Application Note: Automated Gain Flattening in an Optical Amplifier

A flat optical power spectrum is essential for optical telecommunication signals. However, commonly used amplifiers such as Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifiers (EFDA) and Raman amplifiers provide optical amplification that varies with wavelength. One solution is to flatten out the powers across the transmission window by attenuating higher power channels relative to the lower power channels. This is more generally referred to as gain flattening.

This Application Note describes how a WaveShaper, combined with an optical spectrum analyser (OSA) or optical channel monitor (OCM) can be used to create a robust automated gain flattening system that adapts on-the-fly to changes in the optical power spectrum. The system is not only applicable to EDFA, but any other optical amplifier or broadband source e.g. Raman amplifiers or supercontinuum lasers. This system algorithm can successively improve the level of flatness down to as little as ±0.1 dB deviation from the mean.

To download the Automated Gain Flattening in an Optical Amplifier Application Note, click on the image below.

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