Multifunctional arc fusion splicer for different types of standard and specialized optical fibers
Arvīds Sedulis, Kristaps Rubuls, Armands Ostrovskis, Toms Salgals, Vjačeslavs Bobrovs, Sandis Spolītis

Description of the Technology

An optical fiber splicer is one of the most used modern telecommunications devices, where it is most prevalent in fusing together two ends of a fiber. The working area is sealed off from the outside by a cover so that no dust settles on the fiber itself, and it isn’t possible to use the splicer when it is open. Therefore, the cover also acts as a safety shield. Like many other splicers out there, here, on the inside, two fiber holders are located, meant to fix both ends of the fiber in place in a groove, assisted by 3 fixing points on each side. The holders are located on a motor stage, which, in the case of Fujikura FSM-100, can move in all 3 spatial dimensions and rotate. In accordance with modern fiber splicer standards, FSM-100 positions both sides of fiber automatically, with the assistance of pictures from an in-built camera. Analysis happens in all 3 dimensions, where the device recognizes the fiber/fiber core misalignment in relation to the other fiber end. The splicer can also analyze the cleanliness of the fiber, which in this case is not only the existence/non-existence of dust but also the judgment of the way and quality of the cut fiber ends. If the parameters aren’t correctable by moving the motors, the device doesn’t allow the splicing process to continue, and the fiber must be remade. In order to make the splicing process possible, Fujikura FSM-100 offers many tens of already premade modes, which encapsulate the splicing of various types of fibers, two different types of fibers, fibers with diameters, etc. For easier use, the splicer also has an in-built automatic fiber recognition system, which bases its findings on a longer analysis of the picture and then compares it to the database. In individual cases, it is possible to further change these modes, for instance, to increase the splicing time. The splicing process happens according to a usual procedure by using electric discharge. After the aligning process is complete, the splicer first generates a short, low-power discharge burst aimed at cleaning the fiber ends from any remaining dust. When that is complete, the splicing process can begin. Fiber ends are closely aligned and then exposed to a discharge of distinct length and power, and afterward, the splicing process can be considered as concluded. In the moment of splicing, according to the mode, FSM-100 can feed the fiber ends closer to the splicing point, so that the splicing point does not run out of material and can be rotated. After splicing, the device analyzes the quality of the splice point and approximates the losses inserted by the process. If the quality isn’t sufficient, the splicer will recommend that the process be repeated. Fujikura FSM-100 offers the ability to connect externally via USB. This can be useful in non-standard use cases like making optical resonators (microspheres) or tapered fibers. They are formed as a ball-shaped object on an end of the fiber. The fabrication process is similar to fiber splicing, but only one fiber end is inserted, which becomes a ball due to electric discharge. Similarly, it is also possible to make lensed fibers.


The main use of Fujikura FSM-100 is natural optical fiber arc splicing, which is explained in more detail in previous chapters. In addition, the optical fiber splicer can perform side tasks and tasks with secondary meaning. Due to the excellent image processing, the device can visually interpret already spliced fibers or estimate the cut angle and cleanliness, even if splicing will not be performed. If the fiber is only slightly dirty and dusty, configuring the device via the menu allows for a short electric discharge burst, which cleans the fiber surface. This means a new fiber doesn’t have to be used each time a new measurement is being started. If one connects an external device (a computer with the relevant software) to the splicer, it is also possible to make new optical resonators and lensed fibers.


The advantages of Fujikura FSM-100 lie in the broad list of available options. First, the device’s fiber holders can be interchanged to obtain the right groove width, depending on the fiber and its core diameter. Such an option somewhat simplifies the insertion process because the fiber can now be fixed in place outside the device. Most of the processes related to fiber splicing are fully automated. Therefore, the everyday use experience is quite smooth and easy, and most settings don’t need to be changed on day one. Unlike in similar devices with limited functionality, it is possible to control all fiber splicing-related parameters from splicing power to fiber feeding speed in this specific fiber splicer. It is also worth mentioning this device’s ability to work not only with single-mode fibers but also experimentally designed and multi-mode fibers, where the flexibility and rotation ability of the motors come in really handy. Unlike ordinary fiber splicers, FSM-100 offers many premade splicing modes that users can customize further. On a further note, picture processing software is top-notch and very resourceful. Based on the in-built camera picture, the device can automatically detect the type of fiber inserted in it, its cleanliness, fiber cut adequacy, and other parameters. The camera can be controlled manually, allowing one to see both fiber ends from all angles. In addition, Fujikura FSM-100 can precisely approximate the fiber diameter, which is handy when making optical resonators and lensed fibers.


Fiber splicer,Optical fibers

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