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Optical amplifier for use in optical communications equipment

Image Number 15 for United States Patent #6373623.

The output level of pumping light supplied from a pumping light source is varied using a variable attenuator, which is controlled by a variable attenuator driver circuit. By separating a portion containing the pumping light source from a portion containing an amplification medium, it becomes possible to prevent heat emitted by the pumping light source from adversely affecting the amplification medium. By arranging the portion containing the pumping light source such that a pumping light source or sources can be added when necessary, optical transmission system requirements of having more pumping light sources for system upgrade can be accommodated readily. By packaging portions containing amplification media, an optical amplifier can be made small.

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