VCSEL/MEMS Micro Alignment Manipulator Architectures (MAMAs) for Fiber Arrays

Period of Performance: 04/30/1999 - 04/10/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Opticomp Corp.
PO Box 10779
Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The primary goal of this Phase I program is to develop micro alignment manipulator architecture (MAMA). The proposed system consists of arrays of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) for coupling into single mode optical fiber. This architecture will simplify the integration of a standard 12 x 12 array of bundled fibers with VCSELs and will provide high coupling efficiency. Active micro alignment of the individually addressable MEMS enables the light to be accurately directed into the fibers and readjusted after thermal or mechanical shifts. During Phase I, a 1-D fiber coupler prototype will be fabricated to demonstrate the micro alignment technology using VCSELs, MEMS, and diffractive optical interconnect elements (DOIEs). During Phase II, a packaged 2-D device will be fabricated using standard optical ribbon cable and fiber connector technology for parallel data communications. This optical transmitter technology, which can be optimized for thermal and radiation tolerance, can be used in high performance optical interconnect systems. The MAMA has dual-use applicability in on-board communications for space vehicles and telecommunications satellites. Additionally, fiber optic links offer a significant weight savings over coaxial cable, which makes them ideal for utilization in space environments for high speed data communications.