An Optical Delay Line system (ODL) incorporates high-performance lasers such as DFBs, optical modulators for high operation frequencies, and photodiodes. It can also incorporate other components such as optical dispersion compensators, optical switches, optical amplifiers and pre- and post RF amplifiers for exceptionally high performance. For various delays, the ODL optical system supports very high bandwidths of analog signals, high sensitivity with wide dynamic range.

The ODL method is the most accurate and reliable method for time domain measurement for delay times of a few nano seconds to hundreds of microseconds. An Optical Delay Line is a method of wave guide where the media is fiber with a fixed index of refraction and relative constant group delay variation.

There are various applications that can use ODL systems, such as radar range calibration, MTI (moving target indication),  clutter canceller, BIT, ground-based system test, radar warning receiver, jammers for EW systems, timing control, path delay simulation, and phase shift discriminator.