IRflex wins NAVY SBIR 2019 Phase I award for Mid-Wave Infrared Polarization-Maintaining Single Mode Fiber

April 18, 2019 – Danville, VA, USA – IRflex Corporation announces that the company starts today the newly awarded NAVY SBIR Phase I project for Mid-Wave Infrared Polarization-Maintaining Single Mode Fiber.

Applications requiring linearly polarized light and the flexibility of fiber delivery in the MWIR region will require a fiber solution that preserve the polarization state of the launched light. Most infrared lasers are polarized. PM-fiber offers the capability of preserving the launched light polarization state as it propagates through the fiber. In conventional fibers the polarization state is not preserved due to mechanical stress, temperature induced changes, fiber fabrication imperfections, and fiber bends. Commercially available silica PM-fibers cover the visible and near-infrared spectrum; these work by creating a strong birefringence across the core of the fiber, which is responsible for preserving the polarization state of launched light as long as the polarization is aligned with one of the birefringent axes.

Currently there is no commercially available PM-fiber solution for the MWIR region. A specialty fiber capable of high-power laser transmission (>10W cw) and preserving the polarization state of the input light with high polarization extinction ratio (~-30dB), high birefringence (~10-3) and with low propagation losses (<0.2dB/m) covering the MWIR wavelength spectrum is desired.

This Phase I project is to determine the feasibility of an initial design of a PM-fiber approach best suited for the MWIR spectral region. Evaluate the performance of the PM-fiber design by determining if wave guidance is achieved in the spectral window of 2um – 6um, the magnitude of the birefringence, and the attenuation loss is less than 0.2dB/m. Demonstrate fabrication proof of concept and identify the steps and approach needed to fabricate the fiber design. IRflex Corporation is looking forward to develop a prototype plan of this fiber to be carried into Phase II.