Abstract

The probability distribution of the differential group delay (DGD) at any fiber length is determined by use of a physically reasonable model of the fiber birefringence. We show that if the fiber correlation length is of the same order as or larger than the beat length, the DGD distribution approaches a Maxwellian in roughly 30 fiber correlation lengths, corresponding to a couple of kilometers in realistic cases. We also find that the probability distribution function of the polarization dispersion vector at the output of the fiber depends on the angle between it and the local birefringence vector on the Poincaré sphere, showing that the DGD remains correlated with the orientation of the local birefringence axes over arbitrarily long distances.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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