Variable optical attenuation (VOA) for three-mode fiber is experimentally presented, utilizing an amplitude spatial light modulator (SLM), achieving up to -28dB uniform attenuation for all modes. Using the ability to spatially vary the attenuation distribution with the SLM, we also achieve up to 10dB differential attenuation between the fiber's two supported mode group (LP01 and LP11). The spatially selective attenuation serves as the basis of a dynamic mode-group equalizer (DME), potentially gain-balancing mode dependent optical amplification. We extend the experimental three mode DME functionality with a performance analysis of a fiber supporting 6 spatial modes in four mode groups. The spatial modes' distribution and overlap limit the available dynamic range and performance of the DME in the higher mode count case.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Optical Society of America.