Optical modulators for distributed fibre sensors

25th February 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Optical modulators for distributed fibre sensors

It has been announced that LASER COMPONENTS offers optical modulators (MXER-LN) in the range of 1,530 to 1,625nm dedicated to fibre sensing applications. Such applications require a very high extinction ratio as it is a key parameter. LASER COMPONENTS’ partner iXblue has developed these optical modulators based on Mach-Zehnder with an extinction ratio of > 40dB and beyond. 

To accommodate customers in this field, iXblue has also patented a specific waveguide design to ensure a low insertion loss. The titanium technology used for these waveguides aims to guarantee a high and long-term stability of the modulator bias drift.

These products are designed to be integrated into such sensor instruments to service the sensor market based on BOTDA (Brillouin Optical Time Domain Analysis) which relates to distributed sensors of temperature and strain in fibre cables installed along civil engineering structures (bridges, dams) and particularly along pipelines.

These modulators, based on Mach-Zehnder lithium niobate technology, can have two functions in the core of the instrument. They can generate the initial optical pulse of the pump, and they can generate the dual side band modulation with carrier suppression (CS-DSB) of the probe.

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