We have developed a transfer standard for the spectral density of relative intensity noise (RIN) of optical fiber sources near 1550 nm. Amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) from an erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA), when it is optically filtered over a narrow band (<5 nm), yields a stable RIN spectrum that is practically constant to several tens of gigahertz. The RIN is calculated from the power spectral density as measured with a calibrated optical spectrum analyzer. For a typical device it is -110 dB/Hz, with uncertainty ⩽0.12 dB/Hz. The invariance of the RIN under attenuation yields a considerable dynamic range with respect to rf noise levels. Results are compared with those from a second method that uses a distributed-feedback laser (DFB) that has a Poisson-limited RIN. Application of each method to the same RIN measurement system yields frequency-dependent calibration functions that, when they are averaged, differ by ⩽0.2 dB.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(060.2320) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics amplifiers and oscillators
(060.2330) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics communications
(120.4800) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical standards and testing
(270.2500) Quantum optics : Fluctuations, relaxations, and noise
Gregory E. Obarski and Jolene D. Splett, "Transfer standard for the spectral density of relative intensity noise of optical fiber sources near 1550 nm," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 18, 750-761 (2001)