Precise and accurate timing signals distributed between a centralized location and several end-users are widely used in both metro-access and speciality networks for Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), GPS satellite systems, banking, very long baseline interferometry and science projects such as SKA radio telescope. Such systems utilize time and frequency technology to ensure phase coherence among data signals distributed across an optical fibre network. For accurate timing requirements, precise time intervals should be measured between successive pulses. In this paper we describe a novel, all optical method for quantifying one-way propagation times and phase perturbations in the fibre length, using pulse-persecond (PPS) signals. The approach utilizes side mode injection of a 1550nm 10Gbps vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) at the remote end. A 125 μs one-way time of flight was accurately measured for 25 km G655 fibre. Since the approach is all-optical, it avoids measurement inaccuracies introduced by electro-optical conversion phase delays. Furthermore, the implementation uses cost effective VCSEL technology and suited to a flexible range of network architectures, supporting a number of end-users conducting measurements at the remote end.
Shukree Wassin, George M. Isoe, Romeo R. G. Gamatham, Andrew W. R. Leitch, and Tim B. Gibbon, "Highly accurate pulse-per-second timing distribution over optical fibre network using VCSEL side-mode injection," Proc. SPIE 10129, Optical Metro Networks and Short-Haul Systems IX, 101290G (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 28 January 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252069.
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