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Why Not Use EDFA Amplifier in Long CATV Network?

2017-05-19 12:12:47 | Data Commu...

When deploying a long-distance CATV network, we always worry about the link performance due to the fiber attenuation that may make the CATV signals weaker and weaker as the distance of the CATV link increases. How to deal with it? Here offers the EDFA amplifier as an ideal solution that utilizes both laser and fiber technology to amplify signals. By using the EDFA amplifier in CATV application, the low CATV signal power can be enhanced into CATV high signal power for a long-distance CATV network link. To better know the EDFA amplifier function for CATV network, let’s study the basic knowledge of EDFA amplifier and analyze a typical CATV network using EDFA amplifier.

EDFA Amplifier Overview

EDFA is an fiber optic amplifier cleverly bonding laser technology and fiber technology to enhance the signal power, which can be used for extending the CATV network. Hence, EDFA used in CATV application can be also called CATV EDFA amplifier. Basically, the CATV EDFA amplifier has two kinds of configurations, co-propagating and counter-propagating configurations, designed with different working principles.

As for the EDFA amplifier with co-propagating configuration, you can learn it from the following figure. When the optical signal with wavelength around 1550 nm comes into the EDFA amplifier, it will firstly combine with the optical pump offered by the EDFA amplifier. Then the optical signal and pump will pass through a WDM coupler, be multiplexed into the erbium-doped fiber. Thirdly, the optical signal will be amplified and the residual pump will be removed from the fiber by the second WDM coupler. An in-line optical filter to prevent the pump light from outputting with the amplified signals and an optical isolator to prevent the reflected light from entering the amplifier will be placed after the second WDM coupler. Thereby, the signal amplification can be finally finished.

EDFA Amplifier with Co-propagating Configuration

As for the EDFA amplifier with counter-propagating configuration, the optical pump would firstly pass through the second WDM coupler, then multiplex with the optical signals into the erbium-doped fiber, and finally be removed from the fiber by the first WDM coupler. Compared to the co-propagating one, it will produce more noise but higher output power. Hence, combining the co- and counter-propagating amplification with bi-directional configurations to compromise is highly recommended. For more EDFA amplifier information, you can learn from EDFA wiki.

What Can CATV Network Benefit from EDFA Amplifier?

Compared to the traditional PDFA amplifier, EDFA amplifier performs better in CATV network due to its superior characteristics like low noise figure and low loss. As for the detailed characteristics of CATV EDFA amplifier, we can learn them as below:

  • It has a relatively low noise figure and high stability.

  • Its RS232 interface is very user friendly which is easy to control and monitor.

  • It works at 1550nm, consistent with C-band. Thereby, the fiber loss can be highly reduced, which enables a longer CATV network.

  • It features a wide signal gain spectrum, up to 30 nm or more. Hence, it is a good choice for broadband signal amplification, especially in WDM network.

  • It designed with higher saturation output power for better performance in CATV network longer than 100 km. Besides, this feature also benefits complicated network that requires splitting optical signals into multiple fiber optic receivers.

Analysis of a Typical CATV Network with EDFA Amplifier

Here offers a figure about a basic CATV network that uses the CATV EDFA amplifier to enhance the signals with 1550 nm for a longer transmission distance. We can see at the Local CATV Provider side, multiple signals are sent and then processed and combined into an integrated CATV signal with 1550 nm. Then CATV EDFA amplifier are used for amplifying the signals, thereby the transmission distance can be extended from 50 km to 150 km. With the use of CATV EDFA amplifier, these signals can be amplified, transmitted longer and finally split into multiple signals with 1550 nm again to server the hotel rooms.

CATV EDFA Amplifier Application


EDFA amplifier can serve CATV applications well because of its high output power, but low distortion and noise capability. It is an idea solution to enhance signals for extending CATV network transmission distance, especially in the long CATV network, more than 100 km. It is also useful in the CATV network where the optical signals should be finally split into multiple fiber optic receivers.

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