The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

Los Angeles Convention Center,
Los Angeles, California, USA

Short Courses

SC288 - Fundamentals of Polarization, PDL, and PMD

Sunday, 20 March
13:00 - 17:00

Short Course Level: Intermediate


Nick Frigo; US Naval Academy, USA

Short Course Description:

While polarization is one of the fundamental characteristics of light, it is only the advent of high-speed, long-haul transmission systems that has made polarization effects in the optical medium an important issue.  This course begins with illustrations of wave propagation for different states of polarization (linear, circular, elliptical) and we introduce the common formalisms with interactive examples, showing the relationships between the Jones and Poincare/Stokes representations.  Birefringence, a polarization-dependence for the speed of light in a medium, is introduced using these formalisms, emphasizing pictorial descriptions of the analytic methods.  This permits us to cover special topics such as perturbations, polarization-maintaining fibers (PMF), polarization controllers, polarizers, polarization-dependent loss (PDL), splicing losses, and measurement issues in a unified manner.  In-class demonstrations provide context to the main topics.  After a brief review of phase and group velocity, we consider systems of concatenated birefringent fibers to introduce polarization mode dispersion (PMD), emphasizing pictorial representations.  While the course is on fundamentals, in the last section we briefly address some of the ways in which PMD can impair transmission and several approaches to compensation and mitigation..

Short Course Benefits:

After taking this course you should be able to:

  • Describe the major representations of polarization states

  • Perform simple calculations of polarization evolution in birefringent media.

  • Explain the mechanisms underlying PMF and estimate splice tolerances

  • Discuss polarization-dependent loss sources and effects

  • Explain the physical origin of PMD

  • Describe the dominant effects of PMD on transmission systems

Short Course Audience:

The course is intended for engineers, technicians, and managers who would like a fundamental survey of polarization effects in devices or systems.  The participant should have a basic understanding of how matrices multiply column vectors in order to follow the Jones formalism.

Instructor Biography:

Nicholas Frigo received a bachelor’s degree from Claremont-McKenna College, and a Ph.D degree from Cornell University, both in Physics.  He has worked at the Naval Research Laboratory, at Litton Industries, at AT&T Bell Laboratories, and at AT&T Research in optical propagation and polarization effects in fibers, fiber optic sensors, and optical networks.  Since 2005 he has been teaching in the Physics Department at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Sponsored by: