I wanted to do a more robust measurement of PER of PM fibers for FOL, so I thought up this scheme.
I put together a setup as depicted below in order to take measurements of PER.
The first thing to do was to calibrate the whole setup. In order to do so, I first used the quarter and half wave plates closest to the NPRO to eliminate as much ellipticity from the output beam as possible, and then rotate the newly linearized light to be in alignment with the transmittance of the first polarizing beam splitter (P-Polarization).
I then aligned the fiber's fast axis with the P-Polarization on both the input and output sides. This was important so that no virtual ellipticity would be measured in the final measurement of PER.
I then mode matched and fiber coupled the first PBS output into the fibers, to about 30 mW (~60% coupling).
I wanted to measure both intensity of P and S simultaneously, so as to minimize the random little time-varying changes that would affect the measurements, so I used a powermeter and a PD, calibrated with the aformentioned powermeter.
In order to be able to compare the photodiode (PDA520) output to the powermeter (Orion) output, I fixed them each in their positions, and varied the laser power to produce the type of linear relationship we expect to see between PD Voltage and Optical Power. In this case, the conversion was P = V*2.719.
As opposed to the first method, which took only one datum, this method records P and S simultaneously, at different points through rotation of a linearly polarized beam.
Using the second HWP, I rotated the linearly polarized beam before it entered the fiber, at each point, recording the outputs of the PD and the Powermeter.
These data were then converted to be the same units, and fit to a sine wave.
As you can see, the intensities vary nearly identically, at a half wavelength phase difference, which is what one expects in this case. The PER of each polarization can be calculated by dividing the maximum value of one by the minimum of the other, and vice versa. The fact that these oscillate as we expect shows that the beam is relatively well linearized, and essentially that everything is working as it is assumed to be.
By looking at these fits, however, it is visible that they do not overlap with the actual extrema of the data. So, in order to produce more realistic values of extrema, those particular regions were fit to second order polynomials.
The values of these extrema yield the following measurements:
(SMin / PMax) = 0.007 +/- .004 ---> -21.54 +/- 2.48 dB
(PMin / SMax) = 0.022 +/- .009 ---> -16.58 +/- 1.78 dB
The problem I find with these measurements is that they're hard to reproduce.
Plus they seem high, since non-PM fibers advertise extinction ratios around -30 dB., plus I measured it at roughly -24 dB the first time I tried.
The next thing to do in terms of fiber characterization is to measure the frequency noise they introduce.
With respect to FOL, I just need some time to work on the PSL table, and at the Y end to couple the dumped SHG light, and then we can start using 1064nm beat notes to test//implement the feedback control system.