Optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs) are an essential piece of equipment for measuring the optical power energy distribution over a specific wavelength domain. OSAs are fundamental in telecommunications due to their accuracy in light source characterization, WDM network analysis, OSNR measurement, and optical amplifier assessment. When reading an OSA trace, power is displayed on the vertical axis and the wavelength on the horizontal axis. This allows the multiple signals that are combined on a single fiber in a dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) system to be separated for per-channel analysis of the optical signal and its spectral interaction between other wavelengths.
OSAs are separated into three main categories, diffraction-grating-based optical spectrum analyzers, Fabry-Perot interferometer based optical spectrum analyzers, and Michelson interferometer-based optical spectrum analyzers. Diffraction-grating-based optical spectrum analyzers are designed specifically for laser and LED light sources. These OSAs utilize the monochromator with diffraction gratings to separate the different wavelengths of light and allow for only specific wavelengths. This process allows the OSA to reach its photodetector and results in higher wavelength resolution. Fabry-Perot interferometer based optical spectrum analyzers possess a fixed, narrow resolution within the frequency range of 100 MHz to 10 GHz. The narrow resolution allows for laser chirp measurements. Michelson interferometer-based optical spectrum analyzers are designed for direct coherence-length measurements and precise wavelength measurements.
Avalon Test Equipment carries a variety of optical spectrum analyzers from top manufacturers (EXFO, Anritsu, and more) to meet your testing requirements. Rent or purchase from Avalon and Test With Confidence®.
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