed without difficulty.
- Three Electrode system design combines proven manufacturing ready technology with R&D flexibility.
- Isothermic plasma field (triangular two-dimensional plane) up to 100 times larger than that of a standard two-electrode system.
- Generates negligible tungsten deposits and requires no specialized gas environment for operation.
- Ideally suited for difficult or developmental applications.
We are also equipped by the machine for in-line stripping, acrylate and polyimide recoating of optical fibers.
More information: datasheet LDS (pdf)