Of the many innovative tunable technology platforms, Micron Optics Fiber Fabry-Perot Tunable Filters (FFP-TFs) have withstood the test of time and have been widely deployed in the field since the mid-1990s, enabling several critical tunable functionalities within telecom networks. Some examples of the use of Micron Optics FFP-TFs include:
- Optical performance monitoring
- Tunable optical noise filtering and channel locking
- Tunable channel drop for Ultra DWDM
- De-multiplexing of DWDM signals
- Channel tracking
- Rapid wavelength interrogation
- Frequency control in tunable lasers
Applications of tunable filters in a dynamic network
Through state-of-the-art design, the Micron Optics FFP-TF captures the simplest embodiment for a fiber-based tunable filter. Fiber-only devices are pure, have less loss and encounter fewer optical aberrations than competing technologies. Since fewer components and materials are present in the clean optical path of the Micron Optics FFP-TF, the device is intrinsically more reliable, as proven by its full Telcordia Qualification (GR-2883). Due to Micron Optics’ internal mirror design and production capabilities, the FFP-TFs can be made to conform to the widest envelope of acceptable end-customer design specifications in the world.
Micron Optics FFP-TF key features include:
- High resolution, low loss, wide spectral range, and high transmission fidelity all in one
- Continuous tuning over the O, E, S, C, and L bands
- Robust signal tracking and locking capability
- Conformance to the Airy function theory, allowing highly accurate measurements through robust de-convolution algorithm
- Compact and rugged design, permitting small telecom module form-factors
Examples of Popular FFP-TF Telecom Applications:
Embedded Signal Tracking Filter
FFP-TFs can be employed as embedded signal tracking filters to reject amplified spontaneous noise. In particular, FFP-TFs have served a critical role in demonstrating superiority in sensitivity, simplicity, and cost of direct-detection receiver technology, and have been deployed extensively since the early stage of the DWDM era. In wavelength agile networks, these filters can be incorporated into a wavelength-switching matrix to rapidly track and reject optical noise in amplified or wavelength-converted channels.
Tunable Channel Locking
FFP-TFs are a key component in tunable channel lockers (TCL.) A TCL is an embedded network module capable of tuning to and dropping a designated wavelength as commanded by the network controller. Typically, a TCL will incorporate some channel monitoring functionalities, and it will reside in terminal equipment and add/drop or cross-connect sites. Some application examples may include “Broadcast-and-Select” networks and tunable bit-error-rate test (BERT) instruments.
Optical Performance Monitoring
The increase in transmission capacity imposes tremendous pressure on telecommunication companies because of greater potential for costly errors. Thus, it is more important than ever to ensure reliable high-bandwidth services to businesses and consumers. The performance monitoring and management of optical networks form a natural symbiotic link with the optical transmission system itself. The illustration below shows how optical performance monitoring, which incorporates a FFP-TF and its associated calibration technology, couples into an optical network.
Network monitoring applications for OCAs and OCMs.
The Optical Channel Analyzer (OCA) is required to continuously measure wavelength, power, and optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) of the DWDM system channels with high accuracy and precision. The monitored information can be used to optimize system performance, correct for any changes and imbalances in the transmitters, modulators, amplifiers, optical attenuators, etc., and provide early warning of network degradation. OCAs are usually embedded at terminal and optical switching sites, while Optical Channel Monitors (OCMs) are used more widely to provide accurate power monitoring and coarse wavelength measurements to balance channel powers and identify physical fault locations. The optimal arrangement of OCAs and OCMs typically depends upon the DWDM system design.
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