Abstract

An optical interrupter for high-power transfer is developed for application in laser ignition or initiation systems, to prevent unintended detonation of a laser detonator while ensuring that detonation will reliably take place when needed. The optical switch acting as a high-power optical energy interrupter is investigated through simulations and experiment. The prototype of this novel optical interrupter, which has been designed and fabricated, employs microelectromechanical system V-grooves for precise positioning of optical fibers, a miniature cam for the actuator, and a stepper motor for the drive source. The cam’s rotary movement displaces the input fiber so that it is aligned with the output fiber. The main performance parameters have been achieved. The insertion loss is found to be 0.4dB (without antireflection coatings) with a maximum power handling capacity of 2MW. Switching time is approximately 50ms with channel isolation between the on and off states of 20dB.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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