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Monitoring the Noise Figure of EDFAs with Circulators via Backward Amplified Spontaneous Emission

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Er-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA's) are attractive for lightwave communications because of their high gain, low insertion loss, and independence of signal bit-rate, modulation formats and polarization states [1][2]. In-service performance monitoring of EDFA's in lightwave communications is required to permit failure detection. The performance of an EDFA can be characterized by its noise figure (NF), but it is difficult to determine the NF of an operating EDFA.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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