In this paper, we show numerically and experimentally that turbo equalization (TE) is an efficient technique to mitigate performance degradations stemming from optical fiber propagation effects in both optical fiber dispersion managed and unmanaged coherent detection links. The effectiveness of the proposed solution can be appreciated in both linear and nonlinear regimes for either scenario. We report on a system employing a polarization division multiplexing (PDM) 16-quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) format for which we accomplish an increment in tolerance to link input power of up to 3 dB that represents a substantial improvement margin. The best bit error rate (BER) performances will therefore be guaranteed in a larger window, 6 dB, of link input power thanks to the implemented TE scheme. Moreover, our proposed approach is also proven to effectively mitigate interchannel impairments from surrounding amplitude shift-keying interfering channels in a dispersion managed link achieving also in this case an increment in power tolerance of 3 dB. Furthermore, in terms of BER performances, our proposed TE approach guarantees a gain of about a half order of magnitude at the best operational point. As TE can be included in the current coherent detection transceiver technologies and complement other equalization techniques, it has prospects for application in next-generation high-capacity and long-reach optical transmission links.
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