New Ridge Technologies NRT-8000 Compact OSA

March 17, 2015
Traditional optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs) are based on free-space optics and a tunable diffraction grading and often come with a price tag of $30,000 to $50,000, New Ridge says.

The reduction (in size and cost) is sufficient to bring the technology to an entirely new audience, which is key. Once a technology reaches “throw away” price points, new uses and applications are discovered and market penetration increases. Judge's Comment.

Traditional optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs) are based on free-space optics and a tunable diffraction grading and often come with a price tag of $30,000 to $50,000, New Ridge says. With the NRT-8000 Compact OSA, the company sought to provide a small, portable OSA at a fraction of the cost. The list price is $9,000, making it feasible for an OSA to be used for dedicated monitoring applications and not shared across a lab, New Ridge asserts, explaining that a new NRT-8000 costs about the same as refurbishing and recalibrating a 15-year-old OSA. The size of the NRT-8000 is 1.73x5.78x7.88 inches, and the instrument weighs less than 2 lbs.

The NRT-8000 offers many of the optical functions and capabilities of the standard grating OSA, including DWDM-ITU functions for test-bed, field, and deployment applications such as peak wavelength, channel power, channel noise, and OSNR. It self-calibrates every scan to the known wavelength of the built-in laser. MEMS technology is used for the small tuning filter. Post-scan digital signal processing is used to generate slit-line shapes and resolutions that improve the OSNR 10 dB compared to standard OSAs, New Ridge says.

OSA control is offered via a Windows-based UP and .dlls for lab automation. A client interface allows users to remotely log into the NRT-8000 via an IP connection from anywhere.

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