Dark solitons in optical communication systems

Allen, Katherine M. (1995). Dark solitons in optical communication systems. PHD thesis, Aston University.

Abstract

This thesis presents experimental and theoretical work on the use of dark optical solitons as data carriers in communications systems. The background chapters provide an introduction to nonlinear optics, and to dark solitons, described as intensity dips in a bright background, with an asymmetrical phase profile. The motivation for the work is explained, considering both the superior stability of dark solitons and the need for a soliton solution suitable for the normal, rather than the anomalous (bright soliton) dispersion regime. The first chapters present two generation techniques, producing packets of dark solitons via bright pulse interaction, and generating continuous trains of dark pulses using a fibre laser. The latter were not dark solitons, but were suitable for imposition of the required phase shift by virtue of their extreme stability. The later chapters focus on the propagation and control of dark solitons. Their response to periodic loss and gain is shown to result in the exponential growth of spectral sidebands. This may be suppressed by reducing the periodicity of the loss/gain cycle or using periodic filtering. A general study of the response of dark solitons to spectral filtering is undertaken, showing dramatic differences in the behaviour of black and 99.9% grey solitons. The importance of this result is highlighted by simulations of propagation in noisy systems, where the timing jitter resulting from random noise is actually enhanced by filtering. The results of using sinusoidal phase modulation to control pulse position are presented, showing that the control is at the expense of serious modulation of the bright background. It is concluded that in almost every case, dark and bright solitons have very different properties, and to continue to make comparisons would not be so productive as to develop a deeper understanding of the interactions between the dark soliton and its bright background.

Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dark solitons,optical communication systems,nonlinear optics,transmission systems
Completed Date: 1995-10

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