Abstract

In this paper, we provide a detailed insight into photon-counting optical time-domain reflectometer ($\nu$-OTDR) operation, ranging from Geiger-mode operation of avalanche photodiodes (APD), analysis of different APD bias schemes, to the discussion of OTDR perspectives. Our results demonstrate that an InGaAs/InP APD-based $\nu$-OTDR has the potential of outperforming the dynamic range of a conventional state-of-the-art OTDR by 10 dB, as well as the two-point resolution by a factor of 20. Considering the trace acquisition speed of $\nu$-OTDRs, we find that a combination of rapid gating for high photon flux and free running mode for low photon flux is the most efficient solution. Concerning dead zones, our results are less promising. Without additional measures, e.g., an optical shutter, the photon counting approach is not competitive.

© 2010 IEEE

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2009 (2)

J. Zhang, R. Thew, C. Barreiro, H. Zbinden, "Practical fast gate rate InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche photodiodes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 091103-1-091103-3 (2009).

J. Zhang, R. Thew, J. D. Gautier, N. Gisin, H. Zbinden, "Comprehensive characterization of InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiodes at 1550 nm with an active quenching ASIC," IEEE J. Quantum Electron 45, 792-799 (2009).

2008 (1)

S. Friedrich, "Superconducting tunnel junction photon detectors: Theory and applications," J. Low Temp. Phys. 151, 277-286 (2008).

2007 (3)

Z. L. Yuan, B. E. Kardynal, A. W. Sharpe, A. J. Shields, "High speed single photon detection in the near infrared," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 041114-1-041114-3 (2007).

M. Legré, R. Thew, H. Zbinden, N. Gisin, "High resolution optical time domain reflectometer based on 1.55 $\mu$m up-conversion photon-counting module," Opt. Exp. 15, 8237-8242 (2007).

R. T. Thew, D. Stucki, J. D. Gautier, A. Rochas, H. Zbinden, "Free-running InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode with active quenching for single photon counting at telecom wavelengths," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 201114-1-201114-3 (2007).

2006 (2)

N. Namekata, S. Sasamori, S. Inoue, "800 MHz Single-photon detection at 1550-nm using an InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode operated with a sine wave gating," Opt. Exp. 14, 10043-10049 (2006).

E. Diamanti, C. Langrock, M. M. Fejer, Y. Yamamoto, "1.5 $\mu$m photon counting optical time-domain reflectometry with a single-photon detector based on upconversion in a periodically poled lithium niobate waveguide," Opt. Lett. 31, (2006).

2004 (1)

2002 (1)

F. Scholder, J. D. Gautier, M. Wegmuller, N. Gisin, "Long-distance OTDR using photon counting and large detection gates at telecom wavelength," Opt. Commun. 213, 57-61 (2002).

2001 (2)

D. Stucki, G. Ribordy, A. Stefanov, H. Zbinden, J. G. Rarity, T. Wall, "Photon counting for quantum key distribution with Peltier cooled InGaAs/InP APDs," J. Modern Opt. 48, 1967-1982 (2001).

G. N. Gol'tsman, O. Okunev, G. Chulkova, A. Lipatov, A. Semenov, K. Smirnov, B. Voronov, A. Dzardanov, C. Williams, R. Sobolewski, "Picosecond superconducting single-photon optical detector," Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 705-707 (2001).

2000 (2)

1998 (2)

G. Ribordy, J. D. Gautier, H. Zbinden, N. Gisin, "Performance of InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiodes as gated-mode photon counters," Appl. Opt. 37, 2272-2277 (1998).

B. Cabrera, R. M. Clarke, P. Colling, A. J. Miller, S. Nam, R. W. Romani, "Detection of single infrared, optical, and ultraviolet photons using superconducting transition edge sensors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 735-737 (1998).

1996 (1)

1980 (1)

P. Healey, P. Hensel, "Optical time domain reflectometry by photon counting," Electron. Lett. 16, 631-633 (1980).

1976 (1)

Appl. Opt. (4)

Appl. Phys. Lett. (5)

Z. L. Yuan, B. E. Kardynal, A. W. Sharpe, A. J. Shields, "High speed single photon detection in the near infrared," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 041114-1-041114-3 (2007).

J. Zhang, R. Thew, C. Barreiro, H. Zbinden, "Practical fast gate rate InGaAs/InP single-photon avalanche photodiodes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 091103-1-091103-3 (2009).

R. T. Thew, D. Stucki, J. D. Gautier, A. Rochas, H. Zbinden, "Free-running InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode with active quenching for single photon counting at telecom wavelengths," Appl. Phys. Lett. 91, 201114-1-201114-3 (2007).

G. N. Gol'tsman, O. Okunev, G. Chulkova, A. Lipatov, A. Semenov, K. Smirnov, B. Voronov, A. Dzardanov, C. Williams, R. Sobolewski, "Picosecond superconducting single-photon optical detector," Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 705-707 (2001).

B. Cabrera, R. M. Clarke, P. Colling, A. J. Miller, S. Nam, R. W. Romani, "Detection of single infrared, optical, and ultraviolet photons using superconducting transition edge sensors," Appl. Phys. Lett. 73, 735-737 (1998).

Electron. Lett. (1)

P. Healey, P. Hensel, "Optical time domain reflectometry by photon counting," Electron. Lett. 16, 631-633 (1980).

IEEE J. Quantum Electron (1)

J. Zhang, R. Thew, J. D. Gautier, N. Gisin, H. Zbinden, "Comprehensive characterization of InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiodes at 1550 nm with an active quenching ASIC," IEEE J. Quantum Electron 45, 792-799 (2009).

J. Lightwave Technol. (1)

J. Low Temp. Phys. (1)

S. Friedrich, "Superconducting tunnel junction photon detectors: Theory and applications," J. Low Temp. Phys. 151, 277-286 (2008).

J. Modern Opt. (1)

D. Stucki, G. Ribordy, A. Stefanov, H. Zbinden, J. G. Rarity, T. Wall, "Photon counting for quantum key distribution with Peltier cooled InGaAs/InP APDs," J. Modern Opt. 48, 1967-1982 (2001).

Nature (1)

S. Komiyama, O. Astafiev, V. Antonov, T. Kutsuwa, H. Hirai, "A single-photon detector in the far-infrared range," Nature 403, 405-407 (2000).

Opt. Commun. (1)

F. Scholder, J. D. Gautier, M. Wegmuller, N. Gisin, "Long-distance OTDR using photon counting and large detection gates at telecom wavelength," Opt. Commun. 213, 57-61 (2002).

Opt. Exp. (2)

M. Legré, R. Thew, H. Zbinden, N. Gisin, "High resolution optical time domain reflectometer based on 1.55 $\mu$m up-conversion photon-counting module," Opt. Exp. 15, 8237-8242 (2007).

N. Namekata, S. Sasamori, S. Inoue, "800 MHz Single-photon detection at 1550-nm using an InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode operated with a sine wave gating," Opt. Exp. 14, 10043-10049 (2006).

Opt. Lett. (1)

E. Diamanti, C. Langrock, M. M. Fejer, Y. Yamamoto, "1.5 $\mu$m photon counting optical time-domain reflectometry with a single-photon detector based on upconversion in a periodically poled lithium niobate waveguide," Opt. Lett. 31, (2006).

Other (6)

Luciol Instruments Scientex www.sunrisetelecom.ch www.scientex.co.jp/english/index.html.

Photomultiplier Tubes: Basics and Applications (Hamamatsu Photonics, 2006).

Photodiode technical guide. [Online] HamamatsuJapan http://sales.hamamatsu.com/assets/html/ssd/si-photodiode/index.htm (2009).

Avalanche photodiode : A user guide FremontCA (2007) Application Note, Perkin Elmer Corporation.

B. E. A. Saleh, M. C. Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics .

D. Derickson, Fiber Optic Test and Measurement (Prentice-Hall, 1998).

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