OFS exploring few-mode fibers for potential 10x bandwidth increase

New OFS Labs patent seeks to expand understanding of the optical properties of few-moded fibers.

May 10th, 2012

On April 26, OFS and OFS Labs announced the addition of U.S. Patent No. 7,817,258, “Measuring Modal Content of Multi-Moded Fibers,” to the company's intellectual property portfolio.

The patent relates to a method for analyzing the output modal content of an optical fiber containing more than one spatial mode. The method allows mode content to be quantified by measuring interference between co-propagating modes in the optical fiber. By spatially resolving the interference, an image of the spatial beat pattern between two modes may be constructed, thereby providing information about the modes supported by the optical fiber.

This capability is useful to the understanding of optical properties of few-moded fibers, a potential next-generation technology that OFS says is being explored to expand fiber bandwidth ten-fold. Additionally, measurement of mode content is an important tool in development of kW-class fiber lasers for industrial cutting and welding applications, as cited by the patent.

In 2010, the Optical Society of America (OSA) published an academic white paper entitled, "Long distance transmission in few-mode fibers," which was co-authored by Benyuan Zhu, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at OFS Labs. You can access the white paper here.

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