Random fiber lasers are increasingly becoming an attractive proposition for obtaining high efficiency, high power sources [1,2]. These lasers have characteristically smooth optical spectra, which is usually attributed to an underlying incoherent feedback mechanism. However, the spectra of such lasers are measured using slow sweeping optical spectrum analyzers, which average out any fast spectral dynamics that may be present. To circumvent this limitation, we develop here a real-time spectral measurement technique based on a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) to study for the first time the instantaneous spectrum of a random fiber laser and its dynamic evolution.
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