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Primer

DWDM Performance and
Conformance Testing Primer

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DWDM Performance and
Conformance Testing Primer

Enabling A Brighter Optical
Transport Network
Tektronix involvement in the DWDM market encompasses all aspects of
network development and deployment, from design and development through
manufacturing test to installation and maintenance. Tektronix offers a range of
industry leading products that are used to measure photonic-device quality at
any stage of development, anywhere in the network.
No single company can operate in isolation in this business. Customer needs
are too diverse, the technological challenges are too complex, and industry standards are in such flux that a collaborative approach is required to serve
customers effectively. One way to meet these challenges is to work closely with
customers well in advance of the time they will need fully developed solutions
(often several years in advance). This helps Tektronix to understand our
customers’ needs and also to inform them about what measurement technologies are available and how to develop solutions using them.
In addition, Tektronix has sought as technology partners some of the best
suppliers in the industry. The company has forged strategic alliances with such
firms as Picometrix and Advantest to be able to provide the best technology
solutions.
Tektronix develops and provides additional expertise by being involved early in
the definition and development of important industry standards. For instance,
Tektronix is active on several ITU-T committees for DWDM, SDH, and
Timing/Synchronization standards. The company uses this standards experience to help guide partners and their customers through product development
so new products become standards-compliant as early as possible.

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9 — Source Chirp.7 – Extinction Ratio · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 16 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 16 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 17 Measurement 1.DWDM Performance and Conformance Testing Primer Contents Enabling A Brighter Optical Transport Network· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · i Introduction · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 1 Development of Complex Photonic Networks · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 1 Photonic Networks · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 1 The Structure Of This Primer · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 1 A Typical Photonic Network· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 2 Structure Of A Typical DWDM Link · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 3 The Need for Testing in Optical Networks · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 Design · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 Integration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 Manufacturing · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 Installation And Maintenance · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 System Test · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 Optical Test And Measurement Products · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 5 Building Blocks Of Photonic Networks · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 6 SDH and SONET Interfaces · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 7 The SONET Interface Standard · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 7 The SDH Interface Standard · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 7 Measurement Section 1 — Transmitter Output Interfaces · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 9 Required Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 9 Measurement 1.4 – Spectral Width · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 13 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 13 Measurement 1.5 – Mean Launched Power · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 14 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 14 Typical Test Setup · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 14 Measurement 1.8 – Eye Pattern Mask · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 18 Standard Masks · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 18 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 20 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 20 Measurement 1.3 – Central Frequency Deviation · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 12 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 12 Measurement 1.1 — Operating Wavelength Range · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 9 Attenuation · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 10 Chromatic Dispersion · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 10 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 10 Measurement1.2 – Central Frequency · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 11 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 11 Measurement 1. α Factor · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 21 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 21 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 22 iii .6 – Side Mode Suppression Ratio · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 15 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 15 Measurement 1.

6 – Spontaneous Noise Figure · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 41 iv .4 – Total Received Power · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 41 Measurement 4.5 – Polarization-Mode Dispersion · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 38 Test Setup For Polarization-Dependent Loss Measurement · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 38 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 38 Measurement Section 4 – Optical Amplifiers · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 39 Required Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 39 Measurement Considerations For Testing Gain Variation · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 40 Test Setups For Optical Amplifier Testing · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 40 Measurement 4.5 – Optical Crosstalk · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 32 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 32 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 32 Measurement Section 3 – Optical Path · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 33 Required Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 33 Measurement 3.12 — Q-Factor · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 25 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 25 Measurement Section 2 – Multi-Channel Input/Output Interfaces · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 27 Required Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 27 Measurement 2.3 – Optical Return Loss · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 37 Typical Test Setup · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 37 Measurement 3.3 – Gain Difference · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 41 Measurement 4.5 – Total Launched Power · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 41 Measurement 4.1 – Gain Variation · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 41 Measurement 4.11 – Optical Signal-To-Noise Ratio · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 24 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 24 Measurement 1.2 – Chromatic Dispersion · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 35 Measurement Consideration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 35 Test Setup For Chromatic Dispersion Loss Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 36 Measurement 3.2 – Gain Tilt · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 41 Measurement 4.10 – Spectral Power Density · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 23 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 23 Measurement 1.4 – Discrete Reflectance · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 37 Typical Test Setup · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 37 Measurement 3.1 – Attenuation Range · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 34 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 34 Measurement 3.1 — Channel Output Power · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 27 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 27 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 28 Measurement 2.3 – Per Channel OSNR · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 30 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 30 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 30 Measurement 2.2 — Total Launched Power · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 29 Example Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 29 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 29 Measurement 2.Measurement 1.4 – Maximum Channel Power Difference · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 31 Typical Test Configuration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 31 Measurement Considerations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 31 Measurement 2.

6 – Optical Crosstalk · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 49 Measurement 5.2 – Mean Launched Power · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 51 Measurement 6.2 – Sensitivity for 10–12 BER · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 44 Measuring Receiver Sensitivity · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 44 Test Setup For Receiver Sensitivity BER Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 45 Recommended Test Procedure · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 45 Measurement 5.1 – Central Frequency · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 51 Measurement 6.5 – System BER · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 52 Conclusion · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 53 Appendix A – Glossary of Terms · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 55 Appendix B – Standards · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 59 Appendix C – ITU-T G.4 – Eye Pattern Mask · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 52 Measurement 6.3 – Extinction Ratio · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 51 Measurement 6.7 – Optical Signal-To-Noise Ratio · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 49 Measurement Section 6 – System Test · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 51 Measurement 6.3 – Overload For 10–10 BER · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 46 Measurement 5.4 – Overload For 10–12 BER · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 46 Measurement Considerations For Testing Optical Receivers · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 47 Test Setup For Receiver Overload BER Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 47 Recommended Test Procedure · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 47 Measurement 5.Measurement Section 5 – Receiver Input Interfaces · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 43 Required Measurements · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 43 Measurement 5.5 – Reflectance · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 48 Recommended Test Procedure · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 48 Measuring with an OCWR · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 48 Measuring with an OTDR · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 49 Measurement 5.1 – Sensitivity for 10–10 BER · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 43 Measurement 5.692 Frequency Grid · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 61 v .

vi .

These changes come at a time when network operators are being driven to cut operating costs in response to increased competition brought on by deregulation. higher-quality communications poses a paradigm-shifting challenge to the operators of global public telephone networks. Finally. and provide Internet access to rapidly growing numbers of businesses and individual users. The thousands of components that make up multiple wavelength systems must perform in a very precise and exacting manner while operating in conjunction with many other components.Introduction Development of Complex Photonic Networks Emerging demand for advanced. test and measurement technology plays a key role in both the development and the deployment of photonic networks. and maintenance. We discuss the importance of performance and conformance testing during design. But these new approaches come at a price. The simple power measurements used to find fault conditions in single wavelength systems are not sufficient for using in measuring parameters of multiple wavelength systems. Primarily.01 nm accuracy. Channel multiplexing is achieved either by means of time-division multiplexing or by sending multiple channels (at different wavelengths. advanced test and measurement capabilities serve as enabling technologies. deliver streaming video. a description of the recommended test configuration. and a discussion of any significant measurement issues.) of each channel in DWDM systems. the issue of interoperability becomes a more and more important concern. equipment manufacturers need the most advanced test and measurement tools available to accurately characterize every component and network element during product development. we provide a summary of the test instruments required. While multiple-wavelength all-optical systems actually make networks simpler operationally. or DWDM. they become extremely complex technologically. manufacturing. Then we get to the heart of the matter – the specific measurements that must be made in order to ensure conformance to the standards. As a consequence. In such a challenging environment. Laser wavelengths. these networks are now being asked to carry heavy data loads. etc. Photonic networks of the future will need to carry traffic from many different sources. now need to be measured with better than 0. Originally designed to primarily carry circuitswitched voice traffic. In short. By adopting either multiplexing approach. and that any crosstalk between channels (introduced through fiber nonlinearities) is not causing power from one channel to be transferred into another. In the six measurement sections. integration. we’ve organized the information the way you work – in accordance with the relevant photonic network standard or standards. 1 . To meet these increased capacity requirements. installation. Where possible. as the number of competitive carriers increases. they are deploying photonic networks that deliver greater capacity while reducing operating costs and maintaining QoS. for example. network operators are either augmenting or replacing existing networks with new infrastructure and new. Spectral monitors are now necessary to evaluate the performance (wavelength. For each measurement. We briefly examine the solutions Tektronix provides for comprehensive test and measurement of photonic networks. not just functions performed after a network has been deployed.001 nm. And the entire assemblage must be adjusted and tuned for optimal network performance. channel power. and network operators need those same advanced tools to verify system performance (and standards conformance) before deployment. Conformance with telecommunications standards will be essential. we examine the structure of a typical photonic network and the building blocks that make up that network. signal-to-noise ratio. we enumerate the required standard or standards and give examples of acceptable values or shapes. High dynamic range measurements are required to verify that the wavelength demultiplexer at the receiver is accurately separating the desired signal from adjacent channels. This latter approach is known as dense wavelength division multiplexing. manufacturing and system test. They’re faced with a delicate balancing act of overhauling their infrastructure while reducing operating costs and increasing quality of service (QoS) to create competitive differential and address their customers’ needs. The Structure Of This Primer In the pages that follow. Aging studies of semi- conductor lasers require wavelength resolutions of 0. or colors) of light over each fiber. higher capacity packet-switch technologies. operators can cost-effectively add capacity. Photonic Networks Photonic networks are based upon a combination of electrical and optical components and transmission media that allow the delivery of multiple channels of data over any given fiber in the core or backbone network.

the tributary channels can be routed to a DWDM link or an ADM. Actual networks may contain all or only some of these network elements. Today. DSn (e. Two key structures comprise the network: • The core network. made up of a high-speed IP backbone or telephony switching network handling voice traffic (typically at 2. SDH. examine the structure of the typical photonic network in Figure 1. T1) or PDH (e.. The lightwave-based channel is converted into an electrical signal. specific SONET or SDH colors or channels can be routed to metro or access network tributaries.A Typical Photonic Network To understand photonic networks in greater depth. E1. 2 MUX DCS MUX . Within the ADM. In this illustration. In the past. These signals are then routed to tributaries at different locations. E3. the high-speed core network is configured as interconnected rings that make up a Core Network M DWD M M DWD DWD M DWD ADM ADM Metro/Access Network MUX DCS MUX Figure 1: A simplified photonic network with a ring architecture. then back into component SONET.g. standard ANSI or ETSI data rates such as T1. Signals in the core ring pass from one DWDM link to the next core ring.. complete telecommunications network. Within each DWDM link.g. The network elements shown on this topology map are all representative. DS3. etc. DWDM elements were not used in the network – SDH/SONET electro-optical add/drop multiplexers (ADMs) were used to move tributaries off of or onto the core. or to other core rings. and certain other common network elements are not represented here for simplicity’s sake. E1) signals.5 to 10 Gbit/s) • A local or metropolitan network splitting off from the core through a WDM element (typically at 155 to 622 Mbit/s). the signal is decomposed further into different channels at lower.

Structure Of A Typical DWDM Link To investigate the complexity of a photonic network more closely. 140/34/2 Mbit/s STM-1/-1e.957 i/f sync STM-16 MUX WDM System (Optical Transport Network) SDH Core Network λ DEMUX STM-16 optical … λn STM-16 DEMUX sync SDH Access Network (plus SDH tribs.692 i/f λ1… λ MUX OA O/E/O …λn G. ATM. for example. Open systems are characterized by their ability to accept and transport a variety of incoming signals with a range of formats and characteristics. the signal is broken into its individual channels and parsed out to each receiving element. On the left are the various channels – Tx1. PDH legacy) STM-1/-1e. other Optical Supervisory Channel (OSC) O/E/O λ1… G. Rx1 Tx1 Tx2 O/E/O λ1… Tx3 MUX O/E/O …λn λ MUX λ DEMUX OA Rx2 Rx3 MUX Figure 2: Overview of a DWDM link. and then on to a demultiplexer. a transponder or a remodulator function. 3 . Tx2. Two general categories of photonics systems are available: Open (stand-alone systems and integrated (terminal) systems. This is achieved by providing signal conversion and wavelength adaptation using. The signal from each channel is directed into the wavelength multiplexer. etc. 140/34/2 Mbit/s Figure 3: Generic open WDM system architecture. non-compliant signals can be adapted and transported by the WDM layer (see Figure 3). Each DWDM link may contain as many as 128 transmitters per channel (with more possible in the future). In this way. SONET. IP. to be combined and sent onto the optical path. There. SDH. through the optical amplifier. let’s examine the structure of a typical point-to-point DWDM link deployed in today’s networks (Figure 2).

desired network evolution. In an open system. Depending upon whether the system being implemented will be open or integrated. thus.e. “colored” light ready for wavelength multiplexing). equipment providers want their DWDM links to work with any manufacturer’s SONET/SDH network. On the other hand.) Network operators will typically select the architecture suitable for their purposes by considering their particular economics. there is a risk of increased cost due to the additional equipment and management functionality. Client signals can be directly adapted to the WDM/photonic layer whether the client terminal equipment is an SDH admux or an IP router. .. Regardless of the photonic system architecture employed. different optical-signal treatments will be necessary. installed equipment base. Taking the channel through the O/E/O conversion allows it to be shifted to a specific channel within this grid. 4 In an integrated system. and services to be offered. Figure 4: Generic integrated WDM system architecture.Integrated systems are more closely integrated within a parent SONET/SDH system. They use open-system transponders or wavelength adapters that handle wavelength shifting or adaptation to given channels on the ITU-T grid (see Appendix C). Open WDM systems are generally seen as more flexible – able to transport legacy PDH as well as SDH and other signals at a variety of bit-rates and optical power levels. doesn’t have to use the intermediate step of wavelength shifting. (See Figure 4. The SONET/SDH system transmitters themselves provide the required signal format (i. the manufacturer can optimize its own transmitters and. rigorous testing is required for accurate characterization of components and conformance with standards. Integrated WDM systems are sometimes positioned as the more suitable solution for the longer term.

a manufacturing test engineer operates in more of a “go/no-go” mode to determine whether the module or element operates within the standard specifications. or element has been designed and is ready for manufacturing. operators want a network that can be debugged quickly when being turned up. these products are fundamental enablers of standards-compliance measurements. and given that photonic networks are characterized by very high component counts. Installation And Maintenance At this stage. which offers industry-leading performance for SONET/SDH applications. They want assurances that quality has been designed into every network element with room to raise QoS when customers demand it. signal-to-noise ratio. design engineers examine the electrical and optical characteristics of the device under many different conditions in order to evaluate the total performance and performance margins of the component or element being designed. and management. It is imperative. therefore. competitive level of QoS. after the individual modules are tested and assembled into a network element. ETSI. the potential for problems in such networks is very real. The manufacturer is trying to integrate multiple modules into a particular network element. Tektronix provides industry leading solutions for enabling a brighter optical transport network. Also. or other local standard These tests are made during all phases of product and system development: design. They want to be certain that the network provides the necessary. Table 1 shows the types of instruments Tektronix provides at different stages of product and system development. Tektronix products are versatile enough to be used in a wide variety of laboratory and manufacturing environments across the communications industry. In many cases. Tektronix offers industry-leading performance in two product categories: oscilloscopes (with the CSA8000 and the TDS500/700 models) and transmission test sets (with the ST2400A and OTS9000). The modules must all operate within very narrow tolerances in power. manufacturing. Today. If any component doesn’t function properly. and system tests. Optical Test And Measurement Products Whether the measurement being made is a rigorous performance assessment or a go/no-go conformance evaluation. Tektronix also produces a line of BERTs targeted at the LAN/WAN market. module. System Test System tests are performed by both equipment manufacturers and network operators to verify overall system performance. Tektronix also distributes the Advantest 12 Gbit/s BERT. In addition. Typically these tests involve the characterization of overall system bit error rates – the bottom-line assessment of system performance.The Need for Testing in Optical Networks Given that the reliability of any system is a function of the number of components in the system. The operator also wants to be assured that the system will run reliably and with little maintenance. manufacture. that the performance characteristics of network components be thoroughly assessed during all stages of development and deployment. the manufacturer wants to know whether the individual module or component is good before shipping it to the customer. the entire system could be affected. The focus of the network operators is different from that of the equipment manufacturers. installation and maintenance. integration. etc. the completed network element is tested again for conformance with the same industry standards. Design In design. Two general types of testing are required to manage the complexity of photonic networks: • Performance assessment – which looks at components and systems running at their maximum design limits in order to fully characterize performance margins and raw bit-error rates • Conformance testing – which is more of a “go/nogo” approach where the main concern is whether behavior conforms to the relevant ITU-T. deployment. ANSI. and restored to operation quickly when there are problems. Integration The same test instruments are used in integration as in design. but they do not want to bear the expense of testing for QoS in network elements. the network operator wants to be assured that the system can be installed and turned up quickly so revenues can be generated as soon as possible. In North America. the quality of the measurement will depend directly on the quality of the instrument used to make the measurement. Manufacturing Once the component. The modules are commonly tested only for conformance with relevant industry standards rather than both performance and conformance. only here the focus changes. Tektronix optical measurement products are used to make critical measurements at all stages of optical network design. With the ability to measure many different performance parameters. In performance tests. In conformance testing. timing. network modules and submodules undergo both performance tests and conformance tests. 5 .

and system test. Optical Amplifier Tx1 Tx2 O/E/O λ1… Tx3 MUX O/E/O …λn Transmitter Output λ MUX OA Optical Path Multi-Channel Input/Output Interface System Test Figure 5: Measurement requirements. receiver input. multi-channel I/O interface. Figure 5 illustrates the six measurement categories that will be discussed: transmitter output. optical amplifier. we will discuss the measurement requirements for each of these five building blocks as well as the requirements for system test. 6 Installation and Maintenance Cable Tester/OTDR Power Meter Transmission Tester Rx1 λ DEMUX Rx2 Rx3 MUX Receiver Input .Ta b l e 1 : Th e S c o p e o f Te k t r o n i x P r o d u c t s Design Oscilloscopes BERTs Chirp Testers*1 Optical Network Analyzers*1 Power Meters*1 Optical Attenuators Optical Spectrum Analyzers*1 Wavelength Meters*1 Reference Receivers Polarization Meters*1 *1 Integration Oscilloscopes BERTs Power Meters*1 Optical Attenuators Optical Spectrum Analyzers*1 Reference Receivers Transmission Testers Jitter/Wander Analyzers Wavelength Meters*1 Manufacturing Test Oscilloscopes Reference Receivers Transmission Testers Power Meters*1 Optical Attenuators Optical Spectrum Analyzers*1 Wavelength Meters*1 North America only Building Blocks Of Photonic Networks Photonic networks are made up of the following basic building blocks: • Transmitters • Multi-channel I/Os • The optical path • Optical amplifiers (for long distance transmissions) • Receivers In the six measurement sections that follow. optical path.

080 Mbit/s 2488. Short Reach (SR) is intended for very short interconnect distances. This classification offers the promise of interconnects spanning up to 160 km at 1550 nm. flexible. Long Haul (L) distances are 40 km for 1310 nm wavelength and 60 km for 1550 nm wavelength. including whether the component or network element is intended for use in short haul or long haul applications. An STS-N signal is composed of N byte-interleaved STS-1 signals. which operates at 51. creating the The Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) standard is a worldwide standard designed to address the interworking between worldwide and ANSI transmission hierarchies. OC-3 STS-12.280 Mbit/s Capacity 28 DS1s or 1 DS3 84 DS1s or 3 DS3s 336 DS1s or 12 DS3s 1344 DS1s or 48 DS3s 5376 DS1s or 192 DS3s Ta b l e 3 : SO N ET I n t e r fa c e C l a s s i f i c at i o n s Distance (km) Wavelength (nm) OC-1 OC-3 OC-12 OC-48 OC-192 Short Reach ≤2 1310 SR SR SR SR Intermediate Reach 15 1310 1550 IR-1 IR-2 IR-1 IR-2 IR-1 IR-2 IR-1 IR-2 IR-1 IR-2 Application Long Reach 40 1310 LR-1 LR-1 LR-1 LR-1 LR-1 60 1550 LR-2 LR-2 LR-2 LR-2 LR-2 LR-3 LR-3 LR-3 LR-3 LR-3 120 1310 VR-1 VR-1 VR-1 VR-1 VR-1 Very-long Reach 160 1550 VR-2 VR-2 VR-2 VR-2 VR-2 VR-3 VR-3 VR-3 VR-3 VR-3 OC = Optical Carrier 7 . for low or high data rates. typically less than 2 km. therefore. and what wavelength will be used. this base signal is referred to as Synchronous Transport Signal level-1. Intermediate Reach (IR) is intended for distances up to approximately 15 km. OC-192 Bit Rate 51. The SDH Interface Standard The first step in the SONET multiplexing process involves the generation of the lowest level or base signal.SDH and SONET Interfaces Acceptable test results for optical broadband interfaces differ depending on which optical interface classification the component or network element is designed for. Short Haul (S) is intended for distances up to approximately 15 km. Interface classifications specify a number of things. designated OC-N (Optical Carrier level-N). At this time the Very Long Reach (VR) classification is being studied. OC-12 STS-48. This is accomplished by means of a byte-interleaved multiplexing scheme that simplifies multiplexing. This table also includes the optical counterpart for each STS-N signal. Long Reach (LR) (without an optical amplifier) distances are 40 km for 1310 nm wavelength and 60 km for 1550 nm wavelength. typically less than 2 km. Tables 2 and 3 demonstrate the required test results for different interface classifications. OC-1 STS-3. can be considered a subset of SDH.) The SDH interface standard (ITU-G. (SONET. The SONET interface standard for optical signals allows for three adopted and approved classifications based upon distance (see Table 3).840 Mbit/s 155. Higher-level signals are integer multiples of STS-1.520 Mbit/s 622. These Ta b l e 2 : SO N ET H i e r a r c h y SONET Signal STS-1.957) allows for three classifications based upon distance. optical hierarchy. At this time the Very Long Haul (V) and Ultra Long Haul (U) classifications are being studied. The SONET Interface Standard The SONET (Synchronous Optical NETwork) standard defines a technology for carrying many signals of different capacities through a synchronous. or simply STS-1.84 Mbit/s. family of STS-N signals in Table 2. These requirements determine the different expected test results. OC-48 STS-192.320 Mbit/s 9953. IntraOffice (I) is intended for very short interconnect distances. In SONET.

1 S-16. S-x.320 Mbit/s 9953.3 L-16. SONET and SDH converge at the 52 Mbit/s level.1 S-64. L-x.3 L-4. it became possible for SDH to accommodate both transmission hierarchies.” The base level for SDH is STM-1.2 Ultra Long 160 1550 L-1.3 V-64. The bit rate and capacity of SDH signals are summarized in Table 5. which is equivalent to SONET’s STS-3 (3 x 51.280 Mbit/s Capacity 21 E1s 63 E1s or 1 E4 252 E1s or 4 E4s 1008 E1s or 16 E4s 4032 E1s or 64 E4s Transport Module-0. .1 L-16.x and V-x.3 STM = Synchronous Transport Module I-x.3 L-64.1 Very Long 120 60 1550 L-1.1 L-4.080 Mbit/s 2488.1 S-4. Using this method.84 Mbit/s = 155.5 Mbit/s). synchronous transmission systems can accommodate signals generated by equipment operating from various levels of the non-synchronous hierarchy.2 S-4.3 U-16.x are application codes for specific operating wavelength ranges offer the promise of interconnects spanning up to 160 km (see Table 4).2 Application Long Haul 40 1310 L-1.2 L-16. SDH allows non-synchronous 2-Mbit/s tributaries to be multiplexed to the STM-1 level in a single step.1 L-64. sometimes referred to as STM-0 or “Synchronous Ta b l e 5 : S D H H i e r a r c h y SDH Signal STM-0 STM-1 STM-4 STM-16 STM-64 8 Bit Rate 51. By changing the SONET standard from bit interleaving to byte interleaving.2 L-4.2 S-64.1 S-1.520 Mbit/s 622. SDH recommendations define methods of subdividing the payload area of an STM-1 frame in various ways so that it can carry combinations of synchronous and asynchronous tributaries.Ta b l e 4 : S D H I n t e r fa c e C l a s s i f i c at i o n s Distance (km) Wavelength (nm) STM-1 STM-4 STM-16 STM-64 Intra-office ≤2 1310 I-1 I-4 I-16 I-64 Short Haul 15 1310 1550 S-1.840 Mbit/s 155.x.3 V-16.2 S-16.2 L-64.

2.1.692).and multi-channel systems as required by the SDH standards (ITUG.2 6.1.5 & 6.3 6.5 Standards G.691 Section 6.1.1 6. or effective operation in a highly stressed network environment.1 6.1.5 G.691. Ta b l e 6 : M e a s u r e m e n t s f o r t r a n s m i s s i o n o u t p u t i n t e r fa c e s s p e c i f i e d b y I T U -T Required Measurements Operating wavelength range Central frequency Central frequency deviation Spectral width Mean launched power Side mode suppression ratio Extinction ratio Eye pattern mask Source chirp.1 — Operating Wavelength Range Standards: Recommended in ITU-T G.2. central frequency deviation. Required Measurements Table 6 itemizes the measurements for transmitter output interfaces in single.2.3 6. α factor Spectral power density Optical signal-to-noise ratio G.1.2.4 6. Measurement 1.4 9 .1.2.2.2.3 6.2.2 6.2.1.6 6.957 section 6.2. The central frequency.2. may require a restricted operating range depending upon their design.Measurement Section 1 — Transmitter Output Interfaces Figure 6: Transmitter output interfaces. therefore.2 6. The choice of operating wavelength range for various applications depends on the attenuation and dispersion requirements of the photonic system under consideration.957 Section 6.1. The characteristics of the optical transmitter can determine the maximum length of a fiber link and the data rate that can be achieved.4 6. and G. Long range networks using optical amplifiers. These are affected by the fiber type.1 The operating wavelength range is defined as the total spectral window available for use by the photonic system.2.1.691 section 6. G. and source chirp (α factor) measurements are new requirements for highspeed multi-channel systems. however. Transmitter measurements.1 6.692 section 6.1.1 6.4 6.2.957.1 and G.2 6.1.3 6.1 6.7 6. are critical to ensure effective interoperability among various vendors’ products. It is desirable to allow as wide a range as possible for the system operating wavelengths.2 6.1.

This dispersion causes the wavelength phase relationships to constantly change. SDH and SONET allow for operation at 1310 nm and 1550 nm.653) ensures that the wavelength phase relationships remain constant along the fiber. The very low chromatic dispersion present in conventional dispersion-shifted fiber (such as G.5 ps/nm/km. It takes advantage of the lower attenuation rate at 1550 nm without incurring a serious dispersion penalty. Attenuation In Figure 7. suppressing the growth of nonlinear component effects.2 ps/nm/km. Four-wave mixing can cause the various wavelengths present in WDM networks to interact with each other. there are two optimum windows for transmitter operation where attenuation is at a minimum. whereas the dispersion-shifted fiber recommended by G. reflectance.Absolute Value of Dispersion Coefficient (ps/nm/km) Optical Loss (dB/km) 6 120 G. Within the fiber that carries the signal. and the optical amplifier employed.653 fiber is significant. You can compensate for loss by using a bigger amplifier.652 G. These windows are located at approximately 1300 nm and 1500 nm. which allows operation at 850 nm as well as 1310 nm. however. Two other noticeable but less severe OH absorption peaks occur at approximately 950 nm and 1250 nm. 2 0 0 aries within which transmission windows occur that can be matched with the economical source performance. Figure 7 shows the maximum dispersion coefficient characteristics for a fiber used in SDH and SONET transmissions. transmitter characteristics. this characteristic results in the steady growth of nonlinear component effects.655. It should be noted that advances in fiber design and fabrication technology mean that the main OH peak will be removed in the next generation of optical fibers. optical lightwave degradation effects such as four-wave mixing can impair system operation. The fiber that is recommended by G. further opening the photonic window. Such nonlinear optical effects have led to the introduction of non-zero dispersion (NZD) fiber – G. etc). Figure 8: Characterizing operating wavelength range.653 is not.652 fiber has a lower dispersion factor. Although the G. G. barring other factors such as dispersion. These create bound- Transmitter Pattern Generator Optical Spectrum Analyzer The 850 nm window is a popular choice for Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet. the attenuation over distance is about two times that found at 1550 nm. 1550 OH – Figure 7: Operating wavelength range.653 has an optimum dispersion factor at 1550 nm of about 2. This is why the G. However. The attenuation at 1400 nm is severe due to absorption by hydroxide ions (OH). The operating wavelength range is not typically measured. As optical power levels and unregenerated distances are increased in wavelengthdivision multiplexed (WDM) networks.652 has a optimum dispersion factor at 1310 nm of about 1. This is why SDH and SONET standards require systems to operate here. 10 . the optical frequencies emitted by the source will travel with different speeds producing distortion of the signal. recommended for use in DWDM systems. The lowest attenuation factor offers the longest interconnect distance. A very narrow emission spectrum will suffer less impairment than a very wide spectrum. the overall condition of the optical path (splices. NZD fiber introduces a small but significant amount of dispersion (typically a few ps/nm/km). Typical Test Configuration Figure 8 shows a typical test setup for characterizing the operating wavelength range. but can be characterized with an optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) or wavelength meter.653 5 100 Attenuation 80 Dispersion 3 60 40 20 4 Standard fiber OH – 850 950 1050 1150 1250 1350 Wavelength (nm) 1450 Chromatic Dispersion 1 Chromatic Dispersion is the other dominant factor that affects the interconnect distance of a transmission.

Measurement1.2 – Central Frequency
Standards: Specified in G.692 Sections 6.1.5 and
6.1.6.
The central frequency is simply the wavelength at
the peak emission or power level. Single- channel
systems use any central frequency within the operating wavelength range of the photonic system. The
central frequencies of multi-channel systems are
restricted to specific colors on a 50 GHz (0.4 nm) or
100 GHz 0.8 nm grid, beginning at 193.1 THz (see
the ITU-T Grid in Appendix C). The central
frequency is measured with an OSA or wavelength
meter.

Typical Test Configuration
Figure 9 shows a typical test setup for acquiring
central frequency from the emission spectrum of
high-speed transmission output interfaces.
Figure 10 is an example of a typical optical spectrum
analyzer display. The emission spectrum of a DWDM

system is shown. The OSA uses this display to
provide automatic measurements of central
frequency, central frequency deviation, spectral
width, and optical signal-to-noise ratio.

Transmitter

Optical
Spectrum
Analyzer

Pattern
Generator

Figure 9: Transmission test: emission spectrum.

Figure 10: OSA display used for measuring central frequency.

11

Measurement 1.3 – Central Frequency
Deviation
Standard:

Specified in G.692 Section 6.1.7.

Transmitter

Pattern
Generator

Optical
Spectrum
Analyzer

Central frequency deviation is defined as the difference between the nominal central frequency (see ITU
Grid in Appendix C) and the actual frequency. This
deviation can be caused by factors such as source
chirp, information bandwidth, broadening due to
self phase modulation (SPM), and effects due to
temperature and aging. Central frequency deviation
is measured with an OSA or wavelength meter.

Typical Test Configuration
Figure 11 shows a typical test setup for acquiring
central frequency deviation from the emission spectrum of high-speed transmission output interfaces.
Figure 12 is an example of a typical optical spectrum
analyzer display. The emission spectrum of a singlemode laser with a very narrow spectrum is shown.
The OSA uses this display to provide automatic
measurements of central frequency, central
frequency deviation, spectral width, and optical
signal-to-noise ratio.

Figure 11: Testing for central frequency deviation.

Figure 12: OSA display used for measuring central frequency deviation.

12

Measurement 1.4 – Spectral Width
Standards: Specified in G.957 Section 6.2.2, G.691
Section 6.2.1.1, and G.692 Section 6.1.1.
Spectral Width can be measured as the maximum
full width of the central wavelength peak in nanometers, typically measured 20 dB down from the
maximum amplitude of the central wavelength. It is
typically measured with an optical spectrum
analyzer.
Spectral width plays a role in determining the
distance over which different optical sources can be
used before mixing of adjacent frequencies begins to
distort the signal (chromatic dispersion).

which has a relatively wide spectrum (tens of
nanometers), a clear distinction is revealed.
The OSA uses this display to provide automatic
measurements of central frequency, central
frequency deviation, spectral width, and optical
signal-to-noise ratio.

Transmitter

Optical
Spectrum
Analyzer

Typical Test Configuration
Figure 13 shows a typical test setup for acquiring
spectral width from the emission spectrum of highspeed transmission output interfaces.
Figure 14 is an example of a typical optical spectrum
analyzer display. The emission spectrum of a singlemode laser with a very narrow spectrum is shown.
The spectral width is less than 2 nm at 20 dB down
from the peak emission. When compared to an LED,

Pattern
Generator

Figure 13: Transmission test: emission spectrum.

Figure 14: OSA display used to measure spectral width.

13

and G.1 dB. It can also be measured with an oscilloscope and an OE reference receiver.Measurement 1. Power is measured at the transmitter to determine how much power is being launched into the system. Optical Power Meter Optical Switch DUT Measurement Considerations The most important aspect of any optical power meter (as with all optical test equipment) is that it must operate within the wavelength range of interest. Measurement of mean launched power and sensitivity helps determine the available loss budget of your photonic systems.2.1) power levels are 8 dB to 10 dB lower than the Long Haul (L-16.2. Clock Out Figure 15: Testing for mean launched power. Power measurement is fundamental to all areas of optical characterization. measurement tolerances.1.2. Notice that the short haul (S-16. Data Out Typical Test Setup Pattern Generator Mean launched power is typically measured with a pattern generator such as a BERT or transmission tester. Minimum and maximum dB values are specified in order to provide a range of operation that allows for transmitter connector degradations. Having addressed this point. Ta b l e 7 : E x a m p l e m e a n l a u n c h e d p o w e r l e v e l s Standard SDH SDH SDH SONET SONET FC GE 14 Rate (Mbit/s 622 2488 2488 622 2488 1063 1200 Application S-4.3.957 Section 6. and any margin allotted for other potential problems within the system.1 L-16. G. FC (Fibre Channel) and GE (Gigabit Ethernet). but should only be a concern within the context of the measurements being made. It’s measured at the receiver end to test the system loss. Table 7 summarizes the different power levels for SDH. A power meter with sensitivity to –60 dBm is certainly accurate enough to make these measurements to better than 0. bypass switches (if installed).1) levels. A good benchtop power meter should be fully GPIB programmable for automated applications. and aging effects. while transmitting a pseudo-random bit stream (PRBS). But one should be careful not to equate sensitivity with quality. Over-specifying the power meter based upon sensitivity requirements can be costly. A typical test setup is shown in Figure 15.1 S-16. and a power meter.691 Section 6. Any uncertainty with the power measurement generally impacts the power budget directly. For instance.1 dB.2. Standards: Specified in G.692 Section 6. the accuracy of a power meter is next in importance. Sensitivity is sometimes a consideration with power meters.5 – Mean Launched Power splice and connector losses. A good optical power meter will have a power accuracy of better than ±0. Factors which can affect the loss budget include the attenuation of the fiber. Mean launched power is defined as the average power of the optical signal. in dBm. SONET.3 –7 0 –10 .1 SR OC-12 IR-1 OC-48 100-M5-SL-1 1000Base-SX Mean Launch Power (dBm) Maximum Minimum –8 –15 –8 –15 0 –5 –8 –15 0 –5 1. most optical communication systems are specified to operate at power levels greater than –40 dBm (100 nW).

1.2. dB/Div Side mode suppression ratio (Figure 16) is defined as the amplitude difference in dB between the main spectral component (central wavelength) and the largest side mode. G.691 Section 6.6 – Side Mode Suppression Ratio Standards: Specified in G.692 Section 6.3. Transmitter Optical Spectrum Analyzer Pattern Generator Figure 17: Testing for side mode suppression ratio. Side mode suppression ratio is measured with an optical spectrum analyzer.1.2.2. 15 .1. nm/Div Typical Test Configuration Figure 17 shows a typical test configuration for acquiring the side mode suppression ratio. and G.Measurement 1. Figure 16: Side mode suppression ratio.957 Section 6.

biased at the logic zero level (off state). Extinction ratio (EX) is a measure of the modulation depth of the source transmitter. it experiences turn-on delays and waveform distor- Logic 1 Level Optical Power (E1) Logic 0 Level Optical Power (E0) Figure 18: Measuring extinction ratio from an eye pattern. Consequently. It is not unusual to have several millivolts of offset.2. Measurement Considerations EX measurements are notoriously hard to make.7 – Extinction Ratio Standards: Specified in G.) Extinction ratio requires that the optical power levels be measured in absolute terms. they are not entirely opaque in a non-biased state.691 Section 6. This reduces extinction ratio. When a directly modulated laser. EX is measured with an oscilloscope and reference receiver with 4th-order Bessel-Thompson response with a 3 dB frequency at 3/4 of the bit rate.957 Section 6.Measurement 1. Theoretically. nor does it have a way to discriminate high from low – it can only measure average power. The only serious source of error is voltage offset and linearity in the O/E converter and oscilloscope. So the ideal laser bias point becomes a compromise between waveform fidelity and extinction ratio.4. EX affects the distance over which an optical system can reliably transmit and receive a signal.1. the laser should be biased so a small amount of power – near the threshold value – is transmitted with the logic zero. Figure 18 shows an extinction ratio measurement taken from an eye pattern. The resulting measurement is a ratio. EX relates the logic 1 power to the logic 0 power using the formula EX = 10 (log (E1 / E0 )) dB where E1 is the optical power of the logic 1 pulse and E0 is the optical power of the logic 0 pulse. G. it can seem as though an infinite EX is best because it produces maximum signal swing.3. therefore. which can translate into significant optical power measurement error. Adhering to the input power requirements of the O/E converter and oscilloscope can ensure that nonlinearity is minimized. EX is an average ratio typically measured while transmitting a PRBS. to ensure the calibration of the dark level of the measurement equipment before taking the EX measurement. and G. A power meter cannot be used because it does not have the bandwidth. But this is not practical in the real world. is turned on to transmit a logic 1. (Although externally modulated lasers don’t exhibit this problem.2. 16 tions that can cause transmission errors.692 Section 6.3. The level at which zero optical power is displayed on the oscilloscope must be known or calibrated to the zero reference. so gain error in conversion and responsivity do not need to be considered. . The EX measurement should be made on simulated traffic such as a PRBS (pseudo-random bit sequence) pattern. It is critical. An oscilloscope with an O/E converter is needed.

a difference of 10 microwatts can be the difference between failure and success in meeting the SONET OC-48/SDH STM-16 requirement of EX equal or greater than 8.1 SR OC-12 IR-1 OC-48 100-M5-SL-1 1000Base-SX Extinction Ratio (dB) 8.2 10 8.2 dB.2 6 9 Optical Power Meter Optical Switch DUT OE Reference Receiver Data Out Pattern Generator Clock Out Trigger In Oscilloscope Figure 19: Transmission testing: Extinction Ratio. The EX examples in Table 8 demonstrate the varying requirements of the different standards. Typical Test Configuration Figure 19 shows a typical test configuration for making extinction ratio measurements.2 8. 17 .For extinction ratio measurements.1 S-16.1 L-16.2 8. Ta b l e 8 : E x a m p l e s o f e x t i n c t i o n r at i o s p e c i f i c at i o n s Standard SDH SDH SDH SONET SONET FC GE Rate (Mbit/s) 622 2488 2488 622 2488 1063 1250 Application S-4.

With automated mask generation capabilities. which narrows the opening horizontally. which may provide information about potential problems. A wider vertical opening indicates more tolerance to noise. and jitter. When this happens. Again. ringing.2. the more tolerance the system will have to variations in the decision threshold or the timing of the clock signal. Notice that the specification no longer requires that the mask be centered between the data transitions. undershoot. the overall quality of the transmitted waveform can be assessed in one quick measurement. overshoot. This figure shows a mask violation. the better the performance of the system.5. near the center of the eye. The wider the opening. Eye diagrams can reveal a great deal of information about the communication system under test. 18 .4. the larger the opening at the center of the eye. This occurs at the decision point.1. you can often observe asymmetric rising and falling STM-16 OC-48 edges. and edited with today’s digital storage oscilloscopes. Standard Masks Figure 20 shows the mask for the higher bit rates of SDH STM-16 and SONET OC-36 to OC-48. G. They are especially useful for determining the amount of relative margin available for the accumulation of noise and jitter.2. By comparing an eye diagram against a predefined mask. which is normally halfway between eye crossings and somewhere near halfway between maximum and minimum signal amplitudes – in other words.8 – Eye Pattern Mask Standards: Specified in G. The keys to making valid measurements with eye diagrams are: • The trigger source. and the higher the bit error rate of the system. and G. Figure 21 is an example of what a practical eye diagram looks like with a limit mask superimposed. A wider horizontal opening indicates more tolerance to jitter. which is defined to be the same clock as that used for the data source • Use of accurate reference receivers Mask tests are performed with an oscilloscope and reference receiver with 4th-order Bessel-Thompson response with a 3 dB frequency at 3/4 of the bit rate. An eye diagram relates to system performance because a receiver must look at the incoming analog waveform and decide if the bit is high or low. Mask testing enables the characterization of rise time.4. Figure 22 shows the eye diagram without a mask violation. If the eye diagram has a wide transition region.25 0 X1 –Y1 Time (UI) Figure 20: SDH/SONET eye diagram mask. the wider the transition region.692 Section 6. In general. 1+Y1 1 1–Y1 Normalized Amplitude Y1 X1 = 0.957 Section 6. these instruments automatically adjust the vertical scaling of the waveform so it fits the mask. Another common problem that can be revealed with eye pattern testing is varying transition times caused by data pattern dependencies in the transmitter or receiver. restored.Measurement 1. the smaller the opening.20 Y1 = 0. noise.691 Section 6. fall time. there is excessive jitter in the system. Masks are easily saved.

19 . Figure 22: Practical eye diagram with no mask violation.Figure 21: Practical eye diagram with a mask violation.

an O/E converter with 3 to 5 times the bandwidth of the data rate will result in the best trade-off of these factors. Optical Power Meter Optical Switch DUT OE Reference Receiver Data Out Pattern Generator Clock Out Figure 23: Transmission testing: Eye pattern mask. In addition to O/E converter considerations. This test determines. Select a converter with enough bandwidth so that it doesn’t adversely affect your measurements. And. 20 Trigger In Oscilloscope . An optical reference receiver (with a precisely defined frequency response characteristic according to ITU-T specification G. Without calibrated gain. Be sure the O/E converter you use has enough gain to allow you to see your signals. Typically. Take care to select one that will let you examine your signal without introducing significant measurement errors. determining the signal amplitude is guesswork. Be aware. it should have the ability to simulate a wide range of data formats at multiple transmission rates.957) is applied to the signal under test and then the signal shape is examined using an oscilloscope. All high-bandwidth O/E converters will have some aberrations.Measurement Considerations As with all optical measurement tools. make sure the O/E converter you use operates in the appropriate wavelength range and provides adequate bandwidth. an O/E converter with a gain of 1 V/mW will result in a signal that is only perceptible with signal averaging. the signal generator you use for eye pattern mask measurements should provide high waveform quality with low jitter and noise. that as the bandwidth is increased. at a transmit interface. O/E converters with a calibrated gain specification can be used as pulse power meters and average reading power meters when used with digital storage oscilloscopes. however. If you are looking at a one microwatt optical signal on an oscilloscope with a noise floor of one millivolt. Two other factors are important when selecting an O/E converter: calibrated output level and aberrations. Typical Test Configuration Figure 23 shows a typical test configuration for eye pattern mask tests. amplification and sensitivity are reduced. whether the optical signal sent into the system is within specification.

and cause deterioration in transmission quality. is caused by slight changes in refractive index of the laser’s gain medium. Chirp occurs when the optical carrier signal’s wavelength shifts slightly during digital modulation (Figure 24).2. and a digital sampling oscilloscope. the sampling oscilloscope requires a waveform trigger signal. The sampling oscilloscope must also possess sufficient bandwidth to handle the measured frequencies. Zero-offset correction is necessary for the sampling oscilloscope before measuring chirp.2. leading to intersymbol interference in high-speed digital links. suitable averaging for the sampling oscilloscope should be selected to obtain the optimized S/N ratio. α Factor Standard: Specified in G. or fluctuation in optical frequency. fluctuation of the sampling oscilloscope and the incident light. Measurement repeatability depends on intensity Figure 24: Digital modulation and chirp. you should measure the sampling oscilloscope’s signal at an appropriate signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio. Optical power time Optical frequency time Measurement Considerations The time resolution of the chirp measurement depends on the sampling oscilloscope’s time resolution and the intensity of the incidental light. Chirp impacts dispersion behavior because optical sources exhibiting a large amount of chirp experience more rapid pulse-spreading (due to chromatic dispersion). Therefore. This will yield faster.9 — Source Chirp. an O/E converter.Measurement 1. the sampling oscilloscope’s waveform must be in the time-domain. which transforms optical frequency variations into detectable intensity variations. the measured chirp will include an offset error. An O/E converter with sufficient bandwidth is required to display the output on a sampling oscilloscope. Chirp will then generate group delay according to the chromatic dispersion characteristics in the optical transmission line. more accurate measurements. distort the waveform of the light signal. Also.691 Section 6. Chirp. (The digital sampling oscilloscope typically offers a higher bandwidth (DC to 50 GHz) for repetitive communications signals than does the digital storage oscilloscope (DSO)). MachZehnder). The chirp test set should include an automatic polarization state controller that determines the optimum polarization level for chirp measurements. 21 . The laser chirp specification is needed to control and describe optical signal phase behavior when modulated and minimize dispersion of the laser source. The source frequency chirp factor (α parameter or α factor) is the relationship between the optical phase of the signal and the power level. Finally.1. The optical signal’s phase can be used to optimize system behavior by employing chirpinduced pulse compression. Chirp measurements are performed at the transmitter using a two-beam interferometer (for example. For the chirp measurement. It can also be used to modify optical power-induced non-linearities. If zero-offset is not corrected.

The oscilloscope is triggered by a frame sync signal from the clock recovered from the optical signal. Typical Test Configuration PC DUT EDFA Chirp Test Set O/E Converter Data Out Pattern Generator Clock Out Figure 25: Testing for chirp (refer to ITU-T G.691. “R. the optical output of the transmitter under test should be connected at a reference point to the two-beam interferometer (e. scope.g. which are in loop-back mode. According to G.Figure 25 shows the recommended test configuration for chirp measurements. The output of the interferometer is connected to the O/E converter and the electrical signal out is recorded by the digital sampling oscillo- A fraction of the light from the source is coupled back to the SDH terminal’s receiver port. MachZehnder). 22 Trigger In Sampling Oscilloscope .” in order to keep the transmitter turned on during the measurement. A 223 – 1 PRBS data generator is connected to the SDH network element’s trib ports.691)..

The emission spectrum of a singlemode laser with a very narrow spectrum is shown.2.Measurement 1. Optical Spectrum Analyzer Transmitter Pattern Generator Typical Test Configuration Figure 26 shows a typical test setup for acquiring spectral width from the emission spectrum of high speed transmission output interfaces. 23 .4.691 Section 6. Expressed as mW/MHz. Spectral power density is defined as the highest time-averaged power level per 10 MHz interval anywhere in the modulated signal spectrum. This parameter is monitored to minimize loss due to Brillouin scattering for high-power sources with potentially narrow inherent line widths. Figure 26: Transmission test: Spectral power density. Vert: –dBm/nm Horiz: nm/Div Figure 27: A typical optical spectrum analyzer display. spectral power density is measured with an optical spectrum analyzer. The OSA uses this spectrum to provide automatic measurement of spectral power density.10 – Spectral Power Density Standard: Specified in G.1. Figure 27 is an example of a typical optical spectrum analyzer display.

691 Section 6. The bottom of the screen shows signal-to-noise ratios for different optical wavelengths. optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) is expressed in dB and can be measured with an OSA. Optical Spectrum Analyzer . The emission spectrum of a singlemode laser with a very narrow spectrum is shown.5.11 – Optical Signal-ToNoise Ratio Standard: Specified in G.2. Defined as the ratio of the optical signal power to the optical noise power. 24 Typical Test Configuration Figure 28 shows a typical test setup for acquiring OSNR from the emission spectrum of high-speed transmission output interfaces. Figure 29: A typical optical spectrum analyzer display. Figure 29 is an example of a typical optical spectrum analyzer display.Measurement 1. Transmitter Pattern Generator Figure 28: Acquiring OSNR. The OSNR ratio is specified to ascertain that any optical amplifier used at the transmitter side does not generate a signal that is inherently too noisy to be recovered with the required BER of less than 10 to 12.

Figure 30: Eye pattern for Q-factor testing. Figure 31 shows a typical test configuration for Q-factor tests. 25 . Q-factor is defined as Typical Test Configuration Q = (µ1 – µ0 )/(σ0 + σ1) σ1 and σ0 are the respective standard deviations.Measurement 1. the measurement is made using an oscilloscope and reference receiver to measure the signal vs. the noise in the signal. Where: µ1 and µ0 are the mean signal levels of level 1 and level 0 Q-factor is also derived from a measurement of the eye pattern signal (Figure 30). like extinction ratio.12 — Q-Factor the ratio of peak-to-peak signal to total noise (conventionally electrical): Q-factor (Quality factor) is a measurement of electrical signal to noise ratio that can be done at the optical amplifier or receiver. The optical signal is converted to a DC voltage and. Optical Power Meter Optical Switch DUT OE Reference Receiver Data Out Pattern Generator Clock Out Trigger In Oscilloscope Figure 31: Transmission testing: Q-factor.

26 .

691 section G. A tunable laser source. Channel output power is the mean launched optical power including amplified spontaneous emission (ASE). It is expressed in dBm while transmitting a pseudo-random bit stream (PRBS). Typical Test Configuration A number of instrument configurations can be used to characterize the channel output power of multichannel I/Os. The measurements in this section apply to both the transmit and receive sides of the photonic network.Channel Input/Output Interfaces Figure 32: Multi-channel input/output interfaces.6.3.3 6. All of these measurements are relatively new requirements because a DWDM system takes different channels (or colors of light) and combines them into a single light stream that runs through the fiber.957 section Standards G.3.5 6. represents the ultimate in a wavelengthselective source. or use a wavelength-selective source with a broadband receiver.c h a n n e l i n p u t / o u t p u t i n t e r fa c e s Required Measurements Channel output power Total launched power Per channel OSNR Maximum channel power difference Optical crosstalk G. Ta b l e 9 : R e q u i r e d m e a s u r e m e n t s f o r m u lt i . It is possible to combine a broadband source with a wavelength-selective receiver.7.4 & 6.1 — Channel Output Power Standard: Specified in G. Their optical properties usually depend directly on wavelength.3.2 6. so accurate characterization will be achieved with a stimulus/response test setup using an optical spectrum analyzer as a wavelength-selective receiver. The optical performance of the entire link can be bounded by using this set of parameters.3.Measurement Section 2 – Multi.692 Section 6.1 27 . DWDM systems require a number of optical components to combine or separate channels.6. with its picometer resolution.4 & 6.692 section 6. Required Measurements Table 9 itemizes the measurements for multi-channel input/output interfaces in single.and multi-channel systems as required by the SONET/SDH standards. and is typically measured with a pattern generator such as a BERT or transmission tester and a power meter.3.3 6. Measurement 2.2.

etc. per channel OSNR. This waveform is used to measure channel output power. is achieved by calibrating the OSA with the tunable laser and the wavelength meter. total launched power.) • Accurate SNR measurements The wavelength meter should provide: • Wavelength accuracy and stability • Multi-channel display • High resolution ∆P Figure 34 shows the typical output from an optical spectrum analyzer when testing multi-channel input/output interfaces. Measurement Considerations This basic test setup forms a stimulus and response system for the device under test.The test setup in Figure 33 uses a tunable laser source and an optical spectrum analyzer to achieve the best wavelength selectivity. necessary for the precise measurement of bandwidth and band edges. and optical crosstalk. noise figure. 28 D U T Optical Spectrum Analyzer Wavelength Meter . Pn Width @ –3 dB Width @ –10 dB Important characteristics to look for when selecting a tunable laser include: • Broad wavelength range • High output power • Accurate and stable power • Accurate and stable wavelength • Modulation (at high and low frequencies) • No mode hopping OSNR Width @ –20 dB ∆λ λn λn+1 Figure 34: Multi-channel measurements. coherence. Brodadband Light Source Polarization Controller Tunable Laser Figure 33: Channel output power test setup. Absolute wavelength accuracy. Features to look for in the optical spectrum analyzer include: • Measurement time (scan rate) • Instrument calibration • Wavelength stability and accuracy • Application specific measurements (pulse. maximum channel power difference. The broadband light source is the stimulus. gain. The optical spectrum analyzer serves as a wavelength-selective receiver. The polarization controller characterizes polarization dependencies of the DWDM component being tested.

Total launched power is the total power of all channels at the transmitter. ∆P Pn Width @ –3 dB The optical spectrum analyzer serves as a wavelength-selective receiver. Important characteristics to look for when selecting a tunable laser include: • Broad wavelength range • High output power • Accurate and stable power • Accurate and stable wavelength • Modulation (at high and low frequencies) • No mode hopping Features to look for in the optical spectrum analyzer include: • Measurement time (scan rate) • Instrument calibration • Wavelength stability and accuracy • Application specific measurements (pulse. Width @ –10 dB OSNR Width @ –20 dB Figure 36 shows the typical output from an optical spectrum analyzer when testing multi-channel input/output interfaces.3. 29 .3. The broadband light source is the stimulus. It is typically measured with a pattern generator such as a BERT or transmission tester and a power meter. or use a wavelengthselective source with a broadband receiver. The polarization controller characterizes polarization dependencies of the DWDM component being tested. Example Test Configuration A number of possible instrument configurations can be used to characterize the total launched power. coherence.Measurement 2. and optical crosstalk. necessary for the precise measurement of bandwidth and band edges. noise figure. Absolute wavelength accuracy. per channel OSNR. The test setup in Figure 35 uses a light source and a power meter to achieve the best wavelength selectivity. total launched power. with its picometer resolution. while transmitting a pseudo-random bit stream (PRBS). Brodadband Light Source Polarization Controller D U T Power Meter Figure 35: Total launched power test setup. etc. represents the ultimate in a wavelength-selective source. ∆λ λn λn+1 Figure 36: Multi-channel measurements.692 Section 6. gain. This waveform is used to measure channel output power. maximum channel power difference. in dBm. It is possible to combine a broadband source with a wavelength-selective receiver. is achieved by calibrating the OSA with the tunable laser and the wavelength meter. A tunable laser source.) • Accurate SNR measurements And the wavelength meter should provide: • Wavelength accuracy and stability • Multi-channel display • High resolution Measurement Considerations This basic test setup forms a stimulus and response system for the device under test.2 — Total Launched Power Standard: Specified in G.

This waveform is used to measure channel output power. and optical crosstalk. Width @ –20 dB Measurement Considerations ∆λ This basic test setup forms a stimulus and response system for the device under test. necessary for the precise measurement of bandwidth and band edges is achieved by calibrating the OSA with the tunable laser and the wavelength meter. Optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) is defined as the ratio of the optical signal power to the optical noise power. OSNR is typically expressed in dB as the minimum value required to obtain 10–12 BER. Brodadband Light Source Polarization Controller Tunable Laser Figure 37: Per channel OSNR test setup. Figure 38 shows the typical output from an optical spectrum analyzer when testing multi-channel input/output interfaces. A tunable laser source.3.692 Sections 6. 30 D U T Optical Spectrum Analyzer Wavelength Meter . It is possible to combine a broadband source with a wavelength-selective receiver. and is measured using a pattern generator such as a BERT or with a transmission tester. Typical Test Configuration A number of possible instrument configurations can be used to characterize the per channel OSNR.6. and an error detector. λn λn+1 Figure 38: Multi-channel measurements. or use a wavelengthselective source with a broadband receiver. represents the ultimate in a wavelength-selective source. per channel OSNR. with its picometer resolution.3. ∆P Pn Width @ –3 dB Width @ –10 dB OSNR The test setup in Figure 37 uses a tunable laser source and an optical spectrum analyzer to achieve the best wavelength selectivity. Requirements for per channel OSNR are currently under study. Standards: Specified in G. Absolute wavelength accuracy. total launched power.3 – Per Channel OSNR The optical spectrum analyzer serves as a wavelength-selective receiver. maximum channel power difference.Measurement 2. a power meter. The polarization controller characterizes polarization dependencies of the DWDM component being tested. an attenuator. The broadband light source is the stimulus.4 & 6.

necessary for the precise measurement of bandwidth and band edges. Figure 40 shows the typical output from an optical spectrum analyzer when testing multi-channel input/output interfaces. It is possible to combine a broadband source with a wavelength-selective receiver. total launched power. The broadband light source is the stimulus. Absolute wavelength accuracy. represents the ultimate in a wavelengthselective source. It is expressed in dB and can be measured with a high-accuracy optical spectrum analyzer.692 Section 6. OSNR Width @ –20 dB Measurement Considerations This basic test setup forms a stimulus and response system for the device under test. Typical Test Configuration A number of possible instrument configurations can be used to characterize the maximum channel power difference. and optical crosstalk. with its picometer resolution. 31 .Measurement 2.4 – Maximum Channel Power Difference Standard: The optical spectrum analyzer serves as a wavelength-selective receiver.5. The polarization controller characterizes polarization dependencies of the DWDM component being tested. Brodadband Light Source Polarization Controller Tunable Laser D U T Optical Spectrum Analyzer Wavelength Meter Figure 39: Maximum channel power difference test setup. Specified in G. A tunable laser source. This waveform is used to measure channel output power. Maximum channel power difference is defined as the maximum difference in channel power between the largest value of channel launch power and the smallest value present at the same time within a given optical resolution bandwidth.3. It is independent of the number of channels. is achieved by calibrating the OSA with the tunable laser and the wavelength meter. ∆λ λn λn+1 Figure 40: Multi-channel measurements. ∆P Pn Width @ –3 dB Width @ –10 dB The test setup in Figure 39 uses a tunable laser source and an optical spectrum analyzer to achieve the best wavelength selectivity. or use a wavelength-selective source with a broadband receiver. per channel OSNR. maximum channel power difference.

It is possible to combine a broadband source with a wavelength-selective receiver.Measurement 2. The polarization controller characterizes polarization dependencies of the DWDM component being tested. 32 D U T Optical Spectrum Analyzer Wavelength Meter . or use a wavelengthselective source with a broadband receiver. and optical crosstalk.692 Sections 6. total launched power. This waveform is used to measure channel output power. relative to the nominal signal power level in the desired channel.5 – Optical Crosstalk Standards: Specified in G. A tunable laser source.6.7. maximum channel power difference. using an optical spectrum analyzer. racy. represents the ultimate in a wavelength-selective source. Absolute wavelength accu- ∆λ λn λn+1 Figure 42: Multi-channel measurements. is achieved by calibrating the OSA with the tunable laser and the wavelength meter.1. Figure 42 shows the typical output from an optical spectrum analyzer when testing multi-channel input/output interfaces. The broadband light source is the stimulus.4 and 6. with its picometer resolution. Typical Test Configuration A number of possible instrument configurations can be used to characterize optical crosstalk. Optical crosstalk is defined as the ratio of the combined total disturbing power due to the signal power from all other channels. necessary for the precise measurement of bandwidth and band edges. ∆P Pn Width @ –3 dB Width @ –10 dB The test setup in Figure 41 uses a tunable laser source and an optical spectrum analyzer to achieve the best wavelength selectivity. OSNR Width @ –20 dB Measurement Considerations This basic test setup forms a stimulus and response system for the device under test. The optical spectrum analyzer serves as a wavelength-selective receiver. Brodadband Light Source Polarization Controller Tunable Laser Figure 41: Optical crosstalk test setup. per channel OSNR. It is measured at the transmitter and at the receiver and is expressed in dB.

4.2.3. new requirements are now in place because of nonlinear processes encountered at higher speeds.3.691 section 6.957 section 6.4.2 6.1.3 6.692 section 6.3 33 . return loss. & 6. dispersion.4.3. Ta b l e 1 0 : R e q u i r e d m e a s u r e m e n t s f o r t h e o p t i c a l pat h Required Measurements Attenuation range Chromatic dispersion Optical return loss Discrete reflectance Polarization-mode dispersion G.3 6.Measurement Section 3 – Optical Path Figure 43: Optical path.2 6.3 G.2 6. A common core of parameters exists across different system types – attenuation. Required Measurements Table 10 itemizes the optical path measurements for single. and reflectance.2.4.3 Standards G.3. The accelerating deployment of 10-Gbit/s systems now makes Polarization Mode Dispersion a critical optical path measurement. Optical path parameters specifically relate to the optical fiber in the system.3.1 6.3.2.4 6. 6.1 6.1 6. While it has always been necessary to verify these performance parameters.and multi-channel systems as required by the SONET/SDH standards.2.3.3.3.4 6. The polarization-mode dispersion measurement is a new requirement for high-speed multi-channel systems.3.3.

4. Possible causes of attenuation include: • Scattering loss – caused by microscopic imperfections in the fiber.1.957 Section 6. Test configuration is shown in Figure 45. we can measure a very short spectral interval. The Rayleigh scattering limit says that the minimum scattering theoretically achievable is a function of wavelength (1/λ4). and G.1.691 Section 6. . Attenuation.3. Figure 45: Attenuation test setup.692 Section 6. is primarily a function of the central wavelength. 34 • Splice loss – the fiber’s core must be aligned within 1 degree or less for connection loss to be minimized. G.1 – Attenuation Range Standards: Specified in G. as shown in Figure 3. measured in dB.3.Measurement 3.2. • Bend loss – caused by bending the fiber up to and beyond the critical angle Typical Test Configuration The attenuation range is measured using a tunable laser for stimulus and a power meter for measurement. Scattering decreases as wavelength is increased. In this way.1. • Absorption loss – caused by the conversion of light to heat Figure 44: Optical attenuation as a function of wavelength.

This measurement is repeated at intervals throughout the wavelength range. It is measured as picoseconds per nanometer of spectral width and kilometer of propagation (ps/nm/km).2.652 fiber has a lower dispersion factor. dispersion will be 7. ITU-T standard G. Four-wave mixing can cause the various wavelengths present in WDM networks to interact with each other.Measurement 3. this characteristic results in the steady growth of nonlinear component effects. Chromatic dispersion is defined as the rate of change of the group delay with wavelength.655.5 ps). interferometric. however.2 ps/nm/km. The signal is detected and the phase of its modulation is measured in relation to the electrical modulation source. Measurement Consideration A number of methods can be used for measuring chromatic dispersion including: modulation phase shift. The fiber that is recommended by G. NZD fiber introduces a small but significant amount of dispersion (typically a few ps/nm/km).3.2. Figure 46 shows the maximum dispersion coefficient characteristics for a fiber used in SDH and SONET transmissions. suppressing the growth of nonlinear component effects.5 Gbit/s and above. G.3.5 ps/nm/km. Because the time interval between consecutive pulses gets shorter as bit rate increases. 6.3. A typical 1550 nm source will experience delay variations between wavelengths of 0.3. recommended for use in DWDM systems.2.691 Sections 6. which causes the pulse to spread out as it travels down the fiber. This dispersion causes the wavelength phase relationships to constantly change.692 Section 6. This is why the G. If the fiber char- 35 .075 ps/nm/km x 1 nm x 100 km = 7. Dispersion (pulse distortion) is a function of spectral width and fiber transmission characteristics. starts to become a serious problem at 2. However. 6. The ideal case is to have a zero dispersion coefficient. whereas the dispersion-shifted fiber recommended by G. In the modulation phase shift method.2 – Chromatic Dispersion Standards: Specified in G. the output of a narrowband.5 ps for a 100 km distance (0. differential phase shift. It takes advantage of the lower attenuation rate at 1550 nm without incurring a serious dispersion penalty.2.653 has a maximum dispersion coefficient at 1550 nm of about 2. and pulse delay. Such nonlinear optical effects have led to the introduction of non-zero dispersion (NZD) fiber – G. G. Chromatic dispersion is the variation in the speed of propagation (the spreading of pulses) of the different wavelength components within the spectral width of a signal.653 fiber is significant.957 Section 6. Chromatic dispersion can be compensated for in various ways or the signal can be regenerated to nullify its effects. So if its spectral width is 1 nm (typical for single-longitudinal-mode lasers). The chromatic dispersion coefficient is the typical spreading of pulses from a given source. As optical power levels and unregenerated distances are increased in wavelengthdivision multiplexed (WDM) networks.653) ensures that the wavelength phase relationships remain constant along the fiber.691 additionally specifies maximum and minimum values.4.652 has a maximum dispersion coefficient at 1310 nm of about 1. the attenuation over a distance is about 2 times that found at 1550 nm.2. tunable laser is intensity modulated and applied to the fiber under test. The very low chromatic dispersion present in conventional dispersion-shifted fiber (such as G. for example.1.2. and G.653 is not. optical lightwave degradation effects such as four-wave mixing can impair system operation. Although the G.075 ps/nm/km. chromatic dispersion.

Measurement error can be affected by thermal transients in the fiber under test and the test setup. the total chromatic dispersion will be linear along the length of the fiber. Therefore. Wavelength accuracy is important in such tests because the actual phase shift is proportional to the wavelength step. . the fiber length varies with temperature.acteristics remain consistent. For example. 36 Test Setup For Chromatic Dispersion Loss Measurements Chromatic dispersion is measured using a tunable laser source and wavelength meter. a broadband light source and an optical spectrum analyzer. causing a change in group delay. or a chromatic dispersion measurement instrument. Three measurement configurations are shown in Figure 47. Figure 47: Chromatic dispersion test setup. maintaining a consistent temperature for the fiber and measurement setup will yield more accurate results.

G.3. which uses a continuous or modulated narrowband (tunable) light source with a power meter. Optical Continuous-Wave Reflectometry (OCWR). It is Figure 49 shows a typical test setup to measure discrete reflectance using an OTDR.691 Section 6. G.957 6. 37 .3. Typical Test Setup Figure 48 shows a typical test setup to measure optical return loss using an OTDR. Standards: Specified in G. expressed in dB.691 Section 6. Figure 49: Discrete reflectance test setup.3 – Optical Return Loss Standards: Specified in G.3.692 Section 6. Optical return loss.957 Section 6. is defined as the difference in power of the transmitter output and the reflections back from the target device and the optical path itself.3. Typical Test Setup Discrete reflectance is the maximum discrete reflectance between the transmitter and receiver. and G.4. Optical Time-Domain Reflectometers (OTDRs) are commonly used to measure optical return loss.3. OTDRs are commonly used to measure reflectance. and G. Measurement 3. Figure 48: Optical return loss test setup.4.4.3.692 Section 6.3. can also be used.4. OCWR is another method for measuring discrete reflectance.4 – Discrete Reflectance expressed in dB.3.Measurement 3. and is primarily a measure of connector reflectance.

etc. polarization filter. although the average PMD is well understood. 38 A number of different test setups may be used for measuring PMD. While chromatic dispersion is relatively stable. PMD is difficult to compensate for in real systems because. temperature. PMD is significant and must be considered for successful network operation. PMD introduces randomly varying delay in the optical signal. At rates above STM-64. as with chromatic dispersion. Figure 50: Polarization-dependent loss test setup. Polarization mode dispersion (PMD) is caused by cylindrical asymmetry due to manufacturing. .691 Section 6.1 dB. The resulting difference in propagation time between the modes is called differential group delay.2. PDL of many optical devices is less than 0.5 – Polarization-Mode Dispersion Standard: Specified in G. polarizer. Test systems might include: • Broadband source. is a distorted pulse which carries with it path penalties as the eye opening is decreased.3.3.01 dB level of measuring accuracy. in the optical fiber that lead to birefringence. polarization filters. Measurement Considerations Today. PMD is the effect where signal energy at a given wavelength is resolved into two orthogonal polarization modes of slightly different propagation velocity.Measurement 3. Advanced measurement systems are able to offer this accuracy level with newly developed low PDL multi-power meters. PMD is not. The result. This system can also be used for canceling passive dispersion loss on a DUT so that its insertion loss and gain may be adjusted or evaluated in real time. PMD analyzer. a measurement system must be able to offer ±0. When testing such low PDL devices. bends. and computer with specific software • Laser source. and analyzer Test Setup For Polarization-Dependent Loss Measurement Figure 50 shows a typical test setup for polarizationdependent Loss (PDL) measurements. Because a property of fiber is that it transmits different polarization states at different group velocities. the instantaneous PMD can vary substantially and unpredictably from the average. and optical spectrum analyzer • Tunable laser.

and reshaped. each channel had to be regenerated separately at various points along the path.691 Standards G.5. So. An optical amplifier. The signal was cleaned up. making multi-channel systems expensive.2 6. All of these measurements are new high-speed multi-channel requirements. at various points along the path. retimed.1 6. by contrast. Required Measurements Table 11 itemizes the optical amplifier measurements for single.5.5. In the past. adding a single optical amplifier per fiber.4 6. multi-channel systems without huge installation and maintenance cost penalties.661 Yes 39 . At each regeneration point.4 G.and multi-channel systems as required by the SONET/SDH standards.Measurement Section 4 – Optical Amplifiers Figure 51: Optical amplifier.6 IEC 61291-4 3.5. amplifies every channel moving through it without requiring any optical-electrical conversions at all.2 3. then converted back to optical to be retransmitted. allows the operator to implement wide.5. Ta b l e 1 1 : R e q u i r e d m e a s u r e m e n t s f o r o p t i c a l a m p l i f i e r s Required Measurements Gain variation Gain tilt Gain difference Total received power Total launched power Spontaneous noise figure G.5. Advances in optical amplifier technology have made wavelength division multiplexing possible.692 6. This required one regenerator per channel.5 3.3 6.5 6. the signal had to be converted from optical to electrical.957 G.

Test Setups For Optical Amplifier Testing Figure 52 illustrates optical amplifier measurements made with an optical spectrum analyzer. and spontaneous noise figure. Coupler Optical Spectrum Analyzer Tunable Laser Coupler Optical Amplifier Tunable Laser Tunable Laser Figure 53: Optical amplifier test setup. gain tilt. Measurement Considerations For Testing Gain Variation • • • • • Wavelength tuning range Stable optical source Measurement resolution Measurement repeatability Sync and modulation of laser source Tunable Laser Another method to characterize the gain shape and peak is to use a broadband source in conjunction with the tunable laser. total launched power. gain difference.Figure 52: Optical amplifier measurements. The noise gain profile is calculated as the difference between the laser source with the broadband source switched on and off. total received power. Figure 53 shows a test setup for optical amplifier multi-channel testing of gain variation. 40 Coupler Polarization Controller .

692 Section 6. so the signal will beat only with those ASE components in the same polarization as the signal.661. Since the ASE is typically unpolarized.5.692 Section 6.692 Section 6. Figure 54 shows a test setup for acquiring the optical amplifier noise-gain profile. 41 . is defined as the difference between the channel gains of any two channels in a specified multi-channel configuration. only one-half will contribute to the sig-sp beat noise density.4. expressed in dB.2 – Gain Tilt Standards: Specified in G.5. Defined in G.5.5 Gain tilt.3 – Gain Difference Standards: Specified in G. This noise is unavoidable in EDFA-based systems and is one of the primary noise contributions in optically amplified communications systems.5. It is the ratio of gain change in each channel to the gain change at a reference channel as input conditions are varied from one set of input channels to a second set of input channels.3 and IEC 61291-4 Section 3.6 – Spontaneous Noise Figure Standards: Specified in G.2 Gain variation. The total launched power is the maximum mean power at the output of the optical amplifier.692 Section 6. The mixing product is polarization dependent. Tr ig Optical Spectrum Analyzer Coupler Broadband Light Source Optical Amplifier Figure 54: Optical amplifier noise-gain profile. It is measured using a broadband power meter. Measurement 4. It is analogous to the case of two frequencies beating in a heterodyne mixer to generate a difference frequency. Measurement 4.1 and IEC 61291-4 Section 3.5 – Total Launched Power Standard: Measurement 4.692 Section 6.5.6.5. Measurement 4. is the change or tilt in the amplifier gain spectrum that occurs when wavelength channels are added or dropped.5.Tunable Laser Ext. is the difference of change in gain in one channel with respect to the change in gain of another channel for two specified sets of channel input powers. The spontaneous noise figure is a calculation based upon the intensity fluctuations caused by interference between signal light and ASE (Amplified Spontaneous Emission).2 and IEC 61291-4 Section 3.4 – Total Received Power Standard: Measurement 4. Measurement 4. Specified in G. Specified in G.692 Section 6. The total received power is the maximum mean power at the input of the optical amplifier. divided by the base broadband source without the laser source. for a specified channel allocation. expressed in dB per dB.4 Gain difference.1 – Gain Variation Standards: Specified in G. It is measured using a broadband power meter.

42 .

Receiver sensitivity is defined as the value of average optical power at the receiver at which the minimum acceptable BER is achieved.2 6. jitter. The new receiver input specifications indicate that the bit error requirements have tightened by two orders of magnitude.1 6.4. a transmission tester.1 6. from 1x10–10 to 1x10–12.957 6.4.7. Bit Error Rate (BER) is the primary performance parameter to be considered when the optical layer is terminated and the service is delivered.3 6. This is intended to ensure that high-speed systems operate at a higher level of quality.692 section 6.4 6. and OSNR are new requirements for high-speed multi-channel systems.and multi-channel systems as required by the SONET/SDH standards. Ta b l e 1 2 : R e q u i r e d m e a s u r e m e n t s f o r r e c e i v e r i n p u t s Required Measurements Sensitivity for 10–10 BER Sensitivity for 10–12 BER Overload for 10–10 BER Overload for 10–12 BER Reflectance Optical crosstalk Optical signal-to-noise ratio G.4.691 section G. The measurements for sensitivity for 10–12 BER.1 Standards G. a power meter. Receiver sensitivity does not take into account power penalties associated with dispersion.8. overload for 10–12 BER. or reflections.8.2 6.957 section 6. an attenuator. optical crosstalk.2 6.4.1.1 6.Measurement Section 5 – Receiver Input Interfaces Figure 55: Receiver input. and an error detector. and is measured using an optical source such as a tunable laser (modulated with a BERT). Required Measurements Table 12 itemizes the receiver input interface measurements for single.8.5 43 . All SONET and SDH single-channel systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–10.4. these are specified separately in the optical path penalty budget. Measurement 5.1 – Sensitivity for 10–10 BER Standard: Specified in G. Receiver sensitivity is specified in terms of dBm.4.4.

Ta b l e 1 3 : R e c e i v e r s e n s i t i v i t y l e v e l s Standard Rate (Mbit/s) SDH 622 SDH 2488 SDH 2488 SONET 622 SONET 2488 FC 1063 GE 1250 1E 00 1E-02 1E-04 1E-06 log(BER) Application S-4. power).1 equipment must operate with a BER less than 1E-10 for power levels of –26 dBm. Fibre Channel.1 and G. or 2. It would take “only” 20 seconds to acquire 10 errors at 1E-9 but would require 2. the optical power is measured and the data pair is recorded. The BER changes quickly for small changes in optical power in the region where BER is less than 1E-4. Table 13 provides examples of receiver sensitivity specifications. a power meter.7 minutes for a 622 Mbit/s signal at 1E-10. the values of BER between 1E-4 and 1E-9 require dwell times less than two seconds. This power level is only a few microwatts. the attenuator is adjusted until a desired BER is achieved.1 S-16. As the lower BER values are found. the measurement time (dwell time) increases significantly.4. and an error detector. notice the variations in Min Power level.2 – Sensitivity for 10–12 BER Standards: Specified in G. Although most SONET and SDH single-channel systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–10. 44 –26 With a bit rate of 622 Mbit/s. an attenuator. For a BER of 1E-10. After a desired BER is found. and is measured using an optical source such as a tunable laser (modulated with a BERT).692 6. For the BERmax listed in the table. Higher BER values are found quickly as the time required to detect the error is very short. multi-channel and 10 Gbit/s systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–12. It is common to dwell for ten times this length in order to get a reasonable measurement result with a Bit Error Rate Tester.1 L-16. These steps are repeated until sufficient data pairs are found and plotted. SDH L-16.8. at –13 dBm (about 50 microwatts). the time to transmit ten billion bits is 16 seconds. Figure 56 shows the typical relationship of BER and average optical power. Measuring Receiver Sensitivity When characterizing the receiver sensitivity. Sensitivity for 10–12 is still specified in terms of dBm. a transmission tester.691 6.1. This will allow the upper portion of the curve to be plotted quickly. Notice that the BER is plotted on a log scale.1 SR OC-12 IR-1 OC-48 100-M5-SL-1 1000Base-SX BERmax Min Power (dBm) 10–10 –28 10–10 –18 10–10 –26 10–10 –18 10–10 –18 10–12 –13 10–12 –17 1E-08 1E-10 1E-12 1E-14 –34 –33 –32 –31 –30 –29 –28 –27 Average Optical Power (dBm) Figure 56: Typical receiver sensitivity behavior (BER vs. operates at a much higher power but the BER must not exceed 1E-12. .8 hours at 1E-12. the acceptable error rate is 1E-12.Measurement 5. For Fibre Channel or Gigabit Ethernet.

Repeat to characterize Optical Switch Optical Power Meter Optical Attenuator DUT Laser Error Detection Pattern Generator Figure 57: Receiver Sensitivity BER test setup. Record optical power and BER 6. Adjust optical attenuator until BER target is achieved 4. Choose BER target 2. Recommended Test Procedure 1.Test Setup For Receiver Sensitivity BER Measurements Figure 57 shows a typical test setup for receiver sensitivity measurements in single-channel and multi-channel systems. Connect laser transmitter to power meter 5. Connect laser transmitter to device under test 3. 45 .

Receiver overload is also specified in terms of dBm.4 – Overload For 10–12 BER Standard: Standard: Specified in G.1 SR OC-12 IR-1 OC-48 100-M5-SL-1 1000Base-SX BERmax Min Power (dBm) 10–10 –8 10–10 0 10–10 –10 10–10 –8 10–10 0 10–12 1. and is measured using an optical source such as a tunable laser (modulated with a BERT).3 – Overload For 10–10 BER Measurement 5. multi-channel and 10 Gbit/s systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–12.691 6.2. a transmission tester.957 6. a power meter. Receiver overload is defined as the value of average optical power at the receiver at which the minimum acceptable BER is still maintained.4. jitter. the error rate increases quickly as the receiver overload point is reached. or reflections. log(BER) 1E-08 1E-10 Figure 58 shows that.692 6. an attenuator. in a similar way to receiver sensitivity. a power meter. an attenuator. 1E-12 1E-14 –4 –3 –2 –1 0 1 2 3 Average Optical Power (dBm) Figure 58: Typical overload behavior.2 and G.1 S-16. all SONET and SDH single-channel systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–10 and do not take into account power penalties associated with dispersion. Although most SONET and SDH single-channel systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–10.Measurement 5.1 L-16. and is measured using an optical source such as a tunable laser (modulated with a BERT). and an error detector.2.3 10–12 0 Receiver overload behavior can be characterized and tested using the same methods as used for receiver sensitivity testing.8. Overload for 10–12 is still specified in terms of dBm. a transmission tester. Like receiver sensitivity.4. and an error detector. 4 . 46 Specified in G. 1E 00 1E-02 1E-04 1E-06 Ta b l e 1 4 : E x a m p l e s o f o v e r l o a d l e v e l s Standard Rate (Mbit/s) SDH 622 SDH 2488 SDH 2488 SONET 622 SONET 2488 FC 1063 GE 1250 Application S-4.

Measurement Considerations For Testing Optical Receivers • Accurate power meter • Continuously adjustable attenuator • High output power laser (E/O) – Output Power = Max DUT Overload 1 dB for adjustment range 2 dB for attenuator insertion loss 0. Connect laser transmitter to power meter 5.measured and the data pair is recorded. Recommended Test Procedure Test Setup For Receiver Overload BER Measurements Figure 59 shows a typical test setup for receiver overload measurements in single-channel and multichannel systems. These steps are repeated until sufficient data pairs are found and plotted. Record optical power and BER 6. 47 . This will allow the upper portion of the curve to be plotted quickly. low-loss switch Higher BER values are found quickly as the time required to detect the error is very short. Repeat to characterize Optical Switch Optical Power Meter Optical Attenuator DUT Laser Error Detection Pattern Generator Figure 59: Receiver overload BER test setup. the optical power is 1. the measurement time (dwell time) increases significantly. As the lower BER values are found. the attenuator is adjusted until a desired BER is achieved.5 dB for each switch • Repeatable. Adjust optical attenuator until BER target is achieved 4. Connect laser transmitter to device under test 3. When characterizing the receiver overload. Choose BER target 2. After a desired BER is found.

The source is now connected to input port 1. purposes. The other uses an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR). In either case. which provides a pulsed source having a low-duty cycle along with a sensitive time-resolving optical receiver. a jumper with a known end reflector may be used.5 – Reflectance Standard: Specified in G. to measure the Optical Return Loss (ORL) of the cable plant. To measure the reflectance of the detector. Recommended Test Procedure Two methods of measuring receiver reflectance are in general use.4. 48 . Receiver reflectance is defined as the maximum permissible reflectance generated by the receiver itself. if only two connectors exist in the system. and both are available commercially.4. Coupler arrangement for OCWR and OTDR.Measurement 5. Systems employing fewer or higher performance connectors produce fewer multiple reflections and consequently are able to tolerate receivers exhibiting higher reflectance. The value of reflectance may be near zero (as obtained with careful index matching and/or a tight bend in the fiber). which provides a continuous or modulated stable light source with a high-sensitivity time-averaging optical power meter.3 and G. For calibration Coupler PS Source 1 S/R Cable Plant 3 P13 PR Detector 2 T1509050-92/d09 Figure 60. Power PS is measured by connecting the optical source directly to the power meter. Finally. or about –14. Measuring with an OCWR The coupler nomenclature is shown in Figure 60. they can degrade system performance through their disturbing effect on the operation of the laser or through multiple reflections. power PR is measured by the meter at port 2. and the following calibration measurement needs to be performed only once.691 6.5 dB (as with a good cleave). a 14 dB receiver return loss is acceptable. One uses an optical continuous-wave reflectometer (OCWR). If not controlled. Maximum receiver reflectance of –27 dB will ensure acceptable penalties due to multiple reflections for all likely system configurations involving multiple connectors. the connector at point R is connected to port 3. while the meter measures power P13 at port 3. As an extreme example. or some other known reflectance R0 (as with an imperfect cleave or an applied thin film coating). The reflectance of the detector is: R = 10 log10 The ORL of the cable plant is: ORL = –R Both instruments use 2 x 1 optical couplers. The source is then connected to output port 3 of the coupler. which lead to interferometric noise at the receiver. etc. Reflections are caused by refractive index discontinuities along the optical path. while power PO is measured at port 2. while the power meter measures P32 at the input port 2. The connection between the jumper and the instrument must have a low reflectance.4. the connector at point S is connected to port 3. the non-reflecting jumper is connected to port 3.957 6.

giving an OTDR trace schematically shown in Figure 61. an attenuator. and is measured using a pattern generator such as a BERT or with a transmission tester. Optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) is defined as the ratio of the optical signal power to the optical noise power.692 6. 49 . the backscatter coefficient of the fiber is: D If D is in ns. if they are not already internal to the instrument. and the peak height H0 is noted.1. To measure the maximum discrete reflectance between S and R.8. The calibration factor: Measurement 5. (If the temporal duration D of the pulse is measured.Measuring with an OTDR Here the coupler is usually internal to the instrument. B is about –80 dB. relative to the nominal signal power level in the desired channel. The peak height H is noted for a particular reflectance. F = R0 – 10 log10 is calculated.6 – Optical Crosstalk Standard: Specified in G. The resulting value is: R = F + 10 log10 Reflected Power B = F – 10 log10 D (In time) H Measurement 5. OSNR is expressed in dB as the minimum value required to obtain 10–12 BER. A variable optical attenuator. The optical attenuator is adjusted until the reflection peak falls just below the instrumental saturation level. a power meter. and an error detector.7.5. and is expressed in dB. It is measured at the receiver. Optical crosstalk is defined as the ratio of the combined total disturbing power due to the signal power from all other channels.692 6.7 – Optical Signal-ToNoise Ratio Standard: Specified in G. Fiber Distance Figure 61: OTDR trace at a discrete reflector. The following calibration measurement needs to be performed only once. A jumper with known reflectance R0 is attached. using an optical spectrum analyzer. and a pigtail of length beyond the dead-zone of the instrument are both supplied. the OTDR is connected to point S or R.

50 .

4 nm or 100 GHz 0. See also: Section 1. EX relates the logic 1 power to the logic 0 power using the formula: 10 (log (E1/E0) where: E1 is the value of the logic one and E0 is the value of the logic zero.5. The central frequency is simply the wavelength at the peak emission or power level. and a power meter. G. Minimum and maximums are specified. The central frequencies of multi-channel systems are restricted to specific colors on a 50 GHz 0.692 Sections 6.2.4. G.2.2. Single-channel systems use central frequencies throughout the operating wavelength range of the photonic system.692 Section 6.1 – Central Frequency Standards: Specified in G.1.2. Following is a list of recommended system measurements based on what equipment manufacturers and network operators do in order to ensure the highest quality equipment and service. 51 . Mean launched power is defined as the average power of the optical signal in dBm while transmitting a pseudo-random bit stream (PRBS).6. Measurement 6.5 and 6.691 Section 6.1 THz (see Appendix A for the ITU-T grid).1.2 – Mean Launched Power Standards: Specified in G.3. The central frequency is measured with an optical spectrum analyzer or wavelength meter.2.1.2.957 Section 6. Extinction ratio (EX) is a measure of the modulation depth of the source transmitter.3.957 Section 6.3.3 – Extinction Ratio Standards: Specified in G.8 nm grid.Measurement Section 6 – System Test Figure 62: System test. beginning at 193. These measurements use the techniques and values defined in the preceding measurement sections. Measurement 6. and G. See also: Section 1. Measurement 6.691 Section 6. It is typically measured with a pattern generator such as a BERT or transmission tester. and G.2.1. See these sections for additional measurement details and test configurations.692 Section 6.

957.4. EX is measured with an oscilloscope and reference receiver with 4th-order BesselThompson response with a 3 dB frequency at 3/4 of the bit rate.691.1. EX measurements are notoriously hard to make. all in one simple measurement. Mask testing enables characterization of rise time.692 Section 6. Mask tests are performed with an 52 oscilloscope and reference receiver with 4th-order Bessel-Thompson response with a 3 dB frequency at 3/4 of the bit rate.957 Section 6.2.8.1 to 5. G. noise. Keys to valid measurements are the trigger source. and G.EX is the average ratio measured while transmitting a PRBS. the minimum acceptable BER is 10–10. and jitter. See also: Section 1. and use of reference receivers. For most SONET and SDH single-channel systems. . See also: Section 1. Measurement 6. and G.5 – System BER System BER evaluates the fully integrated module or network element for conformance to G. undershoot.4.4 – Eye Pattern Mask Standards: Specified in G. fall time. Measurement 6.5. ringing. it is critical to ensure the calibration of the zero or dark level of the laser before taking the EX measurement. See also: Sections 5. Multi-channel and 10 GBit/s systems specify the minimum acceptable BER to be 10–12. Section 6. overshoot.2. which should be the recovered clock rather than data.7. System BER measurements are performed using a BERT or SONET/SDH transmission tester to stimulate the device or network element while monitoring BER at the receiver.4.692 performance by testing for overall system BER.

Tektronix provides leading products for the most critical and demanding measurements and tests – throughout the entire range of needs of equipment manufacturers and network operators. Without the early and concerted involvement of major test and design tool providers such as Tektronix. mission-critical data transmission. streaming video for distance learning. high QoS can make the network seem transparent to the user and deliver an affordable. complexity poses a major challenge to the success of these networks.Conclusion The photonic network market is growing rapidly. We will continue to broaden our product portfolio as required to meet the needs of our customers. Every component and element must work separately and together with the others for the network to function properly. and as networks become more complex. In the face of such complexity. competitive advantage to the operator. built upon multiple network elements. each comprised of subsystems and modules. And these all have demanding performance parameters to meet and standards to comply with as well. However. and teleconferencing. test and measurement serves as an important enabling technology. Tektronix is committed to staying ahead of the needs of its customers by offering industry-leading products. increasingly savvy and demanding users of telecommunications services expect rapid and uninterrupted access to high-quality voice transmission. Also. these photonic networks cannot become a reality. In this environment. 53 .

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Central Wavelength Wavelength of an optical source (e. 55 . This is not to be confused with amplitude variations caused by the varying distribution of energy between the different modes in fiber that are multimode at the wavelength of interest. This specification is sometimes called linearity. Baud Rate A unit of modulation rate equal to the number of signal events per second. Circulator A component that routes optical signals in a sequential manner from port to port. video. Collimator A device for producing a beam of parallel light rays. Beam splitters are used to manipulate beam paths in laser-interferometer positioning systems. video and data channels simultaneously. Amplitude Scale fidelity refers to the potential errors in amplitude readout at amplitudes other than at the calibration point.Appendix A – Glossary of Terms Absolute Wavelength Accuracy The maximum error between the actual emitted wavelength and the programmed value (keyed in) output laser value of a tunable laser source. The access network is typically connected to a local network. AWGs have proven to be capable of precise demultiplexing of a large number of channels with relatively low losses. many simultaneous voice circuits can be transmitted over an optical channel. and data) over copper cable. The device is used as wavelength demultiplexing in WDM applications. Aperture The diameter of the stop in an optical system that determines the diameter of the bundle of rays traversing the instrument. Coupler An optical device containing one or several input and output ports to distribute optical power. Core Network A high-speed network which transports data. Attenuator An optical device that reduces the intensity of a light beam passing through it. etc.) Polarization dependence refers to the amplitude change that can be seen by varying the polarization of the light entering the OSA. Access Network A network that provides public communication services (voice. Absorption Loss Attenuation of the optical signal within the fiberoptic transmission medium. mobile radio. such as spontaneous emissions. Flatness defines a floating band which describes the error in signal amplitude over the indicated wavelength range. which alter the phase or the frequency of the laser output field. It consists of two slab waveguide star couplers. It is caused during the transition between the one and zero power levels of the digital signal modulating the laser source. Channel A communication path or the signal sent over that path. connected by a dispersive waveguide array. Usually specified in terms of dB/km. The coherence is reduced by random events in the laser cavity. Crosstalk Undesirable signals in a communication channel due to leakage or coupling from another channel. Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) Amplification of spontaneous events that occur in an optical amplifier in the absence of a signal input.g. Coupling Ratio The ratio of optical power from one output port to the total output power. and transmits the remainder. expressed as a percent. Broadband A transmission facility that has a high bandwidth (capacity). point-to-point microwave link. normally specified in dB units. It is a measure of information carrying capacity – the greater the bandwidth. the greater the information carrying capacity. voice and video over optical fiber (≥622 Mbit/s). Bandwidth A measure of the maximum frequency by which light intensity can be modulated before the signal experiences 3 dB excess attenuation. Chromatic Dispersion Spreading of a light pulse in optical fiber caused by the difference in refractive indices at different wavelengths. Such facility may carry numerous voice. laser) at peak power. Through multiplexing. AWG Arrayed Waveguide Grating. Beam Splitter Partially reflective mirror that reflects part of the total incoming laser beam. Attenuation A decrease in power from one point or value to another. Chirp Unwanted wavelength shifts of a laser source from its nominal value. Channel Spacing The wavelength separation between adjacent WDM channels. (This error may be removed at a given wavelength by performing the user-amplitude calibration. It is defined as the degree to which a time-delayed portion of the output wavelength interferes with itself. Coherence A measure of the spectral purity of a light source.

which is used to separate wavelengths. A positive number indicates the power is above one milliwatt. Dielectric Filter Optical bandpass filter that transmits only a very narrow wavelength range. and in which the rays appear to be deflected and to produce fringes of parallel light. and dark or colored bands. DeMux Demultiplexer. the optical loss from the portion of light that does not emerge from the nominally operational ports of the device. dBm Decibels relative to one milliwatt. and an optical transmission rate of 1. DFB lasers output a very narrow wavelength spectrum. Usually used to refer to the constant optical output from an optical source when it is biased but not modulated with a signal. Detector Transducer converting incident optical energy to an electrical signal at a receiver device. Faraday Effect A phenomenon that causes some materials to rotate the polarization of light in the presence of a magnetic field. the light is diffracted at angles proportional to the wavelengths of the incident light beams.CW Continuous Wave. Ethernet Electrical transmission rate at 10 Mbit/s. The spacing of the grating is approximately equal to the wavelengths of interest. or through narrow slits. When a parallel light beam strikes the grating. these devices comprised a diode laser located between a partially reflecting mirror and a planar diffraction grating. Diffraction A modification which light undergoes in passing by the edges of opaque bodies. The operating wavelength can be controlled very precisely by stretching or compressing the fiber gratings. Dynamic Range A measure of the ability to see low-level signals that are located very close (in wavelength) to a stronger signal. and generate more accurate emission wavelengths required by some dense WDM applications. Excess Loss In a fiber-optic coupler. 1. or in being reflected from ruled surfaces. Standard logarithmic unit for the ratio of two quantities. The laser consists of a semiconductor optical amplifier to provide gain.063 Gbit/s. 100 Mbit/s. Dark Current The external current that. flows in a photosensitive detector when there is no incident radiation. expressed as: Extinction Ratio (dB) = 10 Log lx /ly where: lx denotes the intensity of light in the X polarization direction ly denotes the intensity of light in the Y polarization direction Fabry-Perot Laser Most widely used light source for lightwave communication. a negative number indicates the power is below. This popularity is due to the simplicity of fabrication and low cost. DFB Distributed Feedback Laser. These laser diodes help overcome some of the cost and manufacturing challenges associated with DFB lasers. this characteristic is generally called shape factor. dB Decibel. In optical fibers. Now. under specified biasing conditions. EDFA Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifier. . This unit has become common in fiber optic communications systems because the power of light sources used with optical fibers is about one milliwatt. which greatly reduces the effect of chromatic dispersion allowing for greater transmission bandwidths. When first introduced. In electrical spectrum analyzers. DFB lasers are the industry standard in long-distance fiber-optic links. Extinction Ratio A measure of how well a component retains the desired polarization orientation of light over the undesired polarization. Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) Transmitting more than four wavelengths down a fiber in the 1550 nm window. which was rotated to provide tuning capability. and mirrors to form a resonator around the amplifier. Fibre Channel Optical transmission rates up to 1. 56 Dispersion The temporal spreading of a light signal in an optical waveguide caused by light signals traveling at different speeds through a fiber either due to modal (spatial) or chromatic (wavelength) effects.25 Gbit/s. DWDM Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing. Diffraction Grating A polished surface with finely spaced corrugated lines or grooves on the surface. The narrow bandwidth is achieved by multilayer dielectric coatings. several companies are producing ECDLs with a fiber that has a fiber grating at each end (and the diode laser itself) comprising the complete ECDL. the ratio is power and represents loss or gain. ECDL External Cavity Diode Laser. Its design is similar to a Fabry-Perot Laser but features a Bragg reflector near the light-emitting region. The process by which two or more signals are separated from a single communications channel.25 Gbit/s.

Insertion Loss Loss of optical energy resulting from the insertion of a component or device into the optical path. etc. LAN Local Area Network. OSNR Optical Signal-to-Noise Ratio. Interference Filter Layers of dielectric thin films coated on a glass substrate to combine or separate specific wavelength(s). The function of an optical add-drop multiplexer is to take simultaneous signals sent down an optical fiber at different wavelengths (each one representing. Optical Fiber Fiber made of dielectric material and consisting of the core. or campus environment.) located in the United States. Grating A system of close equidistant and parallel lines or bars ruled on a polished surface to produce spectra by diffraction. 57 . Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) A regional Bell operating company (BellSouth. The wavelength of light corresponding to that of the grating is reflected back. Micro-optic Integrated Component Hybrid optical device that combines two or more component functions into one single. Sprint. and data services. Interexchange Carrier (IEC) A long distance telecommunication company (AT&T. Monochromator A device for isolating a narrow portion of a spectrum. Optical Channel An optical wavelength band for WDM optical communications. Used to define optical wavelengths. etc. and all the other wavelengths present pass through the grating. dispersion compensation. and gain flattening. The grating acts like a mirror for its characteristic Bragg resonance wavelength. the network is owned by the user organization. measured in positive dB units.Fiber Bragg Grating A grating within an optical fiber. Isolator An optical component used to block out reflected light. compact device. Optical Return Loss Ratio of reflected power to incident power from a fiber-optic section or link. video. MCI. OSA Optical Spectrum Analyzer. OADM Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer. building. Linewidth A measurement of the spectral width of a laser output. ITU International Telecommunication Union (Telecommunications Standardization Sector). a separate video transmission) remove one of these signals and add a new one at the same wavelength. Southwestern Bell. Mode Hop A sudden change in the output wavelength of a laser as the output is scanned between an upper and lower wavelength. Mode-Hop-Free Range/Continuous Tuning Describes a wavelength range where there is no mode hopping or discontinuities in the laser output as the wavelength is scanned. nm Nanometer. Multiplexing The process by which two or more signals are transmitted over a single communications channel. A high-speed transmission (Mbit/s) wherein all segments of the transmission are situated in an office. Interferometer An instrument that uses the interference of light waves for precise determinations of distance or wavelength. A unit of measurement equal to one billionth of a meter. Local Area Network LAN. Isolation Ability to prevent undesired optical energy from appearing in a signal path. and the cladding (protective layer) allowing total internal reflection of the light for propagation. Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) A network which covers a geographical area (city) and typically provides voice. Major applications of fiber Bragg gratings in the telecommunications area are WDM filtering. Light source producing coherent light through stimulated emission. It is the measurement of the full spectral width at half the maximum power. Laser An acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. for example.) located in the United States. LD Laser Diode. An international organization within which governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services. A typical specification value for lasers is 150 kHz. light carrying medium. This will be seen as a wavelength drop-out or discontinuity. Modal Dispersion Dispersion resulting from the different transit lengths of different propagating spatial modes in a multimode optical fiber.

Displayed sensitivity values are nominal. Transmitting two or more optical signals down a common optical path. This indicates the width at half-power level of the signal after passing through the resolution slits. WDM Wavelength Division Multiplexing. which can occur over the specified time while the optical spectrum analyzer is tuned to a specific wavelength. 58 Sweep Time Maximum sweep rate refers to the maximum rate that the instrument is able to acquire data and display it. For a source. Most often. Multiple angles are a result of the multimoding in the larger fiber. Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) Optical transmission rates from 52 Mbit/s (STM1) to 10 Gbit/s (STM64) TDM Time Division Multiplexing. Typical values are ≤145 dB/Hz. or vector. It can be measured as the time from the start of one sweep to the start of the next sweep. Resolution FWHM refers to the full-Width-Half-Maximum resolutions that are available. Sweep cycle time refers to the time required for making a complete sweep and preparing for the next sweep. Typical values are >45 dB. Switch Device that transfers light from one or multiple input ports to one or multiple output ports on coupler products. the width of wavelengths contained in the output at one half of the wavelength of peak power.PDL Polarization Dependent Loss. The difference in dB between the maximum and the minimum values of loss (attenuation) due to the variation of the polarization states of light propagating through a device. Multimode fiber coupling uncertainty refers to additional wavelength error. of the electromagnetic beam. Polarization Characteristic of electromagnetic radiation where the electric field vector of the wave energy is perpendicular to the main direction. Tuning repeatability refers to the wavelength accuracy of returning to a wavelength after having turned to a different wavelength. Spectral Width A measure of the extent of a spectrum. Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) Optical transmission technique that uses different light wavelengths to send data. Slightly lower values may have to be entered to achieve specified sensitivity. Dispersion of light causing a delay between the two principal states of polarization propagating along a fiber or through a device due to the birefringence property of the material. Multiple internal processes may limit this rate. Wavelength Wavelength (λ) = speed of light (c) divided by frequency (f). Relative Intensity Noise (RIN) A measurement of the ratio between the noise level at a particular modulation frequency to the average power of the signal. the resolution bandwidth is determined by the width of the optical filters inside the optical spectrum analyzer. Side Mode Suppression Ratio (SMSR) The amplitude difference between the main spectral component (center wavelength) and the largest side mode. Absolute accuracy (after user cal) refers to the wavelength accuracy after the user has performed the internal wavelength calibration using a source of known wavelength. Resolution Bandwidth The ability of an optical spectrum analyzer to display two signals closely spaced in wavelength as two distinct responses. PMD Polarization Mode Dispersion. Wide Area Network (WAN) A LAN which covers a larger geographical area than a city. . Repeatability Variation of a measured value when measurement conditions are changed and restored. Photodiode Device that absorbs light energy and produces a photocurrent. Physical Layer The lowest level in the OSI (Open System Interconnection) model for standardizing data transmission functions. responsible for the transmission of bits across the medium. Differential accuracy indicates the maximum error in measuring the wavelength difference between two signals that are within the specified separation. which can occur from the loss of control of the image size and angle that the light is launched into the optical spectrum analyzer. Sensitivity The signal level that is equal to six times the RMS value of the noise. Reproducibility refers to the amount of wavelength drift. A digital technique for combining two or more signals into a single stream of data by interleaving bits from each signal.

957 – Optical Interfaces for Equipment and Systems Relating to the Synchronous Digital Hierarchy This recommendation specifies optical interface parameters for equipment and systems based on the Synchronous Digital Hierarchy to enable transverse compatibility. ITU-G. and for all types of STM-64 systems. This document also draws upon the relevant IEC definitions and test methods where applicable. including short-haul systems without optical amplifiers. installation aspects. and G. primarily used in digital systems. or other aspects of components not affecting the optical-transmission path.691 – Optical Interfaces for SingleChannel SDH Systems with Optical Amplifiers. This recommendation also includes transmission characteristics of optical components under the full range of operating conditions.652. 120 km. A broad range of types of fiber-optic components are included in this recommendation. ITU-G. G. 59 .Appendix B – Standards ITU-G. as described in Recommendations G.1 THz with interchannel spacings at integer multiples of 50 GHz and 100 GHz is specified as the basis for selecting channel central frequencies.663 – Application Related Aspects of Optical Amplifier Devices and Sub-systems This Recommendation covers application related aspects of OA devices and sub-systems.655 with nominal span lengths of 80 km. and sixteen channels operating at bit rates of up to STM-16 on fibers. eight. and STM-64 Systems This recommendation provides values for optical interface parameters for very-long and ultra-long haul STM-4 and STM-16 systems. but does not specify the operating-service conditions. and 160 km and target distances between regenerators of up to 640 km. The purpose of this Recommendation is to identify which aspects should be considered for each application and to specify appropriate parameter values and ranges for each type of OA device. ITU-G. A frequency grid anchored at 193.671 – Transmission Characteristics of Optical Components This recommendation covers the transmissionrelated aspects of all types of optical components used in long-haul networks and access networks. ITU-G.692 – Optical Interfaces for MultiChannel Systems with Optical Amplifiers This recommendation specifies multichannel optical line system interfaces for the purpose of providing future transverse compatibility among such systems. Applications include both single-channel and multi-channel systems used in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations for use in long-distance networks and optical access networks. The current recommendation defines interface parameters for systems of four.653.

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36 1558.2 192.98 1559.94 1555.53 1545.4 195.33 1554.82 1536.92 1547.51 1549.4 192.47 1534.692 Frequency Grid I T U -T G .9 193.77 Nominal Central υ (THz) 194.8 193.0 192.1 193.1 Central λ (nm) 1550.14 1542.6 194.12 Nominal Central υ (THz) 193.3 192.1 196.04 1535.1 194.72 1548.5 195.7 192.5 193.35 1542.7 193.9 195.3 195.Appendix C – ITU-T G.33 1531.5 194.12 1546.7 195.7 194.77 1540.68 1533.32 1550.9 194.75 1556.5 192.8 192.92 1543.52 1553.2 194.6 192. 6 9 2 F r e q u e n c y G r i d Nominal Central υ (THz) 196.12 1531.0 194.0 193.61 61 .77 1529.55 1557.9 192.92 1551.40 1538.56 1541.61 1537.8 Central λ (nm) 1528.1 195.90 1532.55 1530.4 Central λ (nm) 1539.8 195.19 1539.4 194.13 1554.2 193.0 195.79 1560.6 195.17 1558.6 193.32 1546.25 1535.3 193.73 1544.3 194.2 195.72 1552.

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