Abstract

A method for measuring the length of an optical fiber by use of an optical fiber ring laser pulse source is proposed and demonstrated. The key element of the optical fiber ring laser is a gain-switched Fabry–Perot laser diode operated in a self-injection seeding scheme. This method is especially suitable for measuring a medium or long fiber, and a resolution of 0.1m is experimentally achieved. The measurement is implemented by accurately determining the pulse frequency that can maximize the output power of the fiber ring laser. The measurement results depend only on the refractive index of the fiber corresponding to this single wavelength, instead of the group index of the fiber, which represents a great advantage over both optical time-domain reflectometry and optical low-coherence reflectometry methods.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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