Optical Spectrum Analyzer for next generation networks

September 16, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Optical Spectrum Analyzer for next generation networks
Yokogawa’s AQ6380 features improved precision and productivity for developing next generation optical network backhaul components.

Yokogawa has launched an optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) for researchers developing the next generation of optical communication components.

The exponential growth in data across the Internet of Things, cloud computing services, video broadcasting and conferencing is driving demand for high capacity optical backhaul networks using dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM).

The Yokogawa AQ6380 OSA optical wavelength resolution down to 5 picometers (pm), allowing optical signals in close proximity to be clearly separated and accurately measured. This allows waveforms that were previously not even visible in a typical OSA, such as modulation side peaks in the laser spectrum, to be accurately visualized.

The OSA has a wavelength range of 1200 to 1650 nm with the ability to alter the wavelength resolution from 5 pm to 2 nm for narrowband peak/notch measurements to wideband spectral measurements.

A major challenge for optical researchers has been maintaining the accuracy of instruments, with ambient temperature change, vibrations, and shock all potentially affecting the measurement accuracy of optical spectrum analyzers.

Another important parameter in optical waveform analysis is close-in dynamic range, defined as the difference in power level measured from the peak of the signal to the noise at a specific distance from the peak wavelength.

The AQ6380 features a newly designed monochromator with sharper spectral characteristics than previously available, achieving a close-in dynamic range of up to 65 dB. The result is that signals in close proximity can be clearly separated and accurately measured.

The new monochromator also offers stray light suppression of 80dB, an important criterion in optical measurement. For example, in situations such as laser SMSR measurement, where several optical spectra with different levels are measured at the same time, the stray light may interfere with the measurement.

Fast measurement speed is another major benefit, with the AQ6380 capturing data points in only 0.23 seconds compared to 5.4 seconds for the existing model (AQ6370D) in certain conditions.

To maintain consistently high accuracy, the AQ6380 features on board calibration based on a built-in light source. Wavelength calibration is automatically performed at set intervals by switching the optical path with an internal optical switch.

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“The AQ6380 is demonstrably the world’s best grating based OSA, outperforming its nearest competing solution on wavelength accuracy, resolution, dynamic range, and actual measurement speed,” said Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa Test & Measurement’s Vice President, Marketing.

“The new product also offers a highly capable alternative to other measurement technologies, comparing favourably on wavelength range and actual dynamic range, and offering superior measurement speed and application adaptability, as well as a highly competitive price.”

The high-resolution 10.4in touchscreen LCD makes the device as easy and intuitive to operate as a tablet.

The AQ6380 has built-in analysis functions to characterize optical spectrum from a variety of optical systems and devices, such as WDM system, DFB-LD, EDFA, and filters. Analysis functions include: DFB-LD; FP-LD; LED; Spectral width (peak/notch); SMSR; Optical power; WDM (OSNR); EDFA (Gain and NF); Filter (peak/bottom) and WDM filter (peak/bottom).

New or additional testing applications will be made available for download from the Yokogawa website and can be added to the AQ6380 by future firmware updates.

tmi.yokogawa.com

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