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Test & Measurement

General Photonics Unleashes Tornado at OFC

LOS ANGELES -- General Photonics, a market leader in optical polarization measurement, announced today a new Multifunction Polarization Controller targeted at developers of coherent detection systems. According to General Photonics president Dr. Steve Yao, “Polarization in optical fiber can change at rates up to 280 kRad/sec. Such sudden changes occur when a fiber is suddenly jarred, and receivers must be capable of compensating. The MPC-202 generates test patterns at rates beyond 360 kRad/sec to accommodate the most stringent tests of coherent receivers.”

The MPC-202 uses cascaded sets of piezoelectric actuators under microprocessor control to change the polarization and generate a variety of complex polarization patterns. Most notably, the instrument creates a “worst case” condition for test engineers with a new test methodology called “Tornado” scrambling. In “Tornado” mode, the instrument generates tornado-like polarization variation traces, at a rate concentrated at the highest end of the rate histogram, the most difficult condition for communication systems to manage. The MPC-202 also provides several more traditional polarization scrambling patterns, such as continuous-trace scrambling with a Rayleigh distribution of polarization variation rates to emulate the behavior of real long-haul fibers. Technical Specifications The MPC-202 operates between 1260 and 1650 nm. It has four modes of operation: Scrambling (including Tornado), Manual, Modulation and Triggered. The MPC-202 can be fully controlled from the front panel or from one of four remote control interfaces.

In a separate release: LOS ANGELES -- General Photonics, a market leader in optical polarization measurement, announced today the successor to its popular MPC-101 Multifunction Polarization Controller. According to General Photonics president Dr. Steve Yao, “We are redesigning many of our mature products this year in order to retain our leadership position. Our MPC-101 is a market leader, but the new MPC-201 offers superior performance and reliability. In addition, we have upgraded many elements specifically to enhance the user experience, including adding an OLED display.”

The MPC-201 controls polarization in a fiber optic signal for test engineers to fully characterize fiber optic communication and sensor systems. This instrument precisely generates polarization patterns using a set of piezoelectric actuators under microprocessor control. The result is an instrument that generates a variety of complex polarization variation patterns that are useful to developers and test engineers. An attractive new pattern added to the MPC-201 is Tornado Scrambling, in which the polarization trace resembles a tornado, with a quasi-uniform variation rate for system stress testing. Another new pattern added is a scrambling mode with a Rayleigh distribution of polarization variation rates. The Rayleigh distribution is important for emulating the “real world” distribution of polarization variation rates in fiber. Technical Specifications The MPC-201 operates between 1260 and 1650 nm. It has four modes of operation: Scrambling, Manual, Modulated and Triggered. This new polarization controller utilizes FPGAs and multicore processing to improve response time. Additionally, the MPC-201 is one of the first fiber optic instruments in the world to offer an Organic LED display (OLED) for high resolution and visibility.

General Photonics Corp.

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