Yokogawa has complemented its line of optical spectrum analyzers with the new AQ6150 Series Optical Wavelength Meters. The optical wavelength meters are designed to offer high accuracy and large scale, with the ability to measure from 1 to 1024 wavelengths simultaneously. The space between wavelengths may be as narrow as 5 GHz. The company also touts the AQ6150 optical wavelength meter series as the fastest available, with the ability to measure, analyze, and transfer wavelength data within 0.3 s. Such speed is important in a variety of applications, such as evaluating the performance of tunable lasers. The AQ6150 Series includes two models. The AQ6151 model offers an accuracy of ± 0.3 pm, while the more moderately priced AQ6150 offers ± 1-pm accuracy. Both models feature a measurement wavelength range of 1270 to 1650 nm. The optical wavelength meters use a Michelson interferometer and a high-speed Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm, which enable them to measure a multiple-wavelength laser signal from a DWDM system and Fabry-Perot laser. The wavelength meters also are able to measure modulated laser signals as well as the CW signal from an optical transceiver. Michael Kwok, product manager, optical test and measurement at Yokogawa Corporation of America, admitted to Lightwave that in the past optical wavelength meters based on Michelson interferometers presented maintenance challenges. The fact that the internal reference laser at the heart of the interferometer eventually will burn out means such systems may require what can often be costly, complex, and time-consuming laser replacement procedures. Yokogawa has addressed this concern in the AQ6150 series in two ways. First, the meters use an internal reference laser with a lifespan of 40,000 hours, which Yokogawa asserts is significantly greater than that of the internal reference lasers competitors use. Second, the new optical wavelength meters have been designed to simplify the laser replacement process, which means the procedure is less costly and time-consuming than may have been the case previously with similar instruments, particularly from other suppliers. Yokogawa expects the AQ6150 series to find use in testing WDM transmission systems as well as such devices as distributed feedback lasers, tunable lasers, Fabry-Perot lasers, and optical transceivers. The 1024-wavelength capacity means that several devices under test can be connected to the optical wavelength meters simultaneously, which makes the instruments particularly useful in production applications. The two models are 19 inches wide and 3RU high. Deliveries should begin in January 2013. While not releasing specific numbers for publication, Yokogawa says the prices for the two models are lower than those of competing optical wavelength meters. For more information on test equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.