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Measuring the chromatic dispersion of single-mode fibers: a compliance test method

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For high bit rate optical transmission utilizing single-mode fiber, the repeater spacing depends primarily on fiber attenuation and chromatic dispersion. The most direct method of measuring chromatic dispersion involves use of a Nd:YAG Raman laser1 to generate optical pulses whose arrival times at the end of the fiber are monitored as a function of wavelength over the 1.1-1.7-μm range. Such a system is costly and not readily adaptable to field or factory environments. Furthermore, the dispersion requirement is normally specified over a very narrow band in the 1.3- or 1.55-μm region. In this paper, a simple technique is described for measuring the chromatic dispersion of a fiber link in the region of the minimum dispersion wavelength. Using an apparatus that is both portable and easy to use, the method would be useful for ensuring that a fiber-optic link complies with the specified chromatic dispersion.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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