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Testing next-gen optical systems with simulated OFDM signals

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Orthogonal frequency-division multi¬plexing? digital communica¬tion? coherent-optical?

Orthogonal frequency-division multIplexing (OFDM) has become widely employed for wideband digital communication in wired and wireless systems. Recently, it has also attracted the attention of researchers developing long-haul optical transmission systems.

In optical applications, OFDM has the capability to overcome a variety of limitations commonly associated with optical transmission systems: modal dispersion, relative intensity noise, chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion, and self-phase modulation. Attracted by these inherent advantages, researchers are experimenting with two forms of OFDM in optical systems: coherent-optical OFDM (CO-OFDM) and direct-detected optical OFDM (DDO-OFDM).

The main differences between CO-OFDM and DDO-OFDM are in the ways optical signals are gener�ated and received. For example, a typical CO-OFMD architecture uses in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) modulation with coherent detection. In contrast, a typical DDO-OFDM architecture uses single-sideband (SSB) transmis�sion and direct detection.

These details are worth mentioning because they have implications for the required test system. During the early phases of development, one of the most important implications is the need for flexibility in both the software and hardware used to create and generate suitable test signals.

The measurement solution presented here includes software and hardware that can handle a wide range of modulation schemes, channel spacings, spectral widths, and detec�tion methods. As is described later, the major elements are the Agilent SystemVue software environment and an Agilent M8190A 12 GSa/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG).

View the PDF document for more information.

Originally published by Agilent Technologies Inc. at as "Testing Next-Generation Optical Systems with Simulated OFDM Signals".

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