The use of optical waveguides in communications systems may require the interconnection of many interactive terminals. The preferred configuration for passive interconnection in optical waveguide systems is shown to be a configuration termed the Star system. The central interconnecting component, the Star coupler, is described, and the performance of a system incorporating it is compared to that of an equivalent system using a common optical bus and Tee couplers. The Star system is shown to have lower terminal-to-terminal loss, easier upgradability, enhanced reliability and survivability, inherent bidirectionality, and inherent equivalence of all terminals. Construction of two Star couplers is described, and measurements of their performance characteristics are reported.
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