WDM Networks: The Transponder

Posted on by FS.COM

In optical fiber communications, optical transponder sends and receives the optical signal from a fiber. A transponder is typically characterized by its data rate and the maximum distance signal travels.

The transponders are of two types namely transmit transponders and receive transponders. The function of transmit transponder is to convert the incoming optical signal into pre-defined optical wavelength. The transponder (transmit) first converts the optical signal to an electrical signal and performs reshaping, retiming and retransmitting functions, also called 3R functions. The electrical signal is then used to drive the laser, which generates the optical signals having optical wavelength. The output from the all transponders (transmits) is fed to combiner in order to
combine all optical channels in optical domain. In receive transponder, reverse process takes place.

Individual wavelengths are first split from the combined optical signal with the help of fiber optical splitter and then fed to individual receive transponders, which convert the optical signal to electrical, thus 3R function and finally convert the signal back to the optical. Thus the individual channels are obtained. As the output of the transponder is factory set to a particular wavelength, each optical channel requires unique transponder.

Often, fiber optic transponders are used for testing interoperability and compatibility. Typical tests and measurements include jitter performance, receiver sensitivity as a function of bit error rate (BER), and transmission performance based on path penalty. Some fiber optic transponders are also used to perform transmitter eye measurements.

The transponder according to the invention utilises delays that are switchable between different optical fiber lines, so as to be able to select many different lengths without the necessity of re-designing the same transponder. Moreover, the transponder according to the invention uses a Single Side Band (SSB) optical component which produces an optical shift of the frequency of the radar signal, that avoids the drawbacks and solves the problems of the traditional electrical systems. The transponder according to the invention is comprised in multifunctional radar systems and allows at least three different uses: the first is the systems calibration on the basis of moving targets that are simulated in the production step,the second one is the performances test of a radar that has already been calibrated in the step of the system acceptance by the client (Field Acceptance Test), and the third one is the support to the identification of possible faults and nonworking partsof the radar, during the operation life of the same radar system. The transponder of the invention comes out to be easily producible and transportable.

An integrated transponder will also be needed: one transponder that couples to 10 individual fibers at a much lower cost than 10 individual transponders. With a super-channel transponder, several wavelengths are used, each with its own laser, modulator and detector. Photonic integration is the challenge to achieve a cost-effective transponder.

The Difference Between Fiber Optic Transponder And Fiber Transceiver

A transponder and transceiver are both functionally similar devices that convert a full-duplex electrical signal in a full-duplex optical signal. The difference between the two is that fiber transceivers interface electrically with the host system using a serial interface, whereas transponders use a parallel interface. So transponders are easier to handle lower-rate parallel signals, but are bulkier and consume more power than transceivers.

See more details: http://www.fs.com/c/10g-transponders-oeo_909

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