U.S. Military Migrating to Stratos Optical Fiber Optic Connectors for Communications Applications

New Stratos Optical TFOCA-to-Expanded Beam adaptors allow use of advanced Expanded Beam optical technology on existing deployed equipment

CHICAGO, Nov. 20 -- Stratos Optical Technologies, a leader in fiberoptic system solutions for military applications, has announced that certain elements of the U.S. Armed Forces will be purchasing the company's HMA series fiberoptic Expanded Beam (EB) connectors to link tactical optical communications cables in the battlefield. A critical element leading to these decisions was the ability to interface the new Stratos HMA optical connectors with existing TFOCA and TFOCAII connectors via the use of the patent-pending, inter-series TFOCA-to-HMA Expanded Beam adaptors.

With these low loss ruggedized compact adaptors, Stratos' HMA Expanded Beam connector series is now compatible with TFOCA and TFOCAII® technology, the legacy standards used by Army and Marine Corp elements of the US military for battlefield communications. Although an excellent solution in many applications, the legacy physical contact (PC) optical mating conventions intrinsic to TFOCAII connector technologies, for example, are problematic in tactical harsh environments. By offering a migration solution from TFOCAII to Expanded Beam, the Stratos products bring to US battlefield operations the performance and reliability benefits of the Expanded Beam technology that Stratos pioneered for harsh environments.

After a relatively low number of mating cycles, TFOCA connectors must be serviced or replaced due to performance degradation as a result of ferrule surface imperfections and/or contamination. In contrast, the optical lens system of the HMA connector series provides immunity from water, mud, dust, oil and other contaminants that can damage the fiber end-face of TFOCA connectors. Further, the easy-to-use and easy-to-install HMA Expanded Beam series can be installed and repaired in the field with limited training for a rapid and real time upgrade. A single part number for the entire adapter unit (connector, backshell, termini, dust cap w/lanyard) simplifies purchasing for users and enables a complete interconnect solution.

One of the appealing characteristics of Expanded Beam technology is that the optical fiber is fully enclosed and sealed behind a hard-coated lens. The lens is a highly ruggedized non-contact connection interface. The expanded light transmission is less sensitive to mechanical misalignments and end-face contamination common in tactical deployments. Inherently resilient to environmental abuse, the HMA Expanded Beam connector lens can be easily cleaned with the wipe of a cloth, reconnected, and the optical communication link quickly restored. The hermaphroditic design allows simple, rapid rigging and daisy chaining of deployment.

The HMA Expanded Beam series of connectors and their related HMA-to-TFOCA or TFOCAII adaptors (two separate adaptors) are currently available. For price and delivery quotations, contact Product Manager Dave Mullen, dmullen@stratoslightwave.com . Product specification sheets are available through the website at www.stratosoptical.com/ .

About Stratos International - Connecting the Worlds of Copper and Fiber

Stratos International (NASDAQ:STLW) includes the Trompeter, Stratos Optical Technologies and Semflex brands. These brands include a unique collective capability in the design and manufacture of copper RF/microwave interconnects and fiberoptic subsystems, components and connectors used by telecom/datacom, industrial, military/aerospace, and HDTV broadcast video customers worldwide.

Stratos Optical Technologies has a rich history of optical and mechanical packaging expertise and pioneered several optical technologies using innovative form-factors for telecom/datacom and harsh environment applications. Today, Stratos Optical Technologies offers specialized product groups for fiber transport of HDTV video, FTTH provisioning, and harsh environment mil/aero communications. The company has a strong IP portfolio of more than 100 patents.

Stratos Optical Technologies has offices in Chicago, IL and Haverhill, United Kingdom. For more information call 800.323.6858 or visit the company website at www.stratoslightwave.com/ .

Stratos International shares trade on the Nasdaq market under the symbol STLW. The company headquarters is located in Chicago, IL. For more information call 800.323.6858 or visit the company website at stratosintl.com/ .

Source: Stratos International, Inc.

Dale Reed,
Senior VP Sales & Marketing,
Stratos International, Inc.,

Web site: www.stratosoptical.com/

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