The effect of beat noise and other types of additive noise in time-spreading optical-code-division multiple-access (TS-OCDMA) networks is analyzed in this paper. By defining the coherent ratio kt, the ratio of the chip duration to the coherence time of the light source, TS-OCDMA systems are classified into incoherent, partially coherent, and coherent systems. The noise distributions and the bit-error rates are derived, and system performance is discussed for different cases. The performance of coherent systems is limited by the beat noise. With increasing kt, the effect of beat noise decreases in incoherent systems, and they eventually become free of beat noise. Possible solutions to the beat noise problem in coherent and partially coherent systems are also proposed and discussed.
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