Abstract

We describe an optical system developed to form the basis of a 64 × 64 free-space optical matrix–matrix crossbar switch. The design and performance of each of the main optical components is discussed: lenses, diffractive optical elements, and polarizing beamsplitters, together with the optomechanical hardware design. For these components, throughput levels of −6.9 dB have been achieved, which is compatible with full system operation at 10−12 bit error rates at ≥270 Mbits s−1.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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