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NIST Measurement Services: Measurement Assurance Program for the Spectral Density of Relative Intensity Noise of Optical Fiber Sources Near 1550 nm



Gregory E. Obarski, Jolene D. Splett


This paper provides the documentation to establish a measurement assurance program (MAP) for the spectral density of relative intensity noise (RIN) of optical sources. A standard is made available to industry for high-precision calibration of RIN measurement systems. The device is an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) to which is coupled a linear polarizer followed by a narrow pass-band optical filter. Measurements show that the spectral density of the RIN is invariant under attenuation and pump current, and constant from zero t many tens of gigahertz. These properties render it suitable as a standard for the calibration of high-speed systems. We characterize the device for use as a standard in the 1550 nm wavelength range over a radio-frequency (rf) baseband of 0.1 GHz to 1.1 GHz. For the typical device studied in depth, the magnitude of the RIN is -109.9 dB/Hz with uncertainty {
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 250-57
Report Number


calibration, measurement assurance, optical fiber sources, Poisson-limited laser, relative intensity noise, spectral density, transfer standard
Created September 1, 2000, Updated November 10, 2018