General Photonics Announces Distributed Polarization Crosstalk Analyzer for Fiber Gyro Coil Inspection, Stress Sensing, Infrastructure Stress Monitoring and More

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PolaX™ PXA-1000 Features 5 cm Spatial Resolution Over a Range of Up to 2.6km; -95 dB Polarization X-Talk Sensitivity and Other Capabilities for Advanced Monitoring and Inspection

PolaX... is well suited for a myriad of applications that include distributed stress sensing of PM fiber; structural change monitoring in bridges, tunnels, dams and buildings as well as intrusion detection.

General Photonics, a market leader in optical polarization control and optical polarization measurement, today announced the general release of its PolaX™ (PXA-1000) distributed polarization crosstalk (x-talk) analyzer. It is an enhanced version of a white light interferometer designed to obtain space-resolved stress information by analyzing stress-induced polarization cross-coupling along a length of polarization maintaining (PM) fiber.

PolaX's optical design eliminates the strong zero-order interference and reduces the multi-coupling interference common in traditional white light interferometers, both of which can cause “ghost” peaks in the measured signal. The removal of the “ghost” peaks enables PolaX to unambiguously identify the magnitudes and locations of actual x-talk peaks, resulting in higher measurement sensitivity, higher dynamic range, and higher spatial measurement accuracy than traditional white light interferometers.

"Our PolaX solution features advanced capabilities that include a high spatial resolution of 5 cm; the ability to use PM fiber as an intrinsic sensing element; a polarization cross-talk sensitivity of -95 dB and much more," said Ken Hargrove, VP of Sales and Marketing for General Photonics. "As such, it is well suited for a myriad of applications that include distributed stress sensing of PM fiber; structural change monitoring in bridges, tunnels, dams and buildings as well as intrusion detection. It's also ideal for PM fiber and fiber coil quality inspection, fiber coil winding in-process monitoring and quality inspection, and other such applications."

PolaX enables the use of the PM fiber itself as the sensing medium, eliminating the need to place multiple fiber gratings along the fiber. It can obtain higher spatial resolution of the stress distribution compared to grating-based systems. Because no discrete sensing elements are required, the system is easy to install and calibrate, making it ideal for monitoring space-resolved structural changes along bridges, tunnels, dams, oil pipes, or buildings. It can also be used as an intrusion detection system, because any mechanical disturbances to the PM fiber will cause polarization coupling. Another important application is PM fiber quality inspection. PolaX easily identifies defective sections of PM fiber.

PolaX is also ideal for quality inspection and screening of PM fiber coils, since it can pinpoint the locations of imperfections or areas of local stress on the fiber coil induced during the fiber winding process. PolaX comes with a notebook computer equipped with General Photonics' PolaXView™ software, which displays the location and polarization coupling ratio of each stress point as a function of distance, and flags stress points with polarization coupling above a user defined trigger threshold. A quality inspection report window indicates the pass/fail status of the PM fiber or PM fiber coil, with a list of the locations and polarization coupling strengths of all stress points.

Other applications for PolaX include measuring the extremely high polarization extinction ratio of a polarizing waveguide; obtaining the autocorrelation function of a light source; measuring the birefringence of a PM fiber and the lengths of PM and SM fibers; and matching the optical path lengths of an interferometer.

Summary of Technical Specifications
General Photonics' PolaX features an operating wavelength range of 1310 or 1550 nm. The polarization x-talk dynamic range is 75 dB and the sensitivity is -95 dB. Polarization x-talk resolution and accuracy are 0.25 dB and 0.5 dB, respectively. The operating temperature is 10 - 50 degrees Celsius. PolaX features a USB communications interface for use with the accompanying notebook computer.

Pricing and Availability
The PolaX is available immediately. Interested parties may contact General Photonics direct or a General Photonics channel partner near them for additional availability and pricing details.

About General Photonics
Founded in 1995, General Photonics is an award-winning world leader in the design and development of advanced optical polarization instruments; timing management instruments, optical modules and optical components. Its products are used worldwide in applications such as fiber optic communications networks; test and measurement applications such as for coherent detection systems; fiber optic sensor systems; medical imaging equipment and other applications. General Photonics, a privately-held company, maintains its headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Chino, Calif. An Engineering Center of Excellence and technical support team is located in Beijing, China. The company also uses a worldwide network of sales distributors and representatives. More information can be found at http://www.generalphotonics.com.

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