Perm Physicists Help Get Over Navigation Problems and Internet Breakdowns at Temperature Extremes

PSU scientists led by Roman Ponomarev, Assistant Professor, Department of Solid State Physics, have found a way to keep fiber optic gyroscopes using integrated optical circuits at significant temperature differences. Through the series of applied research tasks, the scientists defined the conditions which  lead to failure of integrated-optical circuits, as well as proposed an algorithm for solving the problem. The study is published in the World Journal of Applied Science.

“In theory, integrated optical circuits were known to cease work under certain conditions: the optical fibers in them seem would turn off, ceasing to holding the light within. However, this was not observed earlier in practice. The experiment allowed us to determine the temperature range at which this happens, and also to propose a method to combat the failure of devices based on fiber-optic gyroscopes, ” says Roman Ponomarev.

PSU scholars state, that further research in this area will help benefit navigation systems, fiber-optic communication lines and other devices using integrated optical circuits.
“With a sharp change in temperature from -60 °C to +40 °C, a pyroelectric effect occurs, which brings integrated-optical circuits to an inoperative state. As a result, navigation is turned off and the Internet connection is interrupted. This can last for an hour or two, after which the system is restored without external influence,” continues Roman Ponomarev.

To eliminate malfunctions, PSU scientists suggest closing the crystal edges, for example, using electrically conductive paste containing graphite to prevent the pyroelectric effect. In addition to solving possible problems with navigation systems, it is proposed to use the method in the operation of fiber-optic communication lines in the northern latitudes and mountain regions of Russia. The proposed technique helps to maintain the operability of devices at a temperature difference in the range from -60 to +140 °C.

“Fiber data transmission systems located in heated rooms can be switched off in the cold season. In the event of a heating system malfunction or equipment that was stored at a low temperature was turned on, the integrated optical circuit may stop working for some time. Our method will help to avoid this kind of trouble,” Roman Ponomarev concludes.

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