The basic property of degree of polarization (DOP) degradation of optical signal induced by polarization mode dispersion (PMD) in high-speed optical fiber transmission is investigated in detail. The DOP of the optical signal reflects the degree of waveform degradation caused by PMD, therefore,it is proposed to be used as the control signal judging the best compensation point for the optical adaptive PMD compensation techniques. However, the signal DOP is not only affected by PMD, but also by various factors, such as the modulation format, modulator chirp, fiber nonlinearity, amplified spontaneous emission (ASE), and so on. We use numerical simulations and experiments to explore the basic DOP property to detect PMD with these factors. We also show that using the signal DOP as control signal is especially useful for the optical duo-binary modulation because of its high sensitivity and wide PMD detection range.
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