OSA's Digital Library

Journal of Lightwave Technology

Journal of Lightwave Technology


  • Vol. 25, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2007
  • pp: 305–317

Nonintrusive Fiber Monitoring of TDM Optical Networks

Bert De Mulder, Wei Chen, Johan Bauwelinck, Jan Vandewege, and Xing-Zhi Qiu

Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp. 305-317 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (373 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

  • Export Citation/Save Click for help


This paper introduces a new embedded nonintrusive fiber-monitoring technique for time-division-multiplexing optical networks. It allows an optical transmitter to characterize the fiber plant from reflections caused by data bursts transmitted across the network instead of dedicated test signals. The probing is performed with minimal burden on data traffic so that many measurements can be averaged to improve accuracy. The method is very suitable for embedded optical time-domain reflectometers (OTDR), which reuse a network node's optical data transmitter for OTDR excitations and embed a reflectometer inside the fiber endpoint. This paper models the OTDR with Laplace transforms, an approach previously unpursued, after which it is explained how reflections from multiple data bursts with arbitrary width can be converted into one normalized format. This new class of OTDR excites the fiber with a negative step of light instead of the conventional short pulse. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for backscatter and Fresnel reflections caused by the negative step and pulse are compared theoretically. It is shown that negative-step OTDR breaks the tradeoff between excitation pulsewidth and distance resolution, has a natural separation between fiber backscatter and Fresnel reflectors, and improves the SNR of nonreflective events.

© 2007 IEEE

Bert De Mulder, Wei Chen, Johan Bauwelinck, Jan Vandewege, and Xing-Zhi Qiu, "Nonintrusive Fiber Monitoring of TDM Optical Networks," J. Lightwave Technol. 25, 305-317 (2007)

Sort:  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. D. Kilper, R. Bach, D. Blumenthal, D. Einstein, T. Landolsi, L. Ostar, M. Preiss, A. Willner, "Optical performance monitoring," J. Lightw. Technol. 22, 294-304 (2004).
  2. ITU-T Rec. L.25: Optical Fibre Cable Network Maintenance (1996).
  3. R. Asthana, Y. N. Singh, "Protection and restoration in optical networks," IETE J. Res. 50, 319-329 (2004).
  4. M. P. Gold, "Design of a long-range single-mode OTDR," J. Lightw. Technol. LT-3, 39-46 (1985).
  5. H. Lee, Y. Nam, D. Lee, H. Chung, K. Kim, "Demonstration of a low-cost 1625-nm OTDR monitoring for 350-km WDM networks with semiconductor optical amplifiers," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 852-854 (2005).
  6. H. Schmuck, J. Hehmann, T. Pfeiffer, Erhohte zuverlassigkeit von optischen zugangsnetzen durch integrierte faseruberwachung KölnGermany ITG-Fachbericht no. 185 (2004).
  7. H. Schmuck, J. Hehmann, M. Straub, T. Pfeiffer, "Embedded OTDR techniques for cost-efficient fibre monitoring in optical access networks ," Proc. 32th ECOC (2006) pp. 49-50.
  8. D. K. Mynbaev, "Optical access: Networks and components (overview)," Proc. SPIE—Int. Soc. Opt. Eng. 5598, 81-92 (2004).
  9. J. Bauwelinck, W. Chen, D. Verhulst, Y. Martens, P. Ossieur, X.-Z. Qiu, J. Vandewege, "A high-resolution burst-mode laser transmitter with fast and accurate level monitoring for 1.25 gb/s upstream GPONs," IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits 40, 1322-1330 (2005).
  10. ITU-T Rec. G.984.2: Gigabit-Capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON): Physical Media Dependent (PMD) Layer Specification (2003).
  11. G. Keeler, D. Serkland, K. Geib, G. Peake, "In situ OTDR for low-cost optical networks using singlemode 850 nm VCSEL," Electron. Lett. 41, 819-820 (2005).
  12. J. Vandewege, B. De Mulder, W. Chen, X.-Z. Qiu, Circuit, system and method for monitoring an optical fibre network (2005) EPO and U.S. patents pending.
  13. H. Takasugi, N. Tomita, J. Nakano, N. Atobe, "Design of a 1.65-μm-band optical time-domain reflectometer," J. Lightw. Technol. 11, 1743-1748 (1993).
  14. A. H. Hartog, M. P. Gold, "On the theory of backscattering in single-mode fibers," J. Lightw. Technol. LT-2, 76-82 (1984).
  15. F. P. Kapron, B. P. Adams, E. A. Thomas, J. W. Peters, "Fiber-optic reflection measurements using OCWR and OTDR techniques," J. Lightw. Technol. 7, 1234-1241 (1989).
  16. J. L. Hullett, T. V. Muoi, "A feedback receive amplifier for optical transmission systems," IEEE Trans. Commun. COM-24, 1180-1185 (1976).
  17. M. Nazarathy, S. A. Newton, R. P. Giffard, D. S. Moberly, F. Sischka, W. R. J. Trutna, S. Foster, "Real-time long range complementary correlation optical time domain reflectometer," J. Lightw. Technol. 7, 24-38 (1989).
  18. M. Tateda, T. Horiguchi, "Advances in optical time domain reflectometry," J. Lightw. Technol. 7, 1217-1224 (1989).
  19. D. Anderson, L. Johnson, F. G. Bell, Troubleshooting Optical Fiber Networks, First Edition: Understanding and Using Optical Time-Domain Reflectometers (Academic, 2004).

Cited By

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited