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The Important Role of Optical Fiber Amplifiers

Aug. 01, 2019

The emergence of optical amplifiers is a new breakthrough in the field of optical information after optical fibers and lasers, and plays an important role in optical communication. The optical amplifier first solves the problem of optical path loss power compensation. In fiber-optic communication systems, the first major factor limiting the communication distance is the loss of the fiber. To compensate for the fiber loss, a repeater must be added after a certain distance has been transmitted. Before the advent of fiber amplifiers, the repeater must perform photoelectric conversion, which causes many problems. The optical amplifier can directly amplify the optical signal, eliminating the trouble of photoelectric conversion, and thus is widely used.

Optical amplifiers have promoted the application of optical wavelength division multiplexing technology. The outstanding problem originally encountered by wavelength division multiplexing technology is that each relay station must separate multiple wavelength signals, separately perform photoelectric optical conversion, and then relay optical signals of different wavelengths. This requires that the number of relay stations be equipped with fiber-optic communication devices equal in number to the wavelength of light. At the same time, the insertion loss of the optical multiplexer and the demultiplexer is large, so that the relay distance of the optical wavelength division multiplexing system is close to zero and cannot be used. The advent and use of EDFA has made light wave multiplexing practical. An EDFA can replace multiple devices to simultaneously amplify multiple different wavelength optical signals of a wavelength division multiplexing system, which greatly reduces the cost and has a gain bandwidth of tens to hundreds of nanometers. Not only that, the WDM technology combined with EDFA can be directly applied to the laid G.652 fiber, which realizes the smooth upgrade of the communication capacity of the fiber-optic communication system and reduces the cost. Optical wavelength division multiplexing technology and EDFA  optical fiber communication system have now become the mainstream to tell the development of optical fiber communication networks.

Optical time division multiplexing, optical frequency division multiplexing, coherent optical communication and other more excellent optical communication methods can be realized and gradually put into practical use will also benefit from optical amplifiers. Optical amplifiers have been widely used in optical fiber communication systems and become indispensable key components in optical fiber communication systems.