Abstract

Component characterization is fundamental for understanding the limits of optical devices, sub-systems, and transmission systems. With the introduction of space division multiplexing in optical fiber transmission systems, new impairments, such as mode dependent loss and differential mode dispersion arise. Spatially-diverse optical vector network analyzers are capable of measuring these characteristics in a fast single sweep over a very large bandwidth. As a result of this large bandwidth, these analyzers are sensitive to differential chromatic dispersion within the interferometric measurement setup. This study discusses the influence and compensation of differential chromatic dispersion in such systems. Partial chromatic dispersion compensation is demonstrated to improve the representation and accuracy of impulse response measurements obtained from optical vector network analyzers for fibers and components with large differential chromatic dispersion. Analysis of a 39-core few-mode multi-core fiber is discussed, reporting variances of −2.9–0.1 ps/nm, and 0.6–6.9 ps/nm for the two mode groups, respectively, between the few-mode cores. A correlation with the total impulse response is observed. Furthermore, a maximum propagation skew of 20 ns between cores is observed after 13.6 km.

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