Abstract

In this paper, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a nondestructive method for simultaneously measuring the mode-dependent loss (MDL) and mode coupling (MC) in few-mode fibers (FMFs). The method is based on analyzing the Rayleigh backscattering amplitudes obtained with an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR). The experimental results show that, in about 4 km six-mode FMF, the MDL and MC values are 0.132 dB and 23.13  dB/km between LP01 and LP11a, 0.176 dB and 23.73  dB/km between LP01 and LP11b, 0.272 dB and 26.17  dB/km between LP01 and LP21a, 0.284 dB and 26.70  dB/km between LP01 and LP21b, and 0.380 dB and 20.21  dB/km between LP01 and LP02. And it also demonstrated that the proposed scheme can be scalable to measure MDL and MC between higher-order modes. The values of the MC and MDL obtained by the proposed method agree well with that by the conventional transmission method. However, the proposed method has the merits of simultaneous and single-end measurement of MDL and MC in the FMF and could be a good solution to the characterization of FMFs used in large-capacity mode-division-multiplexing transmission systems.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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