There is currently much interest in high-capacity lightwave networks for future broadband local and wide-area applications. These systems may feature bidirectional transmission and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM). The potential for upgrading existing links to higher bit rates, WDM and bidirectional operation depends critically on the measured two-way dispersion characteristics assuming an adequate power budget. A wide variety of dispersion measurement techniques have been reported (e.g., Refs. 1 and 2), all of which require instrumentation at both ends of the installed link or the provision of loop-back paths which may not be part of the network upgrade. Convenient single-ended dispersion analysis has not been available up to the present.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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