, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 283-303

PMD compensation techniques

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Mitigating PMD is still a challenge in today’s optical communications. After giving the key performance indicators dictated by the statistical nature of PMD, we introduce the classification of PMD compensation schemes into 2 categories: optical and electrical PMD compensators. In a first part, we explain the operation principle of a PMD compensator by taking a detailed look at the basic optical PMD compensator and appropriate feedback signals. More complex multistage structures and a feed-forward adaptation approach are also discussed. This first part is closed by results from a one-year field trial confirming the behavior and performance of a prototype compensator. In the second part of this article, electronic equalization for PMD mitigation is explained. Starting with a discussion on performance and adaptation of linear equalizers suitable for analog electronic signal processing, finally also the Viterbi equalizer basing on digital signal processing is analyzed. A comparative review of mitigation by optical or electronic means concludes the discussion.