Active star centered fiber optic local area network

The local area optical network interconnects a plurality of user terminals. The local area network includes an interface unit for receiving information from the user terminals and an active star node connected to the interface unit by fiber optic cables. In one embodiment, the active star centered node includes a passive optical star coupler having a plurality of ports for interconnecting the terminals. An optical receiver receives optical signals from the star coupler and is interconnected with an optical transmitter which transmits the signal from the receiver back into the star for distribution to the plurality of ports. In either embodiment, the star node includes an expansion port and an optically associated transmitter and receiver to allow multiple nodes to be connected to one another in an hierachial, branching architecture. In another embodiment, the active star centered node includes a passive input star coupler and a passive output star coupler. The local area networks organized around the active stars are portable, flexible and expandable.

Patent #: 4781427 Issue Date: November 1, 1988