Navy

Portable fiber optic splicer

Provides enhanced stability for fusion splicing of cables deployed in the field

Communications Photonics

The military and private sector need for increasing bandwidth, low data loss, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) immunity has made fiber optics the technology of choice for any new communication system. But with this deployment comes a need to repair fiber optic channels and a key to this is splicing.

Current fiber optic splicers used to repair damaged cable are difficult to use in the field as today’s fiber is very small and any fusion has to be precise. This necessitates anchoring of the fiber ends for stability. However, anchoring may not work in the field since the splicers have small anchors and cable runs are much larger than one to two inches. With current tools, stabilization is typically inadequate in any environment other than a laboratory or manufacturing facility.

In light of the above, Navy researchers have developed and patented a portable fiber optic splicer that provides enhanced stability enabling precision work in the field. The durable and portable splicer stabilizes the cable and fiber during splicing for a more precise connection. Additionally, the splicer provides a clamping surface such that the cable is not kinked or broken during the process. This technology has the potential to greatly reduce the maintenance costs for these types of splicing operations.

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