Finisar exhibited its Analog RF-over-Fiber products last week at the SATELLITE 2011 conference in downtown Washington D.C. The SATELLITE 2011 conference focused on opportunities in military, broadcast, enterprise, mobile, Telco and commercial satellite applications. Reportedly, 10,000 satellite professionals gathered to learn the best practices, experience the newest technology and collaborate with colleagues from all sectors of the satellite community.
Most of the visitors to the Finisar booth were either from the commercial or military industries. A majority of them were from the U.S. but there was also international representation from Europe, Asia and Latin America. Finisar was displaying optical products operating in several RF frequency ranges: from the common L-band (2 GHz) up to the Ka-band (40 GHz). The products are available in various form-factors: small transmitter and receiver optical modules that customers integrate into their systems, and complete subsystems in rack-mount equipment and outdoor enclosures.
You may wonder: how does Finisar, a leader in optical communications, play in the satellite industry?
Usually satellite and fiber optics are seen as competing technologies in our industry. But Finisar fiber optic technology allows customers in the satellite industry to deploy “remote” ground antennas: the antennas are located remotely away from the facilities that house the down-conversion and processing equipment for video, communication and data content from satellites. Traditionally, these facilities had to be located close to the antennas because the high-frequency RF signals could only travel short-distances (i.e. less than 500 feet) over copper coaxial cables. This would mean that these buildings could be in inconvenient locations such as mountain sides or very rural areas at a significant expense. Using RF-over-Fiber, an optical transmitter is located at the antenna in a small outdoor enclosure which converts the satellite signals in native format to optics. This can then be transported long distances over optical fiber, typically less than 10 km but the distance could be 100 km or longer. At the processing facility, an RF-over-Fiber receiver converts the optical signal back to RF on a copper coaxial cable. This allows a central facility to service multiple satellite ground antennas to reduce buildings, technicians and equipment. Using fiber optics also protects expensive processing equipment from lightning strikes on the ground antennas.
There are also applications for RF-over-Fiber solutions on ships and aircraft to replace copper coaxial cables to reduce weight and eliminate issues with RF interference when using cable.
Finisar continues to innovate in RF-over-Fiber technology to provide customers with more cost-effective and higher-performing solutions using fiber optics.
This week’s post is contributed by Finisar guest blogger, Tony Pearson.
Last week took me and approximately 10,000 of my closest colleagues and friends to arguably the largest annual fiber optic components show, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) this year in Los Angeles, California.
Pre-show attention this year was focused as much, if not more, on the choice of venue than the anticipation of what’s new and exciting in the industry. The reason was simple, most veterans of OFC who attended when it was last held in L.A. in 2004, have a story of alleged ‘near death’ experiences getting to/from the show floor to hotels, restaurants or parking lots. While there are unconfirmed stories that several would be attendees did not travel to the conference this year for this very reason, the show did appear well attended and all the usual suspects were well represented on the show floor. From my own experience this year, I’d say the show organizers came through on their promise to provide at least a safe location with newer amenities close by. The pre-show fears were thankfully unfounded at least for those of us lodging at the nearby L.A. Live neighborhood. I don’t believe there’s a venue in mainland U.S. that would fully measure up to the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter where we’ve all been spoiled for the last few years.
On the business front this was another busy and successful show for Finisar, beginning with a fantastic booth location, another hit for the Grammys (excuse the pun) at the Finisar Customer event, as well as multiple meetings with customers, suppliers, and partners. This year’s demonstrations in the Finisar booth included Flexgrid™ technology in the WSS, 100GE over 20km using Finisar 25G DFB’s in the pluggable CFP form factor and an 80km link demo in the SFP+ form factor for 10GBase-ZR and SONET/SDH OC-192 protocols. I’d like to extend a personal thanks to all who visited with us and invited us to enjoy the fruits of their labors over the last year and specifically for the show.
There is always some sadness at the end of OFC/NFOEC as we all sit on planes, trains and automobiles headed home, that within our community of Fiber Warriors, there is just never enough time to both discuss all topics in detail nor just socialize a little with those we sometimes only see at trade shows or bump into in lobbies, meeting rooms, standards and MSA meetings. There is often precious little time to walk the floor just to see what everyone’s been working on this year and chosen to share publicly. With the few minutes I managed to set aside to take a look around, I was once again pleased to see an industry focused on the NEW: many demonstrating 25G optical links, 100G offerings in standards based form factors, parallel optics and AOC solutions, the OLD(er): high volume and ever growing small form factors pluggable modules continuing the march upward in bandwidth, and of course in the spirit of innovative collaboration pervasive in our industry, the BORROWED: several booths presenting live demos based on collaborative solutions such as the Agilent/Finisar collaborations at the Agilent booth for both 16x FC and 100G live demos.
With the OFC/NFOEC Registration area sponsored by Finisar this year and a booth location front and center on the trade show floor, this was an industry event filled with Finisar BLUE.
The OFC/NFOEC exhibition and conference will take place next week, March 6-10, 2011 in Los Angeles. Finisar has participated at this major industry show since its inception in 1995 and this year we’re planning to illuminate the show floor with new technology demonstrations and product introductions.
We will have many Finisar representatives speaking at the event and hope that you are planning on attending these sessions:
• Finisar’s Executive Chairman of the Board, Jerry Rawls, will join a panel of experts for the session “Where is the Optical Components Market Going?” at the OSA Executive Forum.
• Rafik Ward, VP of Marketing, will speak on the panel, “100G Technology and Deployment.”
• Steve Joiner, Director of Engineering, will present on the short course, “SC239 Short-Reach Optical Interconnects.”
• Simon Poole, Director of New Business Ventures for Finisar Australia, will participate in several workshops including “Spectrally/Bit-Rate Flexible Optical Network Design and Operation” and “Optical Start Ups – 10 Years After the Bubble.”
• Steve Frisken, CTO at Finisar Australia, will participate in several panels including “Tradeoffs and Drivers for Tunable/Colorless Networks” and “What’s Next for Optical Networking.”
• Finisar will also present several papers including: “Bandwidth-flexible ROADMs as Network Elements” and “Flexible and Grid-less Wavelength Selective Switch using LCoS Technology”.
Stay tuned for an update early next week on what else we’re highlighting at this year’s show.
We look forward to seeing you at the show next week!