What’s the Optical Add-drop Multiplexer?
An optical add-drop multiplexer (OADM) is a device used in wavelength-division multiplexing systems for multiplexing and routing different channels of light into or out of a single mode fiber (SMF). This is a type of optical node, which is generally used for the construction of optical telecommunications networks. An OADM may be considered to be a specific type of optical cross-connect.
A traditional OADM consists of three stages: an optical demultiplexer, and optical fiber multiplexer, and between them a method of reconfiguring the paths between the optical demultiplexer, the optical multiplexer and a set of ports for adding and dropping signals. The optical demultiplexer separates wavelengths in an input fiber onto ports. The reconfiguration can be achieved by a fiber patch panel or by optical switches which direct the wavelengths to the optical multiplexer or to drop ports. The optical multiplexer multiplexes the wavelength channels that are to continue on from demultiplexer ports with those from the add ports, onto a single output fiber.
Principles of OADM technology
General OADM node can use four port model (Figure 1) to represent, includes three basic functions: Drop required wavelength signal, Add rumored signal to other wavelengths pass through unaffected. OADM specific network process is as follows: WDM signal coming from the line contains mangy wavelength signals into OADM’s “MainInput” side, according to business required, from many wavelength signals to selectively retrieved from the end (Drop) output desired wavelength signal, relative to the end from the Add the wavelength of the input signal to be transmitted. While the other has nothing to do with the local wavelength channels directly through the OADM, and rumored signals multiplexed together, the line output from the OADM (Main Output) Output.
Figure 1 OADM basic model
OADM node technical classification
Optical drop multiplexer network technologies can be divided into two types, fixed optical drop multiplexer (Fixed OADM, FOADM) and reconfigurable optical drop multiplexer (Reconfigurable OADM, ROADM).
Fixed Optical Drop Multiplexer (FOADM)
FOADM to filter as the main component, and its function is fixed to join or retrieve certain light wavelengths. General common FOADM can be divided into three types, namely Thin Film Filter type (TFF type), Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG type) and integrated planar Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWG type).
Thin Film Filter (TFF FOADM)
* TFF FOADM using thin film between the filtering effect of the different refractive index.
Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG FOADM)
* FBG FOADM use of fiber Bragg grating filtering effect, with two circulator can become FOADM.
Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWG FOADM)
* AWG FOADM gererally used in semiconductor fabrication processes, the integration of different refractive index material is formed on a flat substrate in a planar waveguide, when different wavelength light source is incident through the couping after the import side, due to take a different path length, while the different phase delay caused by different wavelengths and thus produce certain wavelengths in the export side to form a constructive or destructive interference, making waves in the export side, the different wavelengths will follow the design on a different channel to reach, and thus achieve FOADM function.
Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM)
ROADM can always be adjusted with the distribution network to add and drop wavelength, which reconstruct the network resource allocation, the flexibility to meet the requires of modern urban network, so a flexible ROADM features, plus optical switch substantial advantage, making the current fastest growing ROADM based voa attenuator based ROADM (switch based OADM). ROADM mainly be the optical switch, multiplexer and demultiplexer composed, Switch-based OADM, mainly divided into Wavelength independent switch array and wavelength selection switch.
Type 1 Wavelength independent switch array
Type 2 Wavelength selective switch
All kinds of optical drop multiplexer performance comparison
OADM network applications
WDM ROADM optical fiber suitable for different network environments
OADM in the metropolitan network development tendency
1. Arbitrary choice must be retrieved, adding wavelength, the wavelength can take advantage of the limited resources, the node can be retrieved with the need to do to join the adjustment of the signal wavelength, and has a remote control functions. This can provide dynamic reconfiguration of optical communications network capable ROADM will be connected to the backbone network critical devices. And FOADM is used for wavelength demand network access will be smaller parts to reduce costs. Furthermore, ROADM use to all kinds of Tunable Laser, unable Filter, or wavelength selective optical switches and other components.
2. Must be able to convert incompatible wavelength suitable for the backbone network will be transmitted wavelengths. Therefore, OADM be combined with wavelength conversioin Transponder or other functional components.
3. Must be able to compensate for the node to make acquisistion, adding such action energy loss. Therefore, OADM optical amplifiers must be combined with functional components.
4. Wavelength signals related specifications, such as: the signal to noise ratio (S/N), the energy balance between the signal wavelength, etc., are required to meet network requirements. Therefore must be combined OADM Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA), dispersion compensation module (DCM) and other components.