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Dispersion Measurement in Optical Fibers

Dispersion Measurement in Optical Fibers

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Published by Sahand Noorizadeh
Labratory measurements of single-mode and multi-mode fibers. By Sahand Noorizadeh and Charles Hunter at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Labratory measurements of single-mode and multi-mode fibers. By Sahand Noorizadeh and Charles Hunter at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Published by: Sahand Noorizadeh on Mar 16, 2010
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01/28/2013

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Optical Fiber Communications LabratoryLab Report No. 5
November 2009
Dispersion Measurement
Charles HunterSahand Noorizadeh
 
1 Introduction
A pulse with a finite width is known to have multiple spectral components in the frequency-domain.In a lossless medium, all the frequency components of a pulse propagate at the same velocity andtherefore the shape of the pulse remains intact throughout propagation. But in lossy media suchdielectrics and waveguides with multiple propagation modes, each spectral component travels witha different velocity and causes the pulse width to change. This change in width is known as
dispersion
. Group Velocity is a term that expresses the velocity of the spectral components as agroup (packet) and the time that this packet takes to travel a certain distance is called the GroupDelay. The parameter
D
is used to characterize dispersion in optical fibers.Dispersion occurs because the refractive index of the fiber changes slightly with wavelength,and therefore, so does the propagation velocity. This results in the higher wavelengths of the pulsearriving at a different time than the shorter wavelengths, causing the pulse to spread in time anddecrease in amplitude. For a fiber,
D
depends on the change in pulse width, the distance of thefiber, and the spectral width of the pulse and is expressed in units of picoseconds per nanometer-Kilometer. Knowledge of 
D
and techniques to compensate the pulse broadening in a fiber opticlink are essential in calculating fiber optic link budgets and designing communication links becausepulse broadening can cause intersymbol interference and increase the bit error rate (BER.)In this experiment, dispersion parameters of seven fibers of different types (Single-Mode, Multi-Mode, Dispersion-Compensating, and Dispersion-Shifted) as well as combinations of those fiberswere measured using a time-domain dispersion measurement method with an apparatus comprisedof an optical impulse generator, an optoelectric converter, and an oscilloscope.1
 
2 Theory
The theory of pulse broadening and dispersion is discussed in Appendix A. In this section thetheory of time-domain dispersion measurement is discussed.In addition to the pulse broadening caused by the fiber, the receiver and the transmitter alsocause pulse broadening. The detected width of a pulse that propagates from a transmitter througha fiber and is detected by a receiver is given by (1).
σ
τ,out
=
√ 
σ
2
τ,in
+
σ
2
τ,RX
+
σ
2
τ,F 
+
σ
2
τ,TX
(1)Where
σ
τ,in
is the width of the input pulse,
σ
τ,RX
,σ
τ,TX
,σ
τ,F 
are the pulse spread of the transmitter,the receiver, and the fiber, respectively. The dispersion parameter
D
is one of the parameters of the fiber and it is usually given by the manufacturer. It is used for link budget calculations anddispersion management calculations. The dispersion parameter of a fiber can be found using (2).
|
σ
τ,F 
|
=
σ
λ
|
D
|
L
(2)Where
σ
λ
is the bandwidth of the input pulse to the fiber and
L
is length of the fiber.
σ
τ,RX
and
σ
τ,TX
can be lumped together to form the pulse spread of the system known as the
system response 
,
σ
τ,sys
, which is defined by (3).
σ
τ,sys
=
σ
τ,RX
+
σ
τ,TX
(3)If 
σ
τ,in
is known,
σ
τ,sys
can be found by replacing the fiber with a fiber optic jumper. Findingdispersion using (2) This a suitable method for Single-Mode fibers where chromatic dispersion isthe dominant factor.Since modal dispersion is the dominant cause of dispersion in Multi-Mode fibers, the parameter
Bandwidth-Distance Product
,
b
z
, is the parameter that characterizes the pulse spread and2

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