Using a patented maximum & minimum search technique, the DOP- 201 from General Photonics (Chino, CA) measures and displays the Degree of Polarization (DOP) of a light source in real time with high accuracy and wide dynamic range. While polarimeter-based systems are expensive and can be inaccurate for low-DOP sources, and polarization scrambler- based instruments are less accurate for high DOP sources, the DOP-201 accurately measures both low and high DOP. It is ideal for characterizing the performances of depolarizers and depolarized light sources, such as ASE and SLED sources and the pumps for Raman amplifiers.

The DOP-201 can also be used to monitor the OSNR and PMD of optical signals, and to measure the noise figure of optical amplifiers. The instrument can cover a wide operating wavelength range, including the S, C and L bands, without calibration. Its simultaneous measurement of DOP and optical power level of the light source under test can be used to obtain DOP power dependence and to ensure low insertion loss during depolarizer manufacturing.

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Photonics Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2014 issue of Photonics Tech Briefs Magazine.

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