Abstract

In this paper, we review linear propagation effects in a multimode fiber (MMF) and their impact on performance and complexity in long-haul mode-division multiplexing (MDM) systems. We highlight the many similarities to wireless multi-input multioutput (MIMO) systems. Mode-dependent loss and gain (MDL), analogous to multipath fading, can reduce average channel capacity and cause outage in narrowband systems. Modal dispersion (MD), analogous to multipath delay spread, affects the complexity of MIMO equalization, but has no fundamental effect on performance. Optimal MIMO transmission uses a basis of the Schmidt modes, which may be obtained by a singular value decomposition of the MIMO channel. In the special case of a unitary channel (no MDL), an optimal basis is the set of principal modes, which are eigenvectors of a group delay operator, and are free of signal distortion to first order. We present a concatenation rule for the accumulation of MD along a multisection link. We review mode coupling in MMF, including physical origins, models, and regimes of weak and strong coupling. Strong mode coupling is a key to overcoming challenges in MDM systems. Strong coupling reduces the group delay spread from MD, minimizing the complexity of MIMO signal processing. Likewise, it reduces the variations of loss and gain from MDL, maximizing channel capacity. In the strong-coupling regime, the statistics of MD and MDL depend only on the number of modes and the variance of accumulated group delay or loss/gain, and can be derived from the eigenvalue distributions of certain Gaussian random matrices.

© 2013 IEEE

PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription