In this paper we examine the transmission of two types of ultra-wideband (UWB) signals, multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) and impulse radio ultra-wideband (IR-UWB), over single mode fiber at 1550 nm. In order to investigate the impact of optical components such as laser diode, external modulator and single mode fiber on UWB signals, we develop mathematical models for these components. These models are experimentally verified and corresponding numerical parameter values are obtained by experiment. Using these models we discuss the transmission of two types of UWB signals over single mode fiber. A new figure of merit namely distortion factor is defined. Using this figure of merit the direct modulation of distributed feedback (DFB) laser diode and the external modulation with Mach–Zehnder modulator (MZM) are compared in terms of their impact on UWB signals. Using intensive simulation we also compare MB-OFDM and IR-UWB in terms of their sensitivity to the distortions of a UWB over fiber link using error vector magnitude (EVM) as a figure of merit. An EVM measurement is accomplished for a MB-OFDM over fiber link. The impact of IR-UWB pulse shape on its resistance to the nonlinearity of modulation transfer function is also investigated.
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