The need for new earth and universe observation satellites is becoming more and more important, with new challenges in this very hostile space environment where components are exposed to ionising radiation. Longer missions, distant satellites for deep space sensing and new telecomm demands all necessitate stronger photonic devices and components to withstand ionising radiation.
LASER COMPONENTS‘ partner iXFiber has provided fibres and components for more than 20 flying navigation systems, developing extensive experience in the qualification of such devices in collaboration with end users.
iXFiber produces rad-hard single-mode and active optical fibres and radiation resistant fibre Bragg gratings. The active fibres include erbium and erbium ytterbium doped fibres for amplifiers and fibre lasers and can achieve a low gain sensitivity of under 0.25dB/100kRad for a 30dB gain EDFA. The fibre Bragg gratings show no degradation in tests with a dose of 280kRad.
Radiation-induced attenuation is minimised not only through core, cladding and coating composition, but also by optimisation of the manufacturing process and refractive index profile. This ensures the fibres can withstand exposure to high radiation environments with extremely limited impact on key optical parameters.