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Appl Opt. 2018 Oct 20;57(30):8824-8828. doi: 10.1364/AO.57.008824.

Cost-effective high-spatial-resolution photon-counting optical time-domain reflectometry at 850  nm.


Optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) is a widely employed instrument for monitoring the property of fiber links. Traditional OTDR always suffers from the trade-off between its spatial resolution and the sensitivity of light detection. Therefore, it cannot be applied in critical applications, such as in aviation, where OTDR with a high spatial resolution of several centimeters is required. In this paper, we develop a cost-effective photon-counting OTDR based on our homemade gain-switching pulsed laser at 850 nm. Thanks to the short pulse width of the laser and the relatively small time jitter of the photon detector, our photon-counting OTDR achieves a spatial resolution of less than 9 cm and satisfies the requirements for monitoring short fiber links in various types of airplanes. Finally, we realize a fully running system for monitoring an optical cable with 32 fiber channels on a plane.


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