Fault-Tolerant High Speed Variable Fiber-Optic Attenuator Using Micromirrors

Variable fiber-optic attenuators are the basic building blocks for several key optical systems. Presently, these attenuators are required as equalizers in wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) optical communication systems using non-uniform gain optical amplifiers. Hence, a variable fiber-optic attenuator with fast several microsecond duration speeds with high attenuation dynamic range control is a current challenge to the optical community. For centuries, an excellent choice for light control is via the use of mirrors. Mirrors provide high reflectivity over broad bandwidths, as desired in WDM systems.

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