Photon Kinetics debuts multicore optical fiber automated measurement system

Nov. 9, 2023
The new platform can characterize the critical properties of multicore optical fibers.

Photonic Kinetics has released its MCF 2000, an automated new multicore measurement system. The platform can measure the geometry and cut-off wavelength mode field diameter of any multicore fiber (MCF) design with a configuration of its MCF 2300.

Fully automated, sequential core alignment enables complete glass geometry and cut-off wavelength measurement of a 12-core MCF fiber in less than 90 seconds. The MCF 2300 Fiber Analysis System can comprehensively characterize multicore fibers including complete fiber geometry, the cut-off wavelength (spectral loss), and the mode field diameter of each fiber core, all with fully automated fiber alignment and simple preparation of fiber ends using standard tools.

Any MCF design with any number of cores can be characterized, including designs with or without reference markers and MCF designs with complex core structures (e.g., trenches). The MCF 2300 design is consistent with other Photon Kinetics test systems that provide production measurement capability based on the sample length required.

Like the industry-standard 2300, the MCF 2300 is a “short sample” test system capable of performing all the measurements commonly performed on fiber samples 2 meters long or shorter, such as fiber geometry, cut-off wavelength, mode field diameter, and coating geometry.

In the fiber production environment, short sample measurement systems are typically complemented by the Full-Length Station (FLS) systems. The FLS is capable of measurements such as automated bi-directional OTDR, and MFD by OTDR, with options for chromatic dispersion and PMD, performed on multi-kilometer, full-length fiber spools. The MCF version of the FLS will be covered in a future press release. Short sample and full-length test platforms, each with the ability to automatically perform a suite of essential measurements with minimal fiber handling revolutionized standard optical fiber production testing in the previous decade, enabling significant improvement of overall testing efficiency. The MCF versions of these platforms are expected to similarly transform the testing of the current new generation of multicore fiber designs.

For development purposes, the MCF 2300 short sample station retains the capability to make cut-back spectral attenuation measurements on long fiber lengths, taking advantage of the 2300’s industry-leading 15 wavelengths per second scanning speed and automated alignment capability.

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