HORSHAM, PA -- Avo Photonics, industry expert in rugged micro-optic design and manufacturing, has been contracted by Vescent Photonics to provide custom development and ongoing packaging services for its 2-dimensional electro-optic laser scanners.
Rather than controlling beam direction through mechanical manipulation of lenses or mirrors, Vescent's novel scanning technology uses changes in voltage through a silicon-mounted liquid crystal waveguide to steer optical output, resulting in the ability to maneuver a beam up to 270° in-plane. The absence of moving mechanical components allows for a faster, lighter weight, more robust scanner with no induced angular momentum, ideal for such applications as laser range finding, topographical mapping and line-of-site communication between high-speed vehicles.
Vescent's initial program required Avo to design and produce packaged scanners with an input coupled polarization-maintaining optical fiber and scanned free-space emission over ±20° horizontally and ±5° vertically. Given the critical optical alignments inherent to the components, as well as the challenging thermal and mechanical vibration real-world environmental operating conditions, significant diligence and care were required.
The project used Avo's advanced capabilities in tight-tolerance optical and mechanical design, precision micro-optical alignment, and ruggedized packaging. Avo was able to achieve and maintain stable low-loss fiber coupling to the single mode scanner and enable consistent device performance in diverse operating environments. The critical 0.02° (350 µrad) input angle coupled fiber efficiently launched the 1550 nm laser light into the waveguide's 10 µm diameter, 0.1 NA mode field. To ensure that this alignment angle remains stable through the expected temperature variations and other environmental uncertainties, Avo performed a number of design analyses and physical tests, including temperature cycling, vibration, mechanical shock/drop and mounting stress.
"Vescent's ability to raster a beam, in 2 dimensions, at high speed with no moving parts and in such an elegant, simple package is really exciting technology," said Avo's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Thomas Haslett. "We are looking forward to the large-scale production of these scanners to support Vescent's deployment needs."
"Avo uniquely was able to satisfy all the challenging requirements they were given without any negativity or surprises," said Scott Rommel, Chief Operating Officer of Vescent Photonics. "We were glad to see that they kept their processes completely transparent to us, so collaboration was easy and seamless."
About Avo Photonics
Avo Photonics provides exclusive, private label optoelectronic design, prototyping and production services for military, aerospace, medical, industrial and communications applications. Through its pure-service business model, Avo produces confidential, client-owned products and systems that launch its customers to the forefront of their markets.
Avo Photonics, a Halma company, provides custom design and contract manufacturing services to customers in the military, aerospace, medical, communications, and commercial markets. Its unique pure service model assures Avo is focused on its customer's products. From fundamental optical physics analysis, through mechanical, electrical, thermal, and materials design for packaging/manufacturing, into crafted prototypes, and finally high volume production, Avo Photonics is a one-stop shop for photonic packaging services.
About Vescent Photonics
Vescent Photonics develops and manufactures innovative electro-optic, waveguide, and laser technologies. From voltage control over optical phase to frequency stabilized diode laser systems and precision electronics, Vescent scientists and engineers are continuously developing new solutions to technical challenges.