Over the past decade, a variety of optical switch technologies were developed by the photonic industry for telecommunication applications such as Network Protection, Performance Monitoring, and R&D. Unfortunately, none of these technologies were commercially deployed for many reasons relating to their lack of technological maturity, reliability and performance. These performance issues evidenced themselves in the controlled environment (0°C - 70°C) [1] and were profound in the uncontrolled environment (-40°C +85°C) [1]. The unfulfilled demand for optical switches in Telecommunications and CATV, as well as, Medical, Aerospace, Defense, Industrial and Manufacturing industries is the driver of the developments reported in this paper.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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