Magnetic Rubber™ Coatings for High-Strength Optical Fiber Communications Lind Payout Cable

Period of Performance: 07/01/2008 - 04/01/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Principal Investigator


This program would develop high-strength, low bendloss singlemode optical payout fibers with Magnetic Rubber coatings, and magnetic mandrel bobbins, for high speed underwater communication data links. Unlike conventional fiber-wound bobbin designs, magnetically-coated optical fiber and a magnetic mandrel offer improved performance during payout at practical vehicle speeds. This is because the magnetic field of the bobbin can be tailored as a function of length, thus allowing an opportunity to reduce fiber stress maxima that occur cyclically during payout. During Phase I, NanoSonic would theoretically analyze the magnetic fields, resulting magnetic forces and fiber stress produced during payout for magnetically-coated payout fiber on a magnetic mandrel of controlled properties. One kilometer test lengths of low bend loss singlemode fiber with magnetic coatings designed to allow attachment to the mandrel would be fabricated and wound in prototype bobbin geometries. Fiber stress during simulated payout would be measured directly, and experimental results compared with analytical values. Phase II would build on the demonstration of magnetic coating production and initial payout results, to improve coating properties and winding and payout designs. NanoSonic would work with a major contractor responsible for the manufacturing and deployment of high speed underwater fiber communications hardware for the Navy.