, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 123-140

PMD impact on optical systems: Single- and multichannel effects

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We discuss the influence of polarization mode dispersion (PMD) on optical communication channels by putting special emphasis on PMD-induced pulse broadening. We present the analytical theory for PMD-induced pulse broadening, first in the deterministic and then for the random case. We then apply this theory to a comparison between a few different simple PMD-compensators. We also discuss the systems implications and outage probabilities that arise for different compensating techniques, including active optical compensation, alternative modulation formats and error correcting codes. Then we consider wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems, and present the unique aspects of PMD and PMD compensation that distinguish WDM transmission from the single-channel case. Finally the temporal drift is discussed, and the associated autocorrelation function is presented.