A simple coded-subcarrier aided scheme is proposed to perform chromatic dispersion monitoring in flexible optical OFDM networks. A pair of coded label subcarriers is added to both edges of the optical OFDM signal spectrum at the edge transmitter node. Upon reception at any intermediate or the receiver node, chromatic dispersion estimation is performed, via simple direct detection, followed by electronic correlation procedures with the designated code sequences. The feasibility and the performance of the proposed scheme have been experimentally characterized. It provides a cost-effective monitoring solution for the optical OFDM signals across intermediate nodes in flexible OFDM networks.
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