Monitoring FO-PMD and SO-PMD over Time with Respect to Environmental Conditions

Winston Tumps Ireeta, Vitalis Musara, Andrew W. R. Leitch


Environmental conditions affect the birefringence of an optical fibre which in turn leads to fluctuations in its Polarization mode dispersion (PMD). Fluctuations in PMD make compensation for it in optical fibres very complicated. In this paper, fluctuations of first-order polarization mode dispersion (FO-PMD), FO-PMD coefficients and second-order polarization mode dispersion (SO-PMD) are monitored over time and also with respect to the environmental conditions. Long term measurements of FO-PMD have been done before by Mudau (2008) using the Generalized Interferometry Technique (GINTY) only. However, in this current study the FO-PMD coefficients and SO-PMD fluctuations were also monitored in addition to making a comparison between the measurements obtained using the Single-ended Dispersion Analyzer (FTB-5700) and the GINTY. These measurements were made on a 14.8 km long deployed aerial optical fibre that links St. Albans to Rockland transmission stations in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The weather information was obtained from the Kestrel 4500 pocket weather tracker that was set up at St. Albans transmission station. So, for good PMD compensation, PMD should be monitored for a very long period of time or use an instrument that can accurately measure it even when the optical fibre is exposed to harsh environmental conditions.

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Applied Physics Research   ISSN 1916-9639 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9647 (Online)   Email:

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