Extended Optical Fiber Line Testing System with L/U-Band Optical Coupler Employing 4-Port Circulators and Chirped Fiber Bragg Grating Filters for L-Band WDM Transmission

Nazuki HONDA  Noriyuki ARAKI  Hisashi IZUMITA  Minoru NAKAMURA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E86-B   No.5   pp.1562-1566
Publication Date: 2003/05/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Joint Special Issue on Recent Progress in Optoelectronics and Communications)
optical fiber line testing system,  L-band,  OTDR,  optical coupler,  circulator,  

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An optical fiber line testing system is essential for reducing maintenance costs and improving service reliability in optical access networks. NTT has already developed such a system called AURORA (AUtomatic optical fibeR opeRAtions support system). As we already use the 1310 and 1550nm wavelengths for communication, we use the 1650nm wavelength for maintenance testing in accordance with ITU-T recommendation L.41. Recently, a long wavelength band (L-band) that extends to 1625nm has begun to be used for WDM transmission. With a view to monitoring optical fiber cables transmitting L-band communication light, an attractive way of separating the U-band wavelength of the test lights from the L-band wavelength of the communication light is to use a chirped fiber Bragg grating (FBG) filter because of its steep optical spectrum. However, it is difficult to measure fiber characteristics with an optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR), because multi-reflections appear in the OTDR trace when FBG filters are installed at both ends of an optical fiber line. In this paper, we consider this problem and show that the reflection loss at the port of a test access module (TAM) must be more than 36.6dB. We also describe the system design for an extended optical fiber line testing system using an L/U-band optical coupler, which has two chirped FBGs between two 4-port circulators for L-band WDM transmission. In this system, the reflection loss at a TAM port was 38.1dB, and we confirmed that there was no degradation in the OTDR trace caused by multi-reflections at the optical filters.