The spectral characteristics of cross-phase modulation (XPM) in multispan intensity-modulation direct-detection (IM-DD) optical systems are investigated, both experimentally and theoretically. XPM crosstalk levels and its spectral features are found to be strongly dependent on fiber dispersion and optical signal channel spacing. Interference between XPM-induced crosstalk effects created in different amplified fiber spans is also found to be important to determine the overall frequency response of XPM crosstalk effects. XPM crosstalk between channels with different data rates is evaluated. The crosstalk level between higher and lower bit rate channels is found to be similar to that between two lower bit rate channels. The effect of dispersion compensation on XPM crosstalk in multispan optical systems is discussed and per span dispersion compensation was found to be the most effective way to minimize the effect of XPM crosstalk.
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