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The performance limit of coherent OTDR enhanced with optical fiber amplifiers due to optical nonlinear phenomena

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4 Author(s)
Izumita, H. ; NTT Telecommun. Field Syst. R&D Center, Ibaraki, Japan ; Koyamada, Y. ; Furukawa, S. ; Sankawa, Izumi

This paper theoretically and experimentally clarifies the limit of incident optical pulse power in coherent optical time-domain reflectometry (C-OTDR) enhanced with optical fiber amplifiers. The critical pulse power, at which the performance of C-OTDR is degraded by the effect of optical nonlinear phenomena in a single-mode optical fiber, depends on the amplified optical pulse waveform and the pulse width. For a pulse width of 1 μs or longer, the incident pulse power is limited by the effect of self-phase modulation (SPM). When an optical pulse having a power gradient within the pulse width is incident to a single-mode optical fiber, the optical frequency of the backscattered signal is shifted by SPM, and the center frequency of the signal moves outside the receiver band, so the sensitivity of C-OTDR is degraded. For a pulse width of 100 ns, the incident optical pulse power is limited by four-wave mixing (FWM) which transfers the energy from the incident optical pulse to Stokes and anti-Stokes light as a result of the interaction between the incident optical pulse and amplified spontaneous emission. This paper also demonstrates the high performance of C-OTDR enhanced with EDF A's with 48, 44, 39, and 29 dB single-way dynamic ranges for pulse widths of 10 μs, 4 μs, 1 μs, and 100 ns, respectively, limited by the effect of SPM or FWM. These results are believed to be the best performance of C-OTDR with EDFA's

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 7 )