Large Diameter Splicing System (LDS 2.5)

What Is It?

The Large Diameter Splicer (LDS 2.5) is an optical glass processing system designed for splicing, tapering, manufacturing of combiners, mode field adaptors, optical oscillators as well as other fused optical components. The LDS 2.5 is capable of performing splicing, tapering, scanning, cleaving, bundling diameters ranging from 125um up to 2.5mm.

Why Is It Better?

The Large Diameter Splicer (LDS 2.5) utilizes 3SAE’s patented Ring of Fire® heat source that provides circumferential heating around the optical fiber or optical component being processed in the Large Diameter Splicing System (LDS.5). This allows for even heating around the fiber as well as very narrow heat source along the axis of the fiber. The Ring of Fire® heat source is capable of producing heat widths as small as 300um which is ideal for splicing Photonic Crystal Fibers (PCF) with little to no collapse of the inner air clad structures. The Ring of Fire® arc can also be pulsed to increase mechanical strength of Photonic Crystal Fibers (PCF) while not allowing the heat to deeply penetrate the inner structure based on arc pulsing times. The Large Diameter Splicer (LDS 2.5) utilizes 3SAE’s patented Ring of Fire® to create even heating which produces uniformly shaped tapers as well as capable of performing world class end cap splices utilizing the Ring of Fire®  to provide circumferential heat uniformity while minimizing mechanical stresses induced by other non-thermally symmetric heat sources.

Table based tapering method allows the flexibility of a syntax based software program to create a custom fiber optic taper program while using a simplified LabVIEW based GUI. Alternately, programs such as “MATLAB” or Microsoft Excel can be utilized to develop custom fusion tapering programs.

Key Features:

  • Extremely repeatable glass processing heat source ideal for high volume optical component manufacturing with a range of operation from ~700°C to >3000°C.
  • Unsurpassed heat source provides circumferential thermal uniformity for symmetrical ultra-low loss fiber optic tapering and reduces thermally induced component stress.
  • Contamination free heat source capable of producing ultra-high strength multi kilowatt class optical components.
  • Fastest cycle times based on standard fusion splice, fiber optic taper, and cleave cycle times averaged together.
  • Automatic alignment of Pitch and Yaw included with <0.01 degree resolution pre-taper alignment, optical fiber to optical fiber alignments, endcap splicing, tapered glass splicing, and fiber optic combiner splicing.
  • Orthogonal views utilizing 5mp vision system with telecentric lenses providing 4.2mm wide x 3.5mm tall field of view and up to 20 frames per second.
  • Live process monitoring via full resolution video imaging of the molten fiber optic glass without under or overexposure.
  • In situ cleaver supports fiber optic diameters from 20um to 500um.
  • Capable of fusion splicing and tapering of optical fibers ranging in diameters from 125um to 2.5mm. Requires taper package.
  • Capable of fusion splicing optical fibers as dissimilar as 125um to 2.5mm in diameter.
  • Piezo-driven flexure stage and software package providing 130μm of vibration-free z-axis motion with 0.25 μm theoretical resolution.
  • Scanning software is capable of scanning optical fibers diameter before or after a fusion splice or fiber optic taper.
  • Automatically captures fusion splice images before, during, and after fusion splice along with splice data and program file for each splice.
  • “Hot Imaging” provides live viewing during fusion processing of optical fibers in real time.
  • Photonic Crystal Fibers (PCF) can be spliced with little to no air hole collapse.
  • Capable of uniformly collapsing Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) allowing for positional cleaving, ultrasonic cleaning (no liquid wicking into air holes), and achieving excellent splice losses. (Cleaving requires cleaving package).
  • <50nm X and Y fiber positional resolution of over the full stroke of 12mm.
  • Taper lengths of up to 150mm supported in bidirectional mode. * Requires taper package.
  • Taper lengths of up to 90mm supported in single directional mode.* Requires taper package.
  • Exclusive “Table Based Tapering™” software included for single direction, bidirectional taper, or custom algorithm program creation and nearly infinite engineer level process control.** Requires taper package.

*Taper ratio dependent.

**User can adjust both fiber platform locations, the heat zone location, and the arc power setting 20 times per second for the entire process.

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 63cm (W) x 36cm (D) x 48cm (H)
  • Weight: ~75 kg
  • Power Source: (2) 24V 200W
  • Air requirements: 6.2b (90psi) and 126 L/per min (~4.5cfm)

System Standard Package

LDS-01-0550 – Large Diameter Splicing System (LDS 2.5)

LDS 2.5 Wide Area Plasma glass processing station with the following capabilities:


  • Semi-automatic alignment and splicing including pitch/yaw for 125um to 2.5mm
  • Two orthogonal 5MP cameras with precision double telecentric lenses providing 3.7 x 2.8mm field of view
  • Vacuum based end cap holding system for supporting end caps during splicing, 2000um Fiber Holder (Right)
  • PC with all necessary software and accessories
  • Accessory kit including 250um fiber holders, 400um fiber holders, user manual, (2) spare electrode sets, all necessary PC and LDS interconnect cables. No fiber holder substitutions.
  • 3SAE Automatic Electrode Cleaner (AEC)
  • Includes manufacturer’s 1-year parts and labor warranty

LDS 2.5 System Upgrade Packages

LDS-01-0103 – Polarization Maintaining (PM) Splicing Package

  • Automated +/- 15 degrees rotation of the left fiber holder.
  • Manual 360 degrees Theta rotation of right fiber holder.
  • Provides rotational accuracy to +/- 0.125° for Panda type PM fiber.
  • Alignment using Image Analysis Software allows independent alignment of PM fibers regardless of fiber shape, fiber diameter, or fiber material; thus eliminating the need for factory intervention when optimizing splices for new PM fibers.
  • Compatible for use with Large Mode Area (LMA) and Photonic Crystal (PC) fibers.
  • PM Mirror assembly provides simultaneous end viewing of both the left and right stages.
  • 250 μm light injecting fiber holders (pr) supports up to 600um coating.

LDS-01-0104 – Tapering Package

  • Automatic taper creation via intuitive software interface or manual table editing.
  • Tapering methods include Bi-Directional Tapering, Single Direction Tapering, and Table based tapering.
  • Integrated load cell feedback system for process development and monitoring.
  • Scanning Function for scanning the D. of an optical taper or fusion splice.

LDS-01-0108 – Integrated Piezo LDF Cleaving System Package

  • Provides an in-the-box cleaving solution for production of end caps, tapers, mode-field adapters (MFAs) and optical fiber combiners up to 500μm in diameter. (Tapering package required for manufacturing tapers and optical combiners).
  • High quality diamond-tipped ultrasonic blade with piezo-based frequency/amplitude control as well as a fiber-deflection control mechanism.
  • Real time scanning and image feedback capabilities provide reproducible reference and cleave location control.
  • Cleave location precise to +/- 12.5μm
  • Improves yields of delicate assemblies by eliminating excess handling needed to transfer to an external cleaver.
 TRN-01-0012 – Training

Training-3SAE LDS system Multi-day On-site Installation, Operational Training & Travel Expenses

Optional Components

Product Part Number
LDS Capillary Speed Loader Facilitates rapid loading (less than 1 minute of seven (7) fibers into pre-tapered capillaries; Fixturing for 700 μm and 870 μm OD capillaries (other sizes available); Power supply; User’s manual LDS-01-0125
Electrodes ROF (Sold Individually) SPT-10-1638
LDS Fiber Holders – 250 μm (pr) LDS-01-0120
LDS Fiber Holders – 400 μm (pr) LDS-01-0121
LDS Fiber Holders – 700 μm (pr) LDS-01-0122
LDS Fiber Holders – 1000 μm (pr) LDS-01-0123
LDS Fiber Holders – 2000 μm (pr) LDS-01-0124
LDS Light Injecting PM Fiber Holders – 250 μm (pr) LDS-01-0178
Electrode Sharpening Wheel (Pack of 25) SPT-10-0761
Diamond Tip Replacement Blade SPT-10-1570
Magnetic Brass Electrode Holders (Set of 3) for ROF LDS-01-0094
Automatic Electrode Cleaner, (AEC) ACC-01-0143