We report and investigate the feasibility of zero-overhead laser phase noise compensation (PNC) for long-haul coherent optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (CO-OFDM) transmission systems, using the decision-directed phase equalizer (DDPE). DDPE updates the equalization parameters on a symbol-by-symbol basis after an initial decision making stage and retrieves an estimation of the phase noise value by extracting and averaging the phase drift of all OFDM sub-channels. Subsequently, a second equalization is performed by using the estimated phase noise value which is followed by a final decision making stage. We numerically compare the performance of DDPE and the CO-OFDM conventional equalizer (CE) for different laser linewidth values after transmission over 2000 km of uncompensated single-mode fiber (SMF) at 40 Gb/s and investigate the effect of fiber nonlinearity and amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise on the received signal quality. Furthermore, we analytically analyze the complexity of DDPE versus CE in terms of the number of required complex multiplications per bit.
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