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We demonstrate fast characterization ( ~ 1.4 ??s) of both the dispersion and dispersion slope of long optical fiber links ( ~ 25 km) using dual quadrature spectral interferometry with an optical frequency comb. Compared to previous spectral interferometry experiments limited to fiber lengths of meters, the long coherence length and the periodic delay properties of frequency combs, coupled with fast data acquisition, enable spectral interferometric characterization of fibers longer by several orders of magnitude. We expect that our method will be useful to recently proposed lightwave techniques like coherent wavelength-division multiplexing and to coherent modulation formats by providing a real-time monitoring capability for the link dispersion. Another area of application would be in stabilization of systems which perform frequency and timing distribution over long fiber links using stabilized optical frequency combs.
Date of Publication: Feb.1, 2010