Skip to Main Content
We investigate both experimentally and theoretically a new technique to realistically emulate polarization-mode dispersion (PMD). We propose and demonstrate a PMD emulator using rotatable connectors between sections of polarization-maintaining fibers that generates an ensemble of high PMD fiber realizations by randomly rotating the connectors. It is shown that: (1) the DGD of this emulator is Maxwellian-distributed over an ensemble of fiber realizations at any fixed optical frequency; and (2) the frequency autocorrelation function of the PMD emulator resembles that in a real fiber when averaged over an ensemble of fiber realizations. A realistic autocorrelation function is required for proper emulation of higher order PMD and indicates the feasibility of using this emulator for wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) systems.