AFE help customers take their overall top level wishes and turn these into a realisable set of requirements. We then use these as a basis of understanding to ensure development outcomes are achieved. A good example of this was when AFE were commissioned to develop a highly accurate temperature controlled, calibration system which would be used in a lab environment.
The customer is using infrared radiation to measure temperature and required a very stable optical source for calibration of their temperature sensors. The unit contains a temperature stabilized SLD coupled to multimode optical fibre. The lightsource is split into two via a 50% optical fibre splitter. One arm of the optical splitter is connected to a calibrated optical sensor and the other arm is connected externally to a sensor which is to be calibrated. Variable optical attenuators and fixed optical attenuators are used to ensure that the two outputs are balanced over the required output range.
The external output is spliced to the sensor being calibrated and a winding mechanism was developed to manage this fibre. Software is provided to set the SLD drive current and hence it’s optical output to a desired calibration temperature. The calibration temperature of the internal sensor can then be read and used to calibrate the external sensor.
Development of this module required very careful design of the optical fibre components and careful layout of the optical components. To provide an even more stable environment the optical module was encased in a temperature stabilized unit.
The temperature sensor can be calibrated over the range to an accuracy of +/-2°C
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