Abstract

Knowing magnitude, phase, and polarization responses is of great importance for fabrication and application of optical devices. A large variety of parameters such as insertion loss, dispersion, group delay, polarization-dependent loss, and polarization mode dispersion can be obtained based on these responses. Conventional approaches achieve the optical spectral responses by sweeping the wavelength of a laser source. Restricted by the low-wavelength accuracy and poor wavelength stability of the wavelength-swept laser source, the resolution of the optical vector analyzers (OVAs) are usually poor (>1.6 pm). To achieve ultrahigh resolution measurement, an OVA based on optical single-sideband (OSSB) modulation has been proposed and developed, which potentially has a sub-Hz resolution. However, electrical-to-optical and optical-to-electrical conversions are required to implement the electrical frequency sweeping and to detect the phase and magnitude information in the electrical domain, which limits the spectral measurement range, accuracy, and dynamic range. In the past decade, great efforts have been devoted to deal with these problems. In this paper, techniques for constructing high-performance OSSB-based OVAs are discussed with an emphasis on the system architectures and operation principles for improving the spectral measurement range, accuracy, and dynamic range of the measurement system. Possible future research directions are also discussed.

© 2016 IEEE

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