United States Patent Number: 5,796,479, August 18, 1998. 8 pages. Also available from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Website: http://www.uspto.gov.
A detector array spectrometer simultaneously monitors wavelength, power, and signal-to-noise ratio of wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) channels in telecommunication networks. A spectrometer spatially separates signals from the WDM channels according to the channels' wavelengths. The separated signals are incident on an array of split-detectors that conforms to the spatial separation of the signals provided by the spectrometer. While the split-detectors are positioned to receive a signal from each WDM channel, a noise detector is positioned between adjacent split-detectors to measure noise. A common mode output from two halves of each split-detector indicates the power in a WDM channel, while a differential output from the halves indicates wavelength deviations in the WDM channels. The ratio of the common mode signal to the noise detector signal is used to monitor the signal-to-noise ratio of the WDM channel. An angled diffraction grating in the spectrometer achieves compact size and high measurement resolution for the detector array spectrometer.
Electrical and Computer Engineering