Abstract

The nonlinear Fourier transform (NFT) is a promising tool to linearize the inherently nonlinear optical fiber channel. The NFT transforms a time-domain signal into the continuous and the discrete spectrum. The discrete spectrum is composed of an arbitrary number of complex valued discrete eigenvalues and their associated amplitudes. These discrete eigenvalues relate to solitons, which maintain their shape or return to it in an oscillating manner, while passing through the optical channel. Higher order solitons consisting of multiple eigenvalues are complex pulses, which are created and demodulated by sophisticated digital signal processing (DSP) leading to demanding hardware requirements. This paper shows a way to work with higher order solitons in a wavelength division multiplexing such as fashion by using optical-electrical signal processing and presents boundaries of this method. Optical-electrical signal processing decreases the required electrical and electro-optical hardware specifications substantially and enables to use a simplified DSP. The proposed creation method is subsequently employed to transmit higher order solitons consisting of five QPSK modulated eigenvalues. Furthermore, the optical-electrical processing is benchmarked against the Darboux transformation, which creates higher order solitons purely numerically. The results show that for a fifth-order soliton transmission the proposed method can significantly reduce the hardware requirements and DSP complexity.

© 2018 IEEE

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