Abstract

We describe a new type of optical reflectometry which is useful in testing single-mode lightguide systems. This technique uses a scanning Michelson interferometer in conjunction with a broadband illuminating source and cross-correlation detection. High resolution is achieved through the limited coherence of the backscattered radiation. With this approach it is possible to distinguish scattering centers separated by only a few micrometers. In some cases loss may be estimated for components in the transmission path of a test lightguide. The basic principles of this diagnostic technique, along with some performance characteristics, are illustrated for an all-fiber reflectometer. We also discuss several laboratory applications which serve to demonstrate the resolution capabilities of this measurement concept.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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