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2 October 2000 New integrated optics architecture including onboard sensing elements
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As fiber optics transformed the telecommunications industry, integrated optics is enabling dramatic advances in the speed of optical networks. This new technology is also leading to compact optical sensors for physics, chemistry and biology. Ideally, an integrated optics sensor would be self-contained, with the light source, detectors, and other electronic elements incorporated on the same integrated optics platform as the optical waveguides themselves. However, many challenges remain in the fabrication of fully integrated optoelectronic sensors. In this paper, we present innovative approaches in integrated optics packaging technology we have developed for fabricating integrated optics sensors for navigation, guidance, and combustion microdiagnostics. As an example, we will focus on the development of the RB-3, a three-axis rotation sensor we developed under funding from the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. Besides innovations in optical layout, our design approach presents new possibilities as well as challenges for photonic integrated,incorporating active detection elements directly onboard the integrated optics chip (IOC) platform. Eliminating the fiber pigtails which would normally carry the optical output to an external detection scheme not only adds ruggedness to the sensor, it also allows a reduction in size and mass. With this configuration, the incorporation of the IOC into a larger system only requires electrical inputs and output to the IOC, eliminating all but the input fiber pigtail from the light source. In describing the on-board detectors system, we include a description of the chemical dry etching and micropositioning techniques we have developed, as well as the wirebonding schemes we used to interface the detectors with external electronics. We also briefly discuss the engineering of the sensor package and the external housing. We finally give a summary of some of the challenges that remain to the practical implementation of fully integrated optics sensors which include onboard light sources and other electronic components.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Colleen Mary Fitzpatrick, Mohammed Abid, Greg Netherwood, and Roland A. Levy "New integrated optics architecture including onboard sensing elements", Proc. SPIE 4092, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization III, (2 October 2000);


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