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Dispersion Compensation Modules

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Acronym: DCM

Definition: modules used for dispersion compensation

German: Dispersionskompensations-Module

Categories: lightwave communications, photonic devices, light pulses

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In optical fiber communications, dispersion compensation modules (DCM) (also called dispersion compensation units, DCU) can be used for compensating the chromatic dispersion of, e.g., a long span of transmission fiber. Typically, such a module provides a fixed amount of dispersion (e.g. normal dispersion in the 1.6-μm spectral region), although tunable dispersion modules are also available. A module can easily be inserted into a fiber-optic link because it has fiber connectors for the input and output. The insertion losses may be compensated with a fiber amplifier, e.g. an erbium-doped fiber amplifier in a 1.5-μm telecom system. A dispersion-compensating module is often placed between two fiber amplifiers.

Dispersion compensation modules can be based on different technologies:

Various properties of dispersion compensation modules can be important:

For very high single-channel data rates, compensation of polarization mode dispersion can also be required. This is substantially more complicated, since it is necessary for that purpose to monitor the state of the signal and correct the time delays accordingly.

See also: dispersion compensation, optical fiber communications, optical data transmission
and other articles in the categories lightwave communications, photonic devices, light pulses

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