Abstract

The capacity of optical fiber transmission systems could be increased by multiplexing several signals at different wavelengths on each fiber. This paper considers various multiplex system designs that might be used with multimode fiber transmission systems. In each case, the required multiplexer size and material properties are calculated as functions of the basic parameters of the fiber system. For fiber systems of the type currently being tested, a compact (~2 mm in diameter × 1 cm long), rugged, three-channel multiplexer could be constructed using a blazed plane reflection grating and graded-refractive-index (GRIN) optics; and it appears that such devices could be produced using available materials and technology. Multiplexers using thick gratings or multilayer dielectric filters are larger, more complicated, and require materials at the very edge of available technology. Multiplexers using a multiple thick grating or hologram could be even smaller than the blazed-grating devices, but materials having the required characteristics have not been demonstrated.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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