Phase-Decorrelated FMCW Reflectometry for Long Optical Fiber Characterization by Using a Laser Diode with Modulated External-Cavity

Koichi IIYAMA  Takahiro MAEDA  Saburo TAKAMIYA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E83-C   No.3   pp.428-434
Publication Date: 2000/03/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Optical Fiber Sensors)
Category: Sensing for Optical Fiber Communication
optical fiber sensors,  optical reflectometry,  optical fiber characterization,  

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We describe FMCW reflectometry for characterization of long optical fibers by using an external-cavity laser diode as a light source. Since the optical path difference between the reference beam and the reflected beam from the optical fiber under test is much longer than the coherence length of the light source, the reference and the reflected beams are phase-decorrelated. As a result, the beat spectrum between the reference and the reflected beams is measured. In the phase-decorrelated FMCW reflectomety, the spatial resolution is enhanced by narrowing the spectral linewidth of the light source and increasing the repetition frequency of the optical frequency sweep as well as increasing the chirping range of the optical frequency sweep. In the experiments, an external-cavity DFB laser is used as a narrow linewidth light source, and the optical frequency is swept by minute modulation of the external cavity length. Long single mode optical fibers are characterized, and the maximum measurement range of 80 km is achieved, and the spatial resolutions of 46 m, 100 m and 2 km are achieved at 5 km, 11 km and 80 km distant, respectively. The Rayleigh backscattering is clearly measured and the propagation loss of optical fiber is also measured. The optical gain of an erbium-doped optical fiber amplifier (EDFA) is also estimated from the change in the Rayleigh backscattering level in the optical fiber followed after the EDFA.