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How to choose an optical detector for optical power meter?

How to choose an optical detector for optical power meter?

2020-12-28




Which detector do I need?

It is very important to correctly match the power meter detector type to the application. 

The correct detector for loss and power measurements on fiber systems will generally be as follows:


InGaAs (Indium Gallium Arsenide)

.General & precision measurements over 1000 - 1650 nm (other InGaAs detectors) up to the maximum meter range.

.CWDM or DWDM bands up to the maximum meter range.

.Single mode-only testing, with high accuracy.


Ge (Germanium)

.Modest accuracy from 850 - 1550 nm, up to the maximum meter range.

.Broad single mode & multimode testing.

Don't choose a Ge (Germanium) detector for:

.Work on WDM systems above 1550 nm. Calibration constants vary by about 2 dB between 1550 -1625 nm, with high temperature sensitivity. Supporting graphs provided below. 

.1550 nm testing is also affected in cold temperatures.

.Precision or laboratory grade accuracy. Ge is inherently non-linear by about 0.04 dB. It has temperature sensitivity, and responsivity is variable across the detector surface.


Si (Silicon)

.Precision measurement at 600 - 1000 nm up to the maximum meter range.

.POF, HCS and 850nm-only testing. It won't work for eg 1300 nm and longer.


H series / high power (attenuated InGaAs)

.High power measurements.

.These detectors are more expensive and have slightly lower accuracy than normal InGaAs detectors, so only specify them if actually required.

.Kingfisher power meters can be used up to the maximum display range.

.The peak signal power must be within the meter range.

.High power meters have less AutoTest sensitivity, which is a consideration for loss testing.

.The KI2600-H5 offers the best balance for most high power users, with up to +24 dBm range & reasonable Autotest senstivity


XL series / large area

.POF, MPO and other fibers above 200u active light diameter.

.Select from Si, Ge or InGaAs using the above guidelines. 

.HCS is 200u core diameter, so a standard meter is just OK for HCS installers, but a large area detector gives laboratory grade results.

.MPO connectors with 16 and 32 fibers require the larger Ge7 detector, which also works with other MPO fiber counts.

.The KI2600XL-H3B offers the highest power level of +33 dBm.


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