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VCSEL fault location apparatus and method

United States Patent

May 15, 2007
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An apparatus for locating a fault within an optical fiber is disclosed. The apparatus, which can be formed as a part of a fiber-optic transmitter or as a stand-alone instrument, utilizes a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) to generate a test pulse of light which is coupled into an optical fiber under test. The VCSEL is subsequently reconfigured by changing a bias voltage thereto and is used as a resonant-cavity photodetector (RCPD) to detect a portion of the test light pulse which is reflected or scattered from any fault within the optical fiber. A time interval .DELTA.t between an instant in time when the test light pulse is generated and the time the reflected or scattered portion is detected can then be used to determine the location of the fault within the optical fiber.
Keeler; Gordon A. (Albuquerque, NM), Serkland; Darwin K. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 001,235
December 1, 2004
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.