Free-space micro-optics for the monitoring of submarines power cables

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FEBUS Optics is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supplier and turnkey solution provider bringing a new generation of optical fiber-based sensor systems to the market using Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Distributed Strain Sensing (DSS). Its solution can be used in particular for the maintenance and monitoring of infrastructures, such as submarine power cables for Marine Renewable Energy. The company has been a customer of iXblue since 2017, using its micro-optic components, with an important level of customization.

“Our distributed sensing systems have been taken to a next level of performance, among the best available in the market today, thanks to the free-space micro-optics solutions provided by iXblue. Its components are today compulsory in our own systems.” Vincent LANTICQ, CTO of FEBUS Optics. He adds: “We are fully satisfied with iXblue solution. There was never any problem with the products we have received until now, which is quite rare. Another factor of trust for us as a customer is the very direct and transparent communication with iXblue. It makes iXblue one of the top rated FEBUS Optics’ suppliers. We also know we can rely on a great and quick technical support from the team. The company controls its full production chain, and the technical documentation attached to the product is very clear and appreciated by our R&D team.”

iXblue large portfolio opens perspectives for the developments of future FEBUS Optics products: “We know that iXblue offers a wide range of solutions that could apply to our different systems. We are looking forward to work with iXblue on the development of new products, customized to address our specific future needs. We know we can count on iXblue ability to perform free-space dynamic assembling to provide compact solutions for our future challenges. Maybe in the future, free-space micro-optics can be used more deeply in our design, enabling to obtain very compact systems.”


iXblue expertise in the ultra-precise assembly of optical elements on glass breadboards

iXblue (formerly Kylia) has long aimed at differentiating its offer in term of high performance and high degree of customization, leading to strong added value for its customers. In addition to its catalogue of products, the free-space micro-optics assembling offers today a technological solution in line with the expectation of many different markets. It opens perspectives towards new innovations that will address tomorrow the technical challenges of new customers.

The LIDAR industry for environmental science (wind measurement) is already addressed by custom free-space optical setups, but also the telecom market via some big players and the laser tracker systems market via a well established industry leader of the field. Quantum technology is another market successfully addressed by iXblue free-space.

iXblue ground-breaking approach to design, develop and integrate optical setups with industry-grade optical building blocks. Starting from customer’s specifications (simple drawing or detailed specifications), iXblue develops industrial optical products dedicated to be used as Eletro Optic Modulator’s subsystems. iXblue expertise lies on the ultra-accurate assembly of optical elements on glass breadboards, using 6D positioning. Thanks to its know-how in assembly epoxies, initially developed for the telecom industry, it can provide stable and robust devices, built to be used in extreme environment. iXblue can lead or be part in all the product development steps: design, prototype assembly and product manufacturing.


Customed Integrated Micro-Optics Benches (iMOB) for Quantum Technology

The iMOB series is a new generation of fibered optical benches integrating within a compact and ultra-stable package a wide variety of optical functions such as power splitters, combiners, optical switches, frequency shifters, etc. As a result, free-space optics set-ups are transformed into turn-key ultra-stable integrated sub-systems. Exploiting micro-optics technologies, the optical architecture relies on a classical design based on the utilization of polarizers, manually adjustable wave-plates and polarizing beam splitters (PBS). Thanks to a fully integrated architecture and assembling processes developed for optical fiber telecommunications, these modules feature an exceptional alignment stability over an extended operating temperature range. It also removes any constraint of optical alignment or optics cleaning.

The iMOB benches are produced for iXblue Quantum Sensing division (formerly Muquans), for integration in complex architectures, with multiple lasers beams and multiple parameters. A device is manufactured according to given specifications, in one to tens of samples, and always composed of the 20-30 same building blocks, with an optical fiber in input and output. But the design is always specific. In total, around 200 different types of iMOB have already been produced.

A particular need of the quantum sensing market is addressed by the iMOB: the Polarization Exctintion Ratio (PER). It quantifies the ratio between the expected polarization state and the one which is not expected. 25 to 35 dB are easily reached with iMOB, thanks to the free-space assembling. It can even compensate the polarization defaults related to the matching with fiber optic.

Focus inside an iMOB bench produced for the Quantum Computing market