Abstract

We analyze modulational instability (MI) of light waves in fiber systems with periodically varying dispersion. The dispersion fluctuation generates special waves, called nonconventional MI sidebands, which are shown to be highly sensitive to two fundamental system parameters. The first one is the average dispersion of the system. Surprisingly, the second parameter turns out to be the mean value of the dispersion coefficients of the two types of fibers of the system, which is then called “central dispersion.” These two parameters are used to control and optimize the MI process. In particular, we establish the existence of a critical region of the central dispersion at which the power gain of the nonconventional sidebands undergoes a dramatic enhancement.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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