Experiments and Teardown of an Agilent 11896A Polarization Controller

In this episode Shahriar demonstrates the functionality and applications of an Agilent 11896A Polarization Controller. Various fiber optic communication methods are presented. This includes the use of complex modulation schemes (such as PAM and QAM for coherent receivers), polarization division multiplexing (PDM), wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), and spatial division multiplexing (SDM). The concept of light polarization is demonstrated by using a pair lenses from a consumer theater 3D glasses and two blue LEDs with uncorrelated lighting patterns.

In order to test the polarization controller, a solid-state laser source, SMF fiber with APC/PC connectors as well as a polarization beam splitter is presented. By using a pair of optical power sensors, the functionality of the polarization controller is verified. Finally, the teardown of the unit is presented and the method to achieve polarization control is observed. 

The fiber optic communication overview document can be downloaded here. I’d also like to acknowledge my colleague and friend Dr. Timo Pfau for his expertise and consult on fiber optic communication methods.



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  6. Adrian says:

    Hi Shariar.
    Easier said than done — however, we are desparately waiting for some new videos.
    A lab tour would be great, or a teardown, or a tutorial.
    What about a tutorial on spectrum analyzers: today they are as affordable as oscilloscopes,
    but less known and less obvious to use.

  7. Ahmed says:

    You need to do a tour of your lab and your instrument and tools, that would be really good for people building their labs and workbenches.

  8. raul says:

    Cool stuff as always!

  9. Javad says:

    Thank you so much, I am a big fan of your videos. A new topic idea would be: how to use VNA, S parameters and smith chart etc.

  10. A. Khalifa says:

    Nice video as usual. Just one question, you claimed in 29:30 that the several longitudinal modes of a FP laser have different state-of-polarizations. Are you sure about this? Please give a reference for this if you have a one. Thank you in advance.

  11. Darek says:

    Could you explain why in 15:51 these two lenses block the light whereas in 16:27 with similar position they do not? I noticed you switched their order (of which one is on top). Why does it happen like this?

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