A flexible, powerful approach to optical spectrum processing for applications in remote fiber optic sensing, telecommunications and the life and health sciences is embodied in the LambdaCommander OSP-9500 programmable spectral source. It incorporates an amplified spontaneous emission broadband light source and a programmable spectral processor for researchers working in the C- and L-band telecom wavelengths. Of the two versions available, the light source covers the 1520- to 1560-nm range in one, and 1520 to 1620 nm in the other.
The source, developed by Newport Corp. of Irvine, Calif., gives operators full control of optical spectrum profiles, enabling them to simulate numerous spectral source types. Based on Cidra Corp.'s use of Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing technology, the product utilizes the digital micromirror device to rapidly switch segments on and off incrementally, transforming a diffracted spectral profile into an optical output. This capability allows full control of the intrinsic profile to reshape and define the exact spectral profile required for testing and simulation. The fiber-coupled instrument can apply any arbitrary transformation to the original optical signal by passing selected narrow wavelengths and blocking others. It also can apply a complex, time-varying function to the spectral shape with bandwidths up to 100 nm.
The system's approach allows operators to automate testing in the laboratory or in manufacturing environments for such applications as subnanometer spectral shaping, spectral gain flattening, optical coherence tomography, wavelength division multiplexing telecommunications simulation and optical filter design.