Abstract

Numerical solution of a general rate-equation model of an erbium-doped fiber amplifier highlights several important features of the device. A difference in strong-signal gain between copropagating and counterpropagating signal pump schemes in the presence of pump excited-state absorption is predicted, and this is confirmed by experiment. The detriment in the noise figure previously associated with counterpropagating schemes for only small-signal conditions is shown to be similar for strong signals, corresponding to a power-amplifier operating regime. In addition, a correction to the noise figure is given for the limit of a low-gain amplifier.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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