A general theoretical model of statistical Raman crosstalk and its impact on system performance in a multiwavelength bidirectionally pumped Raman fiber amplifier (RFA) is developed for the first time, where we have taken modulation statistics, dispersion-induced pulse walk-off and signal-induced pump depletion into account. Two kinds of statistical Raman crosstalk, from signal-induced forward-pump depletion and from signal-signal Raman interaction,are included in one model. Formulas for normalized Raman crosstalk, Raman crosstalk-induced relative intensity noise spectral density, and its variance and system performance impact in terms of Q penalty are presented for both a single-span system and a dispersion-compensated multispan wavelength-division-multiplexed (WDM) link. Based on these formulas,we numerically investigate the impact of Raman crosstalk on system performance in a three-wavelengths bidirectionally pumped 40 × 40-Gb/s WDM system for various fiber types. In addition, Raman crosstalk in a four-wavelength bidirectionally pumped RFA was experimentally measured. The results agree well with our theory.
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