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Deterministic Polarization Controller


Deterministic Polarization Controller - DPC5500

  • True Deterministic Control
  • Polarization Scrambling
  • SOP Measurements


  • True Deterministic Control of Output State of Polarization (SOP)
  • Typically 1° on Poincaré Sphere within 1 ms
  • Automatic Compensation of SOP Drifts
  • High Speed SOP Control via DSP
  • Powerful SOP Scrambler Feature
  • External Trigger for Synchronized Measurements
  • Monitor Outputs of the S Parameters


  • Polarization Locking
  • Polarization Scrambling
  • SOP Measurements

The DPC5500 is an inline deterministic polarization controller that combines deterministic state of polarization control, high speed, low loss and high accuracy in a unique and unprecedented way. This polarization controller is comprised of our high speed, low loss IPM5300 polarimeter technology and a non-deterministic state of polarization (SOP) controller. The DPC5500 is ideal for R&D, manufacturing or industrial applications that require precise deterministic control or locking of a signal's SOP.

It facilitates the SOP control at a user-defined location in the optical system such that the SOP can be varied to accurately and precisely follow a prescribed path on the Poincaré Sphere. Compared to existing systems, the DPC5500 eliminates the inadequacies of most commercially available SOP controllers whose output SOP depends on the input SOP. The DPC5500 also does not suffer from drift and hysteresis effects like most other commercial high speed SOP controllers. The new all-fiber technology of the DPC5500 provides true deterministic control with very low insertion loss.

The desired SOP may either be defined via its azimuth/ellipticity parameters or its corresponding Stokes values which are graphically defined by a point on the Poincaré Sphere. Software modules for electronic SOP control, SOP tracing on the Poincaré Sphere and SOP scrambling are available for specific applications.

SOP Scrambler Feature
This included software package adds a powerful SOP scrambling functionality to the DPC5500 that randomly distributes the SOP of the output over the Poincaré Sphere in controlled and well defined patterns. Please see the SOP Scrambler Tab for details.

Modular Design
Based on Thorlabs' TXP5000 Modular Test & Measurement System, the DPC5500 offers additional features like USB/Ethernet ports, 'plug and play' combination with other modules (see Related Items Tab), an easy-to-use graphical user interface, and flexible configuration via LabVIEW™, Labwindows/CVI™, MSVC and Borland C drivers.

System Configurations
The DPC5500 is a single TXP card and includes the graphical user interface as well as all the drivers for LabVIEW™, Labwindows/CVI™, MSVC and Borland C.
The DPC5500-T is a complete plug-and-play system and includes the TXP5004 Mainframe and a preconfigured laptop computer.


Item #DCP5500
Wavelength Range 1510 - 1640 nm
Insertion Loss (w/ Connectors) < 1.2 dB
Max Input Power +15 dBm
PDL < 0.05 dB
SOP Settling Time 150 µs for < 10° deviation
1 ms for < 1 ° deviation
SOP Angle Setting Resolution 0.01°
Averaging Time Continuous Mode 10 µs to 300 ms
Averaging Time Buffered Mode 1 µs to 300 ms
SOP Accuracy ±0.25° on Poincaré Spherea, b
DOP Accuracy ±0.25%a
Relative Power Measurement Accuracy ±0.01 dBa
Abssolute Power Measurement Accuracy
(Pinput) > - 20 dBm)
± 0.3 dB
Operating Input Power Range, IPM Mode 45 dB, -30 to 15 dBm
Operating Input Power Range, DPC Mode 35 dB, -20 to 15 dBm
Parameter Resolution
DOP Measurement Resolution 0.01%
SOP Measurement Resolution Angles 0.001°
s1, s2, s3 Measurement Resolution 0.0001
Analog Monitor Output -2.5 to 2.5 V
Deterministic SOP Scrambler SW-DPC-SCR Option
Available Modes 6 (Accessible Only via Instrument Driver)
3 (via Graphical User Interface)
Poincaré Sphere Coverage Time ≥ 20 ms
Output Power Variation ≤ ±0.05 dB
General Technical Data
Operating Temperature 5 to 40 °C
Storage Temperature -40 to 70 °C
Weight 920 g
Optical Input/Output Connector FC/APC
Warm-Up Time for Rated Accuracy 10 min
Mechanical Width 2 Slots of TXP Chassis
  • At 0 ± 3 dBm, averaging time > 1 ms
  • Accuracies referring to the IPM5300 internal reference plane (All technical data are valid at 23 ± 5 °C and 45 ± 15% relative humidity)

SOP Scrambler Features

  • Well Defined Polarization Variations
  • Uniform Coverage of SOPs within a Well Defined Grid on the Poincaré Sphere within a Preset Time Frame
  • Depolarization of Polarized Light Sources to a Well Defined Degree of Polarization DOP
  • Event-Triggered Randomized SOP
  • 6 Scrambling Modes


  • Polarization Dependent Loss (PDL) Measurements
  • Bypassing Polarization Dependent Properties
  • Simulation of Polarization Drifts of Real Fibers
  • Depolarizing a Polarized Light Source

The new Deterministic SOP Scrambler mode is an included software package for the Deterministic Polarization Controller Module DPC5500. It adds a SOP scrambling functionality to the DPC5500 that randomly distributes the SOP of the output over the Poincaré Sphere in controlled and well defined patterns utilizing the new technology of the DPC5500. To adjust to the requirements of high or low speed applications like PDL measurements and depolarization this SOP Scrambler offers six modes of operation:

  • Deterministic SOP Scanner
    This mode periodically generates a grid of equally distributed SOPs on the Poincaré sphere and guarantees a complete and uniformly distributed coverage. Feedback from the internal inline polarimeter is used to place every calculated target SOP with high precision.
  • Fast Deterministic SOP Scanner
    The fast deterministic mode is faster but less accurate than deterministic mode. Feedback from the internal inline polarimeter is used only to control the start point of the SOP trajectory.
  • Deterministic Randomizer
    Generates an ideal random distribution of successive SOPs and guaranties a complete coverage of the Poincaré Sphere with a uniform distribution. Feedback from the internal inline polarimeter is used to place every calculated target SOP with high precision.
  • Standard Randomizer
    Generates a random distribution of successive SOPs. This mode is faster than the deterministic randomizer and works even with very low optical power input.
  • Standard SOP Scrambler
    Generates a random SOP trace continuously on the Poincaré Sphere. This scrambler mode works even with very low optical power input.
  • Deterministic SOP Scanner with Predefined Trace
    This mode periodically generates a predefined trace of successive SOPs on the Poincaré Sphere. The trace form can be programmed by the user. Feedback from the internal inline polarimeter is used to place every calculated target SOP with high precision.

Controlled Scrambling
The SOP Scrambler mode applies a new goal-oriented scrambling scheme. It generates all possible polarization states within a defined time frame. The new scrambler is based on the DPC5500, Deterministic Polarization Controller, capability to adjust and hold any required output SOP from an arbitrary or even varying input SOP. It calculates all needed SOPs to cover the entire Poincaré Sphere with a specified grid and successively handles these SOPs as target polarizations for the DPC5500.

Triggered Scrambling
All scrambler modes have input trigger capability. Each event trigger causes the SOP scanner, scrambler or randomizer to switch to the next SOP. The triggered scrambling feature allows a synchronization to the experiment's environment.


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