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Optical multiple circuit breaker

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 11 Jun '02

Antoni Picard, Jens Schulze, Michel Neumeier

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

This invention relates to an optical multiple circuit breaker with (N) first optical inputs (E

1) (n)), whereby these inputs can be switched optionally to (N) first or (N) second optical outputs (A

1(n)) and/or (A

2(n)). Light rays (LS

1(n)) and LS

2(n)) are reflected or transmitted from two surfaces (

27, 28), to which end the at most two recesses (

25) of a transparent base body (

1) that form these surfaces are filled optionally with an optically thinner or denser material (

26). In accordance with a first embodiment, both surfaces (

27, 28) are so arranged that, in the reflecting switching state, the first inputs (E

1(n)) are optically connected to the first outputs (A

1(n)), and the second inputs (E

2(n)) are connected to the second outputs (A

2(n)), and that in the transmission switching state, the first input (E

1(n)) are optically connected to the second outputs (A

2(n)). Owing to low optical damping and compact structure, the above-described optical multiple circuit breakers can be used advantageously in optical communication engineering, in particular in the realization of optical bus systems.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1

a is an optical multiple circuit breaker with beam waveguides coupled via GRIN lenses in perspective view;

FIG. 1

b is a section through the optical multiple circuit breaker in FIG. l a with a V-shaped recess;

FIG. 2

a is a section corresponding to FIG. 1

b together with the beam path in the reflective switched state;

FIG. 2

b is a section through the optical multiple circuit breaker according to FIG. 2

a in the plane of two incident light beams in the transmitting switched state;

FIG. 3 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with two recesses, the reflective surfaces of which stand at approximately right angles to each other in the reflective switched state;

FIG. 4 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with two recesses, the reflective surfaces of which are arranged parallel to each other in the reflective switched state;

FIG. 5 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with one parallelogram-shaped recess in the reflective switched state;

FIG. 6 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with one recess and two additional reflective surfaces on the base body in the transmitting switched state;

FIG. 7

a is a section perpendicular to the out plane of the optical multiple circuit breaker shown in FIG. 5 in the reflective switched state, with a device for filling the recess;

FIG. 7

b is the optical multiple circuit breaker according to FIG. 7

a in the transmitting state;

FIG. 8 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with an additional recess of the base body filled with a substance of lower refractive index to form reflective surfaces;

FIG. 9 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with a recess for partly bundling incident light;

FIG. 10 is a section through an optical multiple circuit breaker with a recess for bundling light beams striking the recess.

Claims

1. Optical multiple circuit breaker which has N first optical inputs (E

1(n)) that can be alternatively connected to N first optical outputs (A

1(n)) or to N second optical outputs (A

2(n)),

2. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the two surfaces of the recesses, or of the recess, on which the incident beams of light are totally reflected in the reflecting state are arranged parallel to each other.

3. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the base body has precisely two recesses alternatively for reflection or transmission of light.

4. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 3, wherein the two surfaces of the recesses, on which the incident light beams are totally reflected in the reflecting state, are arranged at an angle of 70° to 110° to each other.

5. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the base body has exactly one recess alternatively for reflection or transmission of light.

6. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 5, wherein the two surfaces of the recess, on which the incident light beams are totally reflected in the switched state, are arranged at an angle of 70° to 110° to each other.

7. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the reflecting surfaces is formed such that incident light is at least partly bundled by reflection at this surface.

8. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the base body has at least one additional recess to receive and hold waveguides.

9. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 8, wherein said waveguides are individual or bundled glass fibers or plastic fibers, or fiber plugs.

10. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the base body has at least one additional recess to receive and hold micro-optical elements.

11. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 10, wherein said microoptical elements are micro-lenses or GRIN lenses.

12. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the base body has, in the beam path, at least one additional recess formed such that light beams striking this recess are transmitted bundled.

13. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the base body has integrated optical waveguide structures.

14. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the recesses are connected with at least one chamber of variable volume, which is filled at least partly with the substance of higher refractive index, and in that to switch from the reflective to the transmitting state the volume of the chamber is reduced by at least one electromagnetically, thermoelectrically or piezoelectrically driven device whereby the substance of higher refractive index is pressed into the recesses.

15. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the device provided for the optional filling of the recesses involved in the reflection or transmission has at least one micropump connected with the recesses.

16. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 1, wherein the device provided for optional filling of the recesses involved in the reflection or transmission has at least one switch-selected heating element and/or cooling element in contact with the substance of lower refractive index and/or the substance of higher refractive index.

17. An optical bus system comprising the optical multiple circuit breakers according to claim 1.

18. Optical multiple circuit breaker which has N first optical inputs (E

1(n)) that can be alternatively connected to N first optical outputs (A

1(n)) or to N second optical outputs (A

2(n)),

19. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 18, wherein of the two surfaces of the base body, one surface lies opposite the N first optical outputs (A

1(n)) and one surface lies opposite the N second optical inputs (E

2(n)).

20. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 19, wherein the two surfaces of the base body which lie opposite the outputs (A

1(n)) and opposite the inputs (E

2(n)), respectively, are arranged at an angle of 70° to 110° to each other.

21. Optical multiple circuit breaker according to claim 18, wherein the two surfaces of the base body are formed by at least one additional recess in the base body.