Chromatic dispersion is a major factor in determining the Information carrying capacity in a single-mode fiber communication system. Direct and accurate measurements of dispersion coefficients at certain specified wavelengths either in the manufacture facilities for specification control or in the field for testing of the Installed fiber cables are becoming more and more important. The conventional dispersion measurement techniques1 involve some tedious procedures in which a number of relative group delays between different wavelengths of a test fiber are measured, and the data are then fitted to an empirical function (usually a Sellmeier equation) by a least-squares method. The dispersion coefficients are then determined indirectly by differentiating the fitted function. The accuracy of these techniques, therefore, relies on the empirical function used, especially when only a few data are available.
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