ITTC Project

PMD Characterization of Installed Fiber

Project Award Date: 05-01-2003


The goal of this effort is to gain a better understanding of how polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) varies on installed (buried) fiber cables and how this behavior might impact the reliability of a a fiber-optic network.

Previous PMD work conducted in ITTC's Lightwave Communication Systems Laboratory involving dark, installed Sprint-owned optical fiber has provided an improved insight regarding the potential challenges posed by PMD at data rates at and above 10 Gb/s. This is a continuation/extension of this work.

The core within a fiber optic cable has to be perfectly circular to work correctly. Otherwise, data traveling through it get messed up. Changes in temperature, pressure and other stresses also make the cable unpredictable.

Meanwhile, increasing amounts of information are being transmitted over cable. Internet communication involves words and pictures, audio and video files; as it all gets pushed through cable, the likelihood of scrambling goes up.

At current data rates, PMD is so small that it goes unnoticed. It becomes a significant problem at higher data rates, which are needed to provide greater network capacity.


Faculty Investigator(s): Christopher Allen (PI)

Student Investigator(s): Pradeep Kondamuri

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): Sprint

Partner with ITTC

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