Multimode fiber amplifier with tunable modal gain using a reconfigurable multimode pump

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We propose a method for controlling modal gain in a multimode Erbium-doped fiber amplifier (MM-EDFA) by tuning the mode content of a multimode pump. By adjusting the powers and orientation of input pump modes, modal dependent gain can be tuned over a large dynamic range. Performance impacts due to excitation of undesired pump modes, mode coupling and macro-bending loss within the erbium-doped fiber are also investigated. The MM-EDFA may potentially be a key element for long haul mode-division multiplexed transmission. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America