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Measurement of Optical Fiber Polarization Mode Dispersion and Beat Length
Interference technique is widely used in fiber optic test field. For example, the interference test techniques of PMD and beat length are the typical ones, which base on the same principle.
The tested sample is placed on one of the two optical circuit arms. The beams of polarized light, from the two optical circuit arms of the interferometer, are injected into the sample in the directions of two orthogonal characteristic optical axes. By adjusting the optical path of the movable optical circuit arms, the polarized light beams from the two characteristic directions will engender interference at the output end, and we can get the time delay difference between two PDMs obtained from the sample by the adjustment, that is PMD:τ=2d/c. Here d is the quantity of optical path adjustment, and c is optical speed.

When the propagation phase difference of the two orthogonal linearly polarized modes achieves 2π the spatial distance, Lp, they pass through is called beat length.
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