Fiberoptics Industry Report

Enhanced maritime security in major ports across the nation may soon become a reality, thanks to a new harbor defense system being developed and tested by Northrop Grumman (Woodland Hills, CA) to identify and track potential underwater and surface ship threats.

Jan 1st, 2005

null

Fiberoptic sonar sensors detect harbor threats

Enhanced maritime security in major ports across the nation may soon become a reality, thanks to a new harbor defense system being developed and tested by Northrop Grumman (Woodland Hills, CA) to identify and track potential underwater and surface ship threats. Called Centurion, the integrated sensor and display product was unveiled in December; during harbor tests, the Centurion showed the harbor vicinity and potential threats on a standard Navy display system located at the test site. During the demonstration, divers with a battery-powered underwater propulsion device were easily detected attempting to penetrate the harbor. Surface craft traveling in the test area and entering the port were also detected and tracked.

“The fiberoptic hydrophone array technology employed is unique to Northrop Grumman and derives from 15 years of leadership in this field,” said Alexis Livanos, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Navigation and Space Sensors Division. “The sensor arrays have low power requirements and provide wide frequency coverage.”

The next step in maturation of the technology involves optimizing the fiberoptic sonar arrays for the harbor environment, integrating additional sensors into the system, and demonstrating the enhanced integrated harbor picture that results from these improvements.

TriQuint refocuses, cuts 200 jobs

TriQuint Semiconductor (Hillsboro, OR) is exiting the pluggable optical-module business to focus on indium phosphide components, chips, and subassemblies as part of a “repositioning” of its optoelectronics business strategy. The change includes shutting down manufacturing operations in Pennsylvania and cutting a total of 200 jobs (90 in Mexico). This restructuring is expected to result in the elimination of approximately $18 million of annual costs associated with this business beginning in 2005. The company posted a net loss of $3.8 million for the first nine months of FY2004 (ended September 30).

SAIC sells Telcordia for $1.35 billion

Science Applications International (SAIC; San Diego, CA) signed a definitive agreement to sell its subsidiary Telcordia Technologies (Piscataway, NJ) to Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus for $1.35 billion in cash. Telcordia is the leading provider of enabling software for communications networks.

“SAIC recognized that a new owner could provide Telcordia with opportunities to expand its global footprint to benefit its customers and the industry as a whole,” said Kenneth Dahlberg, chairman and CEO of SAIC, which purchased the company from the Regional Bell Operating Companies in 1997.

Bookham engineers honored at LEOS

The IEEE/LEOS 2004 Aron Kressel award was awarded to Christoph Harder, Volker Graf, and Eberhard Latta of Bookham (Zurich, Switzerland) for their pioneering contributions to high-reliability, high-power telecommunications pump lasers. The first 980-nm-pumped WDM telecom link (between Chicago and Sacramento) was powered up with these lasers. The annual award is given to individuals who have made important contributions to optoelectronic-device technology. The work by Harder, Graf, and Latta forms the basis of many Bookham products, including 980-nm pumps and 808- and 9xx-nm bars.

NAVSEA contract focuses on fiber sensors for sonar

Sabeus Photonics (Chatsworth, CA), a developer of fiberoptic sensing technology for military surveillance applications, was awarded a $1.3 million development contract by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to develop a new high strength fiber sensor array used for sonar systems on US Navy nuclear submarines. The NAVSEA contract, which was finalized last September, comes on the heels of two previous U.S. Navy development contracts valued at approximately $400,000 and awarded to Sabeus in early 2004 by Penn State Applied Research Laboratory’s Electro-Optics Center (Kittanning, PA).

Also in the news . . .

Polatis (Cambridge, England), a supplier of ultra-low-loss optical switches, completed its third round of funding, attracting $9.4 million. . . . KVH Industries (Middletown, RI) received $1.2 million in new orders for its high-performance fiberoptic gyro (FOG) systems. The FOGs will provide support for a range of defense-related applications, including stabilization and pointing of remote gun turrets and precision navigation and guidance. . . . Luxtron (Santa Clara, CA), a provider of in situ fiberoptic temperature solutions for semiconductor, optoelectronics, medical and industrial applications, appointed Lambda Photometric as distributor of its fiberoptic temperature measurement products in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

More in Fiber Optics