We describe an experimental realization of ultra-long-haul (ULH) networks with dynamically reconfigurable transparent optical add-drop multiplexers (OADMs) and optical cross-connects (OXCs). A simple new approach to dispersion management in ULH dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) transparent optical networks is proposed and implemented, which enables excellent transmission performance while avoiding dispersion compensation on a connection-by-connection basis. We demonstrate"broadcast-and-select"node architectures that take full advantage of this method. Our implementation of signal leveling ensures minimum variations of path-averaged power among the wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) channels between the dynamic gain-equalizing nodes and results in uniform nonlinear and spontaneous-emission penalties across the WDM spectrum. We achieve 80×10.7-Gb/s DWDM networking over 4160 km (52 spans×80 km each) of all-Raman-amplified symmetric dispersion-managed fiber and 13 concatenated OADMs or 320×320 wavelength-port OXCs with 320-km node spacing. The WDM channels use 50-GHz grid in C band and the simple nonreturn-to-zero (NRZ) modulation format. The measured Qvalues exhibit more than a 1.8-dB margin over the forward-error correction threshold for 10-15 bit-error-rate operation. We compare these results with point-to-point transmission of 80 ×10-Gb/s NRZ WDM signals over 4160 km without OADM/OXC and provide detailed characterization of penalties due to optical signal-to-noise-ratio degradation, filter concatenation, and crosstalk.
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