Ultra-long haul optical fibre transmission systems

Widdowson, Terence (1995). Ultra-long haul optical fibre transmission systems. PHD thesis, Aston University.


This thesis examines experimentally options for optical fibre transmission over oceanic distances. Its format follows the chronological evolution of ultra-long haul optical systems, commencing with opto-electronic regenerators as repeaters, progressing to optically amplified NRZ systems and finally solitonic propagation. In each case recirculating loop techniques are deployed to simplify the transmission experiments. Advances in high speed electronics have allowed regenerators operating at 10 Gbit/s to become a practical reality. By augmenting such devices with optical amplifiers it is possible to greatly enhance the repeater spacing. Work detailed in this thesis has culminated in the propagation of 10 Gbit/s data over 400,000 km with a repeater spacing of 160 km. System reliability and robustness are enhanced by the use of a directly modulated DFB laser transmitter and total insensitivity of the system to the signal state of polarisation. Optically amplified ultra-long haul NRZ systems have taken on particular importance with the impending deployment of TAT 12/13 and TPC 5. The performance of these systems is demonstrated to be primarily limited by analogue impairments such as the accumulation of amplifier noise, polarisation effects and optical non-linearities. These degradations may be reduced by the use of appropriate dispersion maps and by scrambling the transmitted state of signal polarisation. A novel high speed optically passive polarisation scrambler is detailed for the first time. At bit rates in excess of 10 Gbit/s it is shown that these systems are severely limited and do not offer the advantages that might be expected over regenerated links. Propagation using solitons as the data bits appears particularly attractive since the dispersive and non-linear effects of the fibre allow distortion free transmission. However, the generation of pure solitons is difficult but must be achieved if the uncontrolled transmission distance is to be maximised. This thesis presents a new technique for the stabilisation of an erbium fibre ring laser that has aUowed propagation of 2.5 Gbit/s solitons to the theoretical limit of ~ 18,000 km. At higher bit rates temporal jitter becomes a significant impairment and to aUow an increase in the aggregate line rate multiplexing in both time and polarisation domains has been proposed. These techniques are shown to be of only limited benefit in practical systems and ultimately some form of soliton transmission control is required. The thesis demonstrates synchronous retiming by amplitude modulation that has allowed 20 Gbit/s data to propagate 125,000 km error free with an amplifier spacing approaching the soliton period. Ultimately the speed of operation of such systems is limited by the electronics used and, thus, a new form of soliton control is demonstrated using all optical techniques to achieve synchronous phase modulation.

Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: fibre transmission,oceanic distances,ultra-long haul optical systems,optically amplified,high speed electronics
Completed Date: 1995-02



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