Single-mode optoelectronic communication is the technology of choice in the telecommunication industry, due to the long distances and high data rates that are achievable. These benefits are now being exploited in the field of data communications. However, the demands of the data communication application are somewhat different from those of telecommunication. This paper discusses these differences.
Typical optical performance parameters for the data link are also considered. The two most important of these parameters are the laser safety limit and the minimum launched power. The methodologies which assure both of these parameters are presented.
The physics of single-mode fiber-to-fiber and laser-to-fiber coupling is reviewed, including an overview of various theoretical models which have been used. Results of ongoing experimental studies are presented and compared to a theoretical model. Discrepancies between the experimental results and the model are discussed.