Due to the statistical nature of the evolution of the polarization state in optical fibers and components, it is difficult to measure the global polarization dependent loss (PDL) of a series of concatenated components, each having a different PDL value. The global PDL of concatenated components with PDL cannot be obtained by a simple addition of the single PDL values, moreover, it requires a statistical description. In the present work the statistics of the PDL resulting from the concatenation of several components with PDL, connected by standard optical fibers or by elements having some polarization mode dispersion (PMD) is discussed. Simulations and experimental results supporting the existing theory are presented.
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