Network Equipment Manufacturers
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WDM Investigator Tool
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Why Coherent Detection Systems May Fail at Compensating for Polarization Mode Dispersion
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Optical Spectrum Analyzers — IQS-5240S-P/BP


Highly accurate, easy-to-use intelligent optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs) for current
and next-generation networks.

Technical information

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Key features

  • Pol-Mux OSNR measurement capability for 40G and 100G coherent signals, compliant with the current draft of the IEC 61282-12 standard
  • Flexibility to analyze WDMs, EDFAs, drift, spectral transmittance, FP and DFB lasers
  • Automatic impairment identification for faster troubleshooting
  • Compliant with Recommendation ITU-T G.697
  • Fast, accurate scans—no compromise on dynamic range or resolution bandwidth
  • GPIB or LAN remote control using SCPI commands
  • One-button operation for easy setup and automatic measurement


Unique Pol-Mux OSNR Measurement Technology

OSNR has long been recognized as a key performance indicator in wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) networks, because it provides a multichannel assessment of signal quality in a very short period of time. In addition, OSNR can predict bit error rate (BER) within just a few minutes, while typical BER tests must run for hours or days.

The IEC 61280-2-9 standard defines OSNR measurement as the power ratio between the signal power and the noise at half the distance between the peaks. However, in ROADM or 40 Gbit/s systems, this method may lead to incorrect results, because the noise level between the peaks is no longer directly correlated with the noise level at the channel wavelength. EXFO’s in-band OSNR is the answer to this challenge.

For Pol-Mux signals at 40G and 100G, neither the IEC nor the in-band method work. This calls for a new measurement method: Pol-Mux OSNR.

First Pol-Mux OSA on the Market

EXFO’s Pol-Mux OSA is the first third-party instrument for Pol-Mux OSNR measurements that is not limited to any specific system vendor. The new commissioning assistant, which is the key feature of the new Pol-Mux OSA, is perfect for Pol-Mux OSNR measurements during turn-up. Based on the channel shutdown method, it provides highly accurate amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) OSNR measurements.

The commissioning assistant can be utilized after the user has first taken a measurement at the receiver with all of the channels turned on, and then acquired a series of traces, each taken with one channel turned off. The Pol-Mux OSA then performs the Pol-Mux OSNR calculations via a user-friendly wizard.

The commissioning assistant therefore greatly accelerates OSNR measurements based on the channel shutdown method, and drastically reduces potential human errors. In addition, two standards-compliant calculation approaches are available in the commissioning assistant: one compliant with the IEC-61282-12 standard (under revision), and the other compliant with the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) method YD/T 2147-2010.

Impairment Identification for Faster Troubleshooting

WDM networks are becoming increasingly complex, with new technologies being deployed (tighter channel spacing, polarization-multiplexed signals, etc.) that increase the number of potential causes for failure. While past impairment types were relatively
few and well-known (excessive loss, high dispersion, excessive ASE noise, etc.), these newly deployed technologies give rise to previously uncommon impairments, such as crosstalk and nonlinear effects.

This is now possible with EXFO’s WDM Investigator, which provides detailed information about the signal and noise for each channel. The WDM Investigator provides information on link characteristics, such as the presence of polarization-multiplexed signals or the
presence of carved noise due to filters or ROADMs. It also checks the presence of several types of impairments (crosstalk, non-linear effects, carrier leakage and PMD pulse spreading), and gives an assessment of their severity (OK, warning, risk).

High Resolution for Dense Signal Analysis

With 33 pm (or ~4.5 GHz) resolution bandwidth defined as the FWHM of the OSA filter shape, the IQS-5240BP can analyze all densely spaced signals, including important 25 GHz ITU-grid WDM signals, and any high-speed modulated lasers/emitters.

Combined with a very sharp rejection ratio (–35 dBc at 0.1 nm), the optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) and modulated band profile can be measured with high accuracy. To ensure accurate noise and broad signal power measurements, the noise-equivalent bandwidth (NEB) of the OSA is calibrated at many points from 1250 nm to 1650 nm.

Related Resources

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Be-an-Expert Training Catalog

Brochures and Catalogs

This catalog details all available training services for EXFO's test equipment (on-site, on-request, e-learning, multimedia, scheduled).

Last updated: 2017-05-30

The IQS-5240S/BP, a highly accurate, easy-to-use OSAs for current and next-generation networks.

Last updated: 2016-11-16

Network Equipment Manufacturers

Brochures and Catalogs

Discover EXFO’s innovative and multiservice converged networks testing solutions for 100G, 200G, 400G and beyond, addressing the needs of NEMs around the globe with regard to design, verification and manufacturing.

Last updated: 2016-09-19

This white paper, co-authored by EXFO and General Photonics (an expert in lab measurements), takes a close look at coherent detection systems, examining various factors capable of affecting their performance and causing them to be ineffective at compensating for polarization mode dispersion. This paper also covers PMD-related tests that can be performed in the lab to optimize algorithms and circuitry, as well as tests that can be carried out in the field to identify PMD issues and reduce their frequency.

Last updated: 2015-07-23


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