The Air Force could soon be moving data with a high-speed optical network from Srico, in Columbus, Ohio.
Designers at Srico are developing an ultra-high-dynamic-range modulated optical source based on a compact Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) intensity modulator. Modulators, which are key components in optical communication and sensor networks, turn light on and off to encode the information being sent through the network.
Air Force leaders in August granted the company $750,000 for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for the project.
During the SBIR Phase I preliminary development, Srico set a world-record 66-dB extinction ratio for an optical modulator, a ratio of about 4 million to 1. The design’s range is more than ten thousand times greater than what is obtainable from currently available commercial Mach-Zehnder modulators.
Srico, which was established in 1990, specializes in integrated optical-waveguide components and optoelectronic subsystems that dramatically improve signal transmission and electrical measurement in communication and sensor networks. Within the company’s current product portfolio are electro-optic modulators, optical-wavelength switches, analog fiber-optic links, and photonic sensors that detect and measure electric field, current, and voltage. For more information, see www.srico.com.