VCSEL fault location apparatus and method

Patent Number: 7,218,388
Issued: 5/15/2007
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: 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.
Filed: 12/1/2004
Application Number: 11/1,235
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.