13 October 2005 Chromatic dispersion measurements of optical fiber based on time-of-flight using a tunable multi-wavelength semiconductor fiber laser
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Abstract
We have developed a tunable multi-wavelength semiconductor fiber laser (SFL) for chromatic dispersion measurements of optical fiber based on the time-of flight method. The SFL incorporates a programmable high-birefringence fiber loop mirror to select the separation of the lasing wavelengths between 3.2nm and 1.6nm. The SFL emits 5 wavelengths with an average power of 11.96dBm per wavelength and 11 wavelengths with an average power of 18.35dBm per wavelength, for separations of 3.2nm and 1.6nm respectively, all within the C-band. The linewidth of each oscillating wavelength resides in the 0.16nm - 0.28nm range, the signal-to-noise ratio varies between 33.5dB and 39.2dB, and the uniformity of the output power is within 3.2dB. Stability measurements for each lasing peak show a wavelength deviation of +/-0.09nm/hour and a power variation of +/-0.90dB/hour. Results from time-of-flight measurements are compared with standard phase-shift techniques and the differences analyzed. The percent error between the two methods is better than -0.73 to 1.13% for measurements on various standard optical fiber lengths. The time-of-flight method is easier and faster to use for the characterization of sufficiently dispersive media such as deployed fiber spools. Our tunable laser provides a simple low cost solution for such measurement applications. The tunable nature of our SFL source also provides the following advantages for chromatic dispersion measurements: (1) greater precision can be obtained since two independent measurements (one at each wavelength separation) can be performed using a single optical source and (2) there is increased flexibility since the wavelength spacing can be tailored for a specific situation; shorter lengths benefiting from larger wavelength separations.
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Véronique Pagé and Lawrence R. Chen "Chromatic dispersion measurements of optical fiber based on time-of-flight using a tunable multi-wavelength semiconductor fiber laser", Proc. SPIE 5970, Photonic Applications in Devices and Communication Systems, 59701X (13 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.628485; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.628485
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