The method for estimating the gain coefficient spectrum of an erbium-doped fiber (EDF) is proposed and demonstrated experimentally. The method employs a net gain–loss measurement that uses the level pumping of the EDF and the McCumber relation. A formula used to obtain the quotient of the gain and loss coefficient from the net gain–loss measurement is derived to determine the parameter in the McCumber relation. It is confirmed that the gain coefficient spectrum of an EDF estimated with the method coincides with the value estimated using a conventional net gain–loss measurement that employs the level pumping. The method is successfully applied to an erbium/ytterbium-doped fiber, for which it is impossible to perform a conventional net gain–loss measurement with pumping at the level of erbium ions because of the absorption transition of ytterbium ions from to levels.
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