Optical Delay Lines

41 Optical Delay Lines from 10 manufacturers listed on GoPhotonics

An Optical Delay Line is an optical device that introduces a time delay between two or more optical signals. Optical Delay Lines from the leading manufacturers are listed below. Use the filters to narrow down on products based on your requirement. Download datasheets and request quotes for products that you find interesting. Your inquiry will be directed to the manufacturer and their distributors in your region.

Description: 1260 nm - 1650 nm, Variable Optical Delay Line for Interferometry Applications
Type:
Motorized Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled (with Front Panel Control)
Delay Range:
0 to 560 ps
Package Type:
Module with Connector
Operating Wavelength:
1260 to 1650 nm
Fiber Type:
Single Mode
Fiber Connectors:
FC/APC
Insertion Loss:
1 dB
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Description: 840/1060/1310/1550 nm Manually Variable ODL for Multiplexing Applications
Type:
Manually Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled
Delay Range:
0 to 1200 ps
Package Type:
Module with Connector
Operating Wavelength:
SM: 1260 to 1650 nm, 840 nm, 1060 nm, PM: 1310 nm,...
Fiber Type:
Single Mode / Polarization Maintaining
Fiber Connectors:
FC/PC, FC/APC, SC/PC, SC/APC
Insertion Loss:
1 to 1.5 dB
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Description: 1470 ps Free-Space Optical Delay Line
Type:
Fixed
Configuration:
Free Space (with Front Panel Control)
Delay Range:
1470 ps
Package Type:
Benchtop
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Description: 0.1 to 2.5 GHz, Optical Delay Lines for Radar Calibration Testing
Type:
Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled (with Front Panel Control)
Delay Range:
0.001 to 500 µsec
Package Type:
Rackmount
Operating Wavelength:
1565 to 1625 nm
Fiber Type:
Single Mode
Fiber Connectors:
FC/APC
Frequency:
0.1 to 2.5 GHz
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Description: Precision Optical Delay Line with a Scan Range of 15 ps - 150 ps
Type:
Fixed
Configuration:
Free Space
Delay Range:
15 ps, 50 ps, 150 ps
Package Type:
Benchtop
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Description: 0.1 - 280 µs, Optical Fiber Delay Lines for Radar Calibration & Signal Processing Applications
Type:
Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled
Delay Range:
0.1 to 280 µs
Package Type:
Benchtop
Operating Wavelength:
1310 nm
Insertion Loss:
1.01 dB
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Type:
Manually Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled
Delay Range:
0 to 330 ps
Package Type:
Module with Connector
Operating Wavelength:
1260 to 1650 nm
Fiber Type:
Polarization Maintaining
Fiber Connectors:
FC/APC
Insertion Loss:
1 dB
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Description: 840, 1060, 1310, 1550 and 1260 - 1650 nm Variable Optical Delay Line
Type:
Manually Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled
Delay Range:
0 to 250 ps
Package Type:
Module with Connector
Operating Wavelength:
SM: 1260 to 1650 nm, 840 nm, 1060 nm, PM: 1310 nm,...
Fiber Type:
Single Mode / Polarization Maintaining
Fiber Connectors:
FC/PC, FC/APC
Insertion Loss:
1 dB
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Description: Free-Space Optical Delay Line, 4000 ps Delay, 600 mm Travel, Imperial
Type:
Fixed
Configuration:
Free Space (with Front Panel Control)
Delay Range:
4000 ps
Package Type:
Benchtop
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Description: 1 ns to 500 µsec, Optical Delay Line for EW Systems & Radar Calibration Testing Applications
Type:
Variable
Configuration:
Fiber Coupled
Delay Range:
0.001 to 500 µsec
Package Type:
Rackmount
Fiber Type:
Single Mode
Fiber Connectors:
FC/APC
Frequency:
0.1 to 18 GHz
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1 - 10 of 41 Optical Delay Lines

What is an Optical Delay Line?

Optical Delay Line (ODL) is an optical device that is used to introduce a time delay for a light beam. It is an electric-optic instrument that produces fixed time delay(s), between nanoseconds to microseconds, for signals from 10MHz up to 40GHz and more. Frequencies below 10MHz are mostly optical noise, hence no information can be drawn out from them. The low-frequency ODL ranges from 10MHz to 6GHz with a time delay of microseconds and the high-frequency ODLs range from 6GHz to 40GHz with a time delay of nanoseconds. The time delay of microseconds for low-frequency ODL and nanoseconds for high-frequency ODL is due to the fact that time and frequency are inversely proportional.

Construction of an Optical Delay Lines


For the generation of optical delays, at first, pulses are sent through an optical arrangement (e.g., a beam splitter, that splits the incoming pulses into two equal parts simultaneously as shown in the figure above). This setup resembles an intensity autocorrelator (devices for measuring the intensity as a function of light) which contains a simple optical delay line on the left side represented as ODL. The ODL consists of two moving retroreflective mirrors mounted on a movable part (i.e., a mirror surface that reflects radiation with minimum scattering). 

By simply moving the retroreflective mirrors along with the mount we can increase or decrease the path length, which brings a time delay at the output pulse detector. We can adjust the time delay in order to bring constructive interference to the desired order in the output pulse. When the path lengths are simply in the air, then the retroreflective mirrors imply a delay of ≈3.34 ps per millimeter or ≈1 ns for 30 cm. The delay is manually adjusted in some cases, with a micrometer screw. 

What are the different types of ODL?

In general, ODLs fall into two primary categories based on their construction – passive or active.  

Passive ODLs


As the name implies, passive ODLs do not require any power and it consists of optical fiber that is cut and coiled to a precise length to provide a specific time delay as shown in the figure below.  Depending on the length and delay needed, coils are placed inside the portable component for short delays to larger rack-mount framework for longer delays. As the length of the fiber increases the delay time increases. All fiber Mach-Zehnder Interferometer can be made of two fiber couplers (i.e., an optical device used to split the input signals into two or more outputs, they are called splitters in this case) and a fiber-optic delay line as shown in the figure above.

Active ODLs


Active ODLs, are electronically powered devices that perform conversion of a radio frequency (RF) signal i.e, frequency range from around 20 kHz to around 300 GHz, to optical and then converts the output signal again as RF. The device first converts the incoming RF signal into an optical signal by using an optical transmitter, i.e, a device that accepts an electrical signal as input, and converts it into an optical signal.  The optical signal is then transmitted through a single-mode fiber coil of a particular length that provides a delay.  After passing through the fiber coil, the signal is then converted back to an RF signal using an RF modulator and collected as output by the device.

Applications of ODLs

In interferometers, i.e, device that uses the technology of splitting light into two beams that travel different optical paths and are then combined to produce constructive and destructive interference, here tunable delay line are created by making very small changes to the propagation distance of the optical beam. 

Variable time delays are required in optical fiber communications, for transmitting and receiving independent signals over a common signal path. To introduce a fixed time delay, the optical fiber communications contain a particular length of optical single-mode fiber which is wound up to a coil and kept dirt free. Since propagation losses in fibers are low, at particular telecom wavelengths, even fiber lengths of multiple kilometers, corresponding to delay times of microseconds, can be understood without any loss.

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