Nonlinear phase noise (Gordon-Mollenauer phase noise) can limit the transmission distance for phase-shift-keyed modulation formats. In this paper, the compensation of nonlinear phase noise by a midlink optical phase conjugation (OPC) is studied. A proof-of-principle experiment is presented showing an over 4-dB improvement in Q factor when OPC is employed in a differential phase-shift-keying (DPSK) system. Also, an ultra long-haul OPC-based differential quadrature phase-shift-keying (DQPSK) transmission experiment is studied to show the impact of self-phase modulation (SPM)-induced impairments, including nonlinear phase noise, in a transmission line. OPC results in a 44% increase in transmission distance when compared to a"conventional"transmission system using dispersion compensating fiber (DCF) for chromatic dispersion compensation.
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