Patent Number: 6,296,397

Title: Optical fiber connection patching system

Abstract: An apparatus for making connections between a first plurality of optical channels and a second plurality of optical channels includes at least one fiber channel rotator, that includes a rotatable member, having a peripheral edge, disposed along a rotational plane and is rotatable about an axis. A first optical connector is optically coupled to a first optical channel and is in sliding engagement to the rotatable member adjacent to the peripheral edge. A rotational driver is coupled to the rotatable member so as to selectively cause the rotatable member to rotate about the axis and thereby direct the first optical connector to a selected angular position. The apparatus also includes at least one tower that includes a track, disposed adjacent to the rotatable member and transverse to the rotational plane of the rotatable member. A second optical connector, complementary to the first optical connector, is optically coupled to a second optical channel and is slidably engaged with the track so as to be able to move along the track. A linear driver drives the second optical connector along the track so as to cause the second optical connector to be moved to a selected linear position along the track. A controller, in control communication with rotational driver and the linear driver, causes the rotational driver to rotate the first optical connector to the selected angular position and causes the linear driver to move the second optical connector to the selected linear position, so that the first optical connector is adjacent the second optical connector. An actuator selectively causes the first optical connector and the second optical connector to engage, so that the first optical channel becomes optically coupled to the second optical channel.

Inventors: Bavington; Stephen G. (Nepean, CA), Lindgren; Bert A. (Decatur, GA)

Assignee: Net-Hopper System, Inc.

International Classification: G02B 6/35 (20060101); G02B 006/36 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018