This paper provides a unified framework to the design, performance optimization, and accurate numerical simulation of periodic, dispersion-managed (DM) single-channel long-haul optical transmission systems for nonsoliton on–off keying (OOK) modulation. The focus is on DM terrestrial systems, with identical spans composed of a long transmission fiber compensated at the span end by a linear dispersion compensating module, with pre- and postcompensation fibers at the beginning and end of the link. The framework is based on the dispersion-managed nonlinear Schrödinger equation (DM-NLSE). First, expressions of the DM-NLSE kernel are provided both in the frequency and the time domain, and a novel map strength parameter, appropriate for terrestrial systems, is introduced. It is then shown that the DM-NLSE contains all the basic information needed for system design, as summarized by three parameters: i) nonlinear phase, ii) in-line dispersion, and iii) map strength. Through a large-signal perturbative analysis of the DM-NLSE, the well-known linear relationship between the in-line dispersion and the optimal precompensation is derived, along with the large-signal step response of the DM link, from which the ghost pulses energy growth and a first estimation of the link memory are derived. The DM-NLSE is then linearized around the average signal field to get the amplitude/phase small-signal system matrix of the overall DM link, including pre- and postcompensation. By a singular-value decomposition of the small-signal DM link matrix, a novel expression of the memory of the optimized DM link is finally provided. Knowledge of such a memory is mandatory to run accurate numerical simulations and laboratory measurements with a sufficiently long pseudorandom bit sequence to avoid patterning effects.
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