Test and measurement

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Fibre characterisation in the coherent era

Fibre characterisation has been a part of my career since I joined York Technology in 1983. York had developed the FCm 1000, the first automatic fibre characterisation machine. This mighty machine could measure all of the fibre’s critical parameters, including end face geometry, mode field diameter and refractive index profile, as well as perform optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) testing, spectral attenuation measurements and, for multimode fibres, find the modal dispersion.

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Testing times

As data rates increase across fibre networks, optical loss budgets are being driven down - attenuation through the system must be lower than ever because there is less tolerance for overall loss of light.

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Cost and compatibility can make a compelling case for pushing 100Gb/s bandwidth over a single optical channel, both as individual links and supporting 400Gb/s Ethernet, finds Andy Extance

Analysis and opinion
Analysis and opinion
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Robin Mersh takes a look at how the industry is creating next-generation optical access fit for 5G

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Technological advances to aid the increasing demand for bandwidth, on the path towards the terabit network, should lead to optical signals that are flexible and adaptive, like water, argues Dr Maxim Kuschnerov and Dr Yin Wang