The capacity of fibre optical communication systems has undergone enormous growth during the last few years in response to huge capacity demand for data transmission. With the available wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) equipment, commercial system can transport more than 100 channels over a single fibre. However, increasing the number of channels in such systems will eventually result in the usage of optical signal demultiplexing components with greater values of optical attenuation. Besides, when transmitted over long distances, the optical signal is highly attenuated. Therefore, to restore the optical power budget, it is necessary to implement optical signal amplification. This article may mainly tell you why EDFA is used in WDM system and how does it work.
Why Use EDFA in WDM System?
EDFA stands for erbium-doped fibre amplifiers, which is an optical amplifier that uses a doped optical fibre as a gain medium to amplify an optical signal. EDFA has large gain bandwidth, which is typically tens of nanometres and thus actually it is enough to amplify data channels with the highest data rates. A single EDFA may be used for simultaneously amplifying many data channels at different wavelengths within the gain region. Before such fibre amplifiers were available, there was no practical method for amplifying all channels between long fibre spans of a fibre-optic link. There are practically two wavelength widows C-Band (1530nm-1560nm) and L-Band (1560nm-1600nm). EDFA can amplify a wide wavelength range (1500nm-1600nm) simultaneously, which just satisfies the DWDM application, hence it is very useful in WDM for amplification.
How Does EDFA Work ?
The basic configuration for incorporating the EDFA in an optical fibre link is shown in the picture below. The signals and pump are combined through a WDM coupler and launched into an erbium-doped fibre (EDF). The amplified output signals can be transmitted through 60-100km before further amplification is required.
Erbium-doped fibre is the core technology of EDFA, which is a conventional silica fibre doped with erbium ions as the gain medium. Erbium ions (Er3+) are having the optical fluorescent properties that are suitable for the optical amplification. When an optical signal such as 1550nm wavelength signal enters the EDFA from input, the signal is combined with a 980nm or 1480nm pump laser through a wavelength division multiplexer device. The input signal and pump laser signal pass through erbium-doped fibre. Here the 1550nm signal is amplified through interaction with doped erbium ions. This can be well understood by the energy level diagram of Er3+ ions given in the following figure.
Where to Buy EDFA for Your WDM System ?
To ensure the required level of amplification over the frequency band used for transmission, it is highly important to choose the optimal configuration of the EDFAs. Before you buy a EDFA, keep in mind that the flatness and the level of the obtained amplification, and the amount of EDFA produced noise are highly dependent on each of the many parametres of the amplifier. FS provide many kinds of EDFAs, especially the DWDM EDFAs (shown in the picture below), which have many output options (12dBm-35dBm). Besides, they are very professional in optical amplifiers. Whatever doubts you have, they can give a clear reply.