Agilent Debuts Multiwavelength and Optical Power Meters

March 14, 2013. Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the Agilent 86122C multiwavelength meter as well as the N7747A and N7748A optical power meters.

The two-channel N7747A and four-channel N7748A bring the sensitivity of the 81634B sensor module to the compact multichannel N77 platform, with updated memory size and data-transfer speed.

The Agilent N7747A and N7748A optical power meters enable engineers to make parallel multiport measurements and monitor weak signals and small signal changes with high precision in, for example, communications or sensing applications. The meters can detect power levels down to -110 dBm and log data at intervals down to 25 µs with up to 1 million points per channel. An equally large data buffer supports simultaneous measurement and data transfer.

With these features and specifications, the meters make it easy for engineers to monitor signal stability and transient events for long periods. Up to eight power-meter channels fit in a single 19-in. rack-height unit. Each channel also has a front-panel BNC connector that delivers analog output voltage proportional to the measured signal.

Like the faster N7744A and N7745A, these new power meters can be used with N77xx viewer software for simple control and reading and are programmable with the same set of SPCI commands as the rest of Agilent’s optical power-meter portfolio. The latest version of the popular 816x VXI plug&play driver also adds support for these products. Computer interfaces are provided for USB 2.0, LAN, and GPIB.

In addition to high sensitivity, low noise and solid stability, the N7747A and N7748A also provide high relative accuracy like the 81634B modules, with extremely low polarization dependence and spectral ripple as well as specified linearity. This combines to make these power meters an excellent choice in setups for measuring insertion loss and lowest PDL in passive optical components.

The Agilent N7747A and N7748A high-sensitivity multiport optical power meters will be available to order in May; shipments will begin in May. Price for a typical configuration starts at $20,750.

Additional information about Agilent’s new high-sensitivity optical power meters is available at and

Multiwavelength Meter

With an absolute wavelength accuracy of ±0.2 ppm and ±0.15 ppm differential accuracy, the Agilent 86122C belongs to the top class of wavelength meters available for optical communication testing, Agilent said. Its wavelength range of 1270 to 1650 nm covers all fiber-to-the-home, metro, and long-haul transmission systems. The meter can measure the spectra of up to 1,000 laser lines at once, which is more than sufficient for fully populated dense-wavelength-division multiplexed systems (DWDM).

Statistical data from a large share of the industry’s installed wavelength meters enables Agilent to continuously fine-tune its instruments for lower cost of ownership and longer usage. Agilent has extended the recommended recalibration period of the 86122C to two years and doubled the expected lifetime of the built-in reference laser. The new multiwavelength meter comes with a five-year warranty that covers not only the reference laser, but all optomechanical and electronic parts.

“Manufacturers of tunable transmitters and other laser sources with critical wavelength requirements rely on wavelength meters that are proven to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Jürgen Beck, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s digital photonic test division. “With the 86122C’s five-year standard warranty, two-year recommended recalibration period, and doubled laser lifetime, we help customers minimize costly manufacturing downtime.”

Agilent will exhibit the 86122C, N7747A, and N7748A at OFC/NFOEC next week in Anaheim.

More in Components