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NIST produces two new wavelength calibration standards for the wavelength division multiplexing L-band. (Standard Reference Materials).

NIST has developed two wavelength calibration transfer standards for the new L-band of wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) optical fiber communication systems. These standards, based on the absorption spectrum of carbon monoxide, are now available as Standard Reference Materials (SRM) 2514 and 2515.

Wavelength division multiplexing in optical fiber communication systems increases bandwidth by using many wavelength channels. Current WDM systems typically employ 50 GHz or 100 GHz channel spacing (0.4 mm or 0.8 nm, respectively) in the 1530 nm to 1560 nm WDM C-band, but WDM is expanding into the L-band region (approximately 1565 nm to 1625 nm). Wavelength references are needed in these regions to calibrate instruments such as optical spectrum analyzers, tunable lasers, and wavelength meters that are used to characterize WDM system components and measure the channel wavelengths. To complement wavelength calibration references for the WDM C-band (SRM 2517a, acetylene, and SRM 2519, hydrogen cyanide), NIST has developed SRMs 2514 and 2515. SRM 2514 can be used to calibrate the wavelength scale of measurement equipment in the 1560 nm to 1595 nm region. The unit is a single-mode optical-fiber-coupled absorption cell containing carbon monoxide [[blank].sup.12][C.sup.16]O gas, which has many absorption lines in t his region. NIST has characterized the pressure-induced shifts of these absorption lines and certifies the center wavelengths of 41 lines with uncertainties ranging from 0.4 pm to 0.7 pm. SRM 2515 is nearly identical to SRM 2514, except that it contains the [[blank].sup.13][C.sup.16]O isotopic species of

carbon monoxide. This isotopic species has numerous absorption lines at longer wavelengths, ranging from 1595 nm to 1630 nm. NIST also certifies the center wavelengths of 41 lines for this SRM. Since they are based on the quantized vibrational and rotational motion of molecules, these SRMs provide wavelength references that are very stable under changing environmental conditions.

CONTACT: Sarah Gilbert, (303) 497-3120; sgilbert@boulder.nist.gov.
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Publication:Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Words:324
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