Optical amplifiers – Part 4: Maximum permissible optical power for the damage-free and safe use of optical amplifiers, including Raman amplifiers
|Publication Date:||1 March 2010|
|ICS Code (Optic amplifiers):||33.180.30|
|ICS Code (Amplifiers):||33.160.10|
Scope and object
This part of IEC 61292, which is a technical report, applies to all commercially available optical amplifiers (OAs), including optical fibre amplifiers (OFAs) using active fibres, as well as Raman amplifiers. Semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) using semiconductor gain media are also included.
This technical report provides a simple informative guideline on the threshold of high optical power that causes high-temperature damage of fibre. Also discussed is optical safety for manufacturers and users of optical amplifiers by reiterating substantial parts of existing standards and agreements on eye and skin safety.
To identify the maximum permissible optical power in the optical amplifier from damage-free and safety viewpoints, this technical report identifies the following values:
- the optical power limit that causes thermal damage to the fibre, such as fibre fuse and fibre-coat burning;
- the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) to which the eyes/skin can be exposed without consequential injury;
- the optical power limit in the fibre that causes MPE on the eyes/skin after free-space propagation from the fibre;
- the absolute allowable damage-free and safe level of optical power of the optical amplifier by comparing (a) and (c).
The objective of this technical report is to minimize potential confusion and misunderstanding in the industry that might cause unnecessary alarm and hinder the progress and acceptance of advancing optical amplifier technologies and markets.
It is important to point out that the reader should always refer to the latest international standards and agreements because the technologies concerned are rapidly evolving. In fact, the concept of hazard level and labelling is still evolving: more rigorous labelling requirements are under discussion in IEC Technical Committee 76 as of October 2008.
The present technical report will be frequently reviewed and will be updated by incorporating the results of various studies related to OAs and OA-supported optical systems in a timely manner.