Omitting electrically conducting wires for sensor communication and power supply promises protection for sensor
systems and monitored structures against lightning or high voltages, prevention of explosion hazards, and reduction of
susceptibility to tampering. The ability to photonically power remote systems opens up the full range of electrical
sensors. Power-over-fiber is an attractive option in electromagnetically sensitive environments, particularly for longterm,
maintenance-free applications. It can deliver uninterrupted power sufficient for elaborate sensors, data processing
or even actuators alongside continuous high speed data communication for remote sensor application.
This paper proposes an active photonic sensor communication system, which combines the advantages of optical data
links in terms of immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI), high bandwidth, hardiness against tampering or
eavesdropping, and low cable weight with the robustness one has come to expect from industrial or military electrical
connectors. An application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is presented that implements a closed-loop regulation of the
sensor power supply to guarantee continuous, reliable data communications while maintaining a highly efficient,
adaptive sensor supply scheme. It is demonstrated that the resulting novel photonic sensor communication cable can
handle sensors and actuators differing orders of magnitude with respect to power consumption.
The miniaturization of the electro-optical converters and driving electronics is as important to the presented development
as the energy efficiency of the detached, optically powered sensor node. For this reason, a novel photonic packaging
technology based on wafer-level assembly of the laser power converters by means of passive alignment will be disclosed
in this paper.