How do I take a relative trace within the WaveAnalyzer Software?

Relative traces measure the difference in power between two traces. A common scenario is when a broadband source is used to measure the insertion loss of an optical component across a wavelength range. First, a reference measurement is taken of the source connected directly to the WaveAnalyzer. A second measurement is taken of the source after traveling through the optical component. The difference in power between the two measured traces is called a relative trace and gives the wavelength dependent attenuation of the optical component.

Configure a relative trace within the WaveAnalyzer software by following these simple steps:

  1. Start off by taking your reference trace. It’s recommended to take several averaged scans to achieve best results. It’s also helpful to rename your trace to something informative e.g. Reference Trace.
  2. Find your reference trace under the Trace Tile and tick the Ref tick box. Un-tick the Disp tick box to hide the reference trace.

    Creating the Reference Trace
    Creating the reference trace
  3. Add a new trace by clicking the Plus button under the trace list. Activate this new trace as a relative trace by ticking the Rel tick box. Make sure to un-tick the Active tick box for the reference trace or the reference will by overwritten whenever a new scan is taken.
    Creating the relative rrace
    Creating the relative trace

    This trace is now configured as a relative trace, and uses a new relative y-axis that appears on the right side of the graph with units of dB.