There is much interest in the area of coherent optical fiber communications.1 One problem encountered In coherent systems is that of polarization-induced signal fading which can occur when conventional low-birefringence fibers are used as the communications link. Apart from using polarization-preserving fiber in such systems to maintain the signal light in a fixed state of polarization (SOP), polarization-induced signal fading can be overcome using active SOP stabilization techniques applied to the received light (or SOP compensation applied to the LO light), using a number of mechanical, electrooptic, or magnetooptic SOP transformers,2 or adopting a form of polarization diversity detection.3,4

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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