Column Control DTX

Measure Polarization Dependent Loss of Optical Components

Application Notes

The determination of polarization dependent loss has become a standard measurement when characterizing passive optical components. In optical networks, where polarization is not constrained and changes randomly, the PDL of components can accumulate in an uncontrolled manner. This effect can degrade the network transmission quality and even lead to network failure.


Two methods are widely used for testing passive components for polarization dependent loss: the Polarization Scanning Technique and the four-state method, usually referred to as the Mueller method. The Polarization Scanning Technique is an easy-to-implement measurement method providing high accuracy, and is fairly insensitive to operating conditions. However, it can allow measurement speed to become too slow if testing passive components for DWDM applications. In this case swept-wavelength PDL measurements based on the four-state or Mueller method result in much faster PDL measurements. On the other hand, the Mueller method demands greater care in order to achieve high accuracy and its implementation requires a greater effort than the scanning technique.


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Column Control DTX