Coherent Detection, Optical Fiber Communication, Digital Signal Processing


Coherent detection with subsequent digital signal processing (DSP) is developed, analyzed theoretically and numerically and experimentally demonstrated in various fiber-optic transmission scenarios. The use of DSP in conjunction with coherent detection unleashes the benefits of coherent detection which rely on the preservation of full information of the incoming field. These benefits include high receiver sensitivity, the ability to achieve high spectral-efficiency and the use of advanced modulation formats. With the immense advancements in DSP speeds, many of the problems hindering the use of coherent detection in optical transmission systems have been eliminated. Most notably, DSP alleviates the need for hardware phase-locking and polarization tracking, which can now be achieved in the digital domain. The complexity previously associated with coherent detection is hence significantly diminished and coherent detection is once again considered a feasible detection alternative. In this thesis, several aspects of coherent detection (with or without subsequent DSP) are addressed. Coherent detection is presented as a means to extend the dispersion limit of a duobinary signal using an analog decision-directed phase-lock loop. Analytical bit-error ratio estimation for quadrature phase-shift keying signals is derived. To validate the promise for high spectral efficiency, the orthogonal-wavelength-division multiplexing scheme is suggested. In this scheme the WDM channels are spaced at the symbol rate, thus achieving the spectral efficiency limit. Theory, simulation and experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of this approach. Infinite impulse response filtering is shown to be an efficient alternative to finite impulse response filtering for chromatic dispersion compensation. Theory, design considerations, simulation and experimental results relating to this topic are presented. Interaction between fiber dispersion and nonlinearity remains the last major challenge deterministic effects pose for long-haul optical data transmission. Experimental results which demonstrate the possibility to digitally mitigate both dispersion and nonlinearity are presented. Impairment compensation is achieved using backward propagation by implementing the split-step method. Efficient realizations of the dispersion compensation operator used in this implementation are considered. Infinite-impulse response and wavelet-based filtering are both investigated as a means to reduce the required computational load associated with signal backward-propagation. Possible future research directions conclude this dissertation.


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Graduation Date



Li, Guifang


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program









Release Date

September 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)