Agilent Debuts Field-portable PMD/DGD Analyzer for Optical Network

2/23/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the first field-portable polarization mode dispersion (PMD)/differential group delay (DGD) analyzer. The Agilent N3909A is the first product that brings laboratory quality accuracy and reliability to field-testing applications. The analyzer utilizes a new implementation of the Jones Matrix Eigenanalysis (JME) method, fully compliant with industry standard TIA-455-122-A, which reduces troubleshooting time and network downtime.

The N3909A measures PMD, giving the user valuable information about an optical fiber's useable bandwidth. Decisions on bandwidth potential can now be based on far more reliable information, enabling service providers to make the best use of their installed fiber plant. This new implementation of the JME method makes this analyzer suitable for field use with a high robustness against fiber movement. Unlike existing field PMD measurement equipment, the new Agilent PMD/DGD analyzer gives the most reliable results on the market when measuring over optical amplifiers. By providing critical DGD at the same time, network troubleshooting is now possible whenever PMD might be involved. By knowing the DGD behavior, faults can be quickly and accurately identified and isolated, reducing the time required to fix network problems.

"This important innovation in using Jones Matrix Eigenanalysis in a field-portable analyzer makes DGD measurements practical for I&M applications," said Werner Berkel, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Photonic Measurement Division. "For the first time our customers can see the DGD distribution on their optical links in real-world testing over optical amplifiers."

The N3909A is part of the modular network tester (MNT) N3900A product series. It makes the modular network tester the complete test tool for installation and maintenance of optical networks. It is available with a full range of OTDR modules, a high-end optical spectrum analyzer module and a chromatic dispersion analyzer module. The plug and play module, weighing less than 2 kg, snaps onto the MNT in a second.

The N3909A PMD/DGD analyzer module works over a wavelength range of 1520 nm to 1630 nm with a PMD accuracy of 50 fs. It exhibits a high dynamic range of 52 dB and a wavelength resolution of 0.3 nm.

Product photos are available at

The Agilent N3909A consisting of the PMD/DGD analyzer module and the tunable laser source is now available for order. Further information can be found at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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