All optical controlled large scale photonic switch matrix

Daqun Li, Michael R. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Many military and defense related applications require the use of large-scale photonic switch matrixes in order to increase the capacity for processing a large amount of information within a minimum period of time. Existing photonic switches relying on electro-optic effect or MEMS technology are limited in terms of switch scale size or switch reconfiguration rate. Moreover, these conventional photonic switches utilize analog electric signals for switch operation, making them extremely sensitive to electromagnetic interference that limits their military applications. To address these issues, we have developed a new photonic switch matrix using commercial erbium doped optical fiber and other commodity fiber optic components. Using this technology, all-optical controlled photonic switching operation can be realized. The optical amplification provided by erbium doped optical fibers further ensures the implementation of large-scale switch formation with low or no overall insertion loss. In addition, this new photonic switch is highly reliable and durable since it contains no moving parts without any related bearing or wearing issues, making it extremely suitable for military and defense related applications. In this presentation, the design and fabrication of a 4 × 4 erbium doped fiber based photonic switch matrix are described. Full performance characteristics of the fabricated switch matrix including switching speed and cross talk are given, and the potential military and defense related applications of this technology are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number02
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 10 2005
EventEnabling Photonics Technologies for Defense, Security, and Aerospace Applications - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Mar 31 2005Apr 1 2005


  • All-Optical
  • Photonics
  • Switch Matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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