Real-time measurement of instabilities in optical fibres and optical fibre lasers

John_M. Dudley
FEMTO-ST Institute, UMR 6174 CNRS-Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Besançon, France
There have been many recent dramatic advances in the real-time measurement of ultrafast non-repetitive optical signals based on the use of the dispersive Fourier transform in the frequency domain, or time-lens approaches and related techniques in the time domain. In the context of propagation in nonlinear optical fibres, these real-time methods were initially used to study modulation instability, supercontinuum generation and rogue-wave phenomena, but were rapidly applied to study instabilities in modelocked lasers. In this presentation, we will review our recent work in this area, including results studying single-pass instabilities in optical fibre, as well as recent work studying complex pulse evolution behavior observed during the generation of dissipative soliton structures in a fiber laser. These results provide a unique picture of the internal evolution of dissipative solitons in a laser system, and we anticipate further applications in understanding the underlying laser dynamics and optimizing laser performance and stability.