Digital signal processing (DSP)-based coherent communications have become standard for future high-speed optical networks. Implementing DSP-based advanced algorithms for data detection requires much more detailed knowledge of the transmission link parameters, resulting in optical performance monitoring (OPM) being even more important for next generation systems. At the same time, the DSP platform also enables new strategies for OPM. In this paper, we propose the use of pilot symbols with alternating power levels and study the statistics of the received power and phase difference to simultaneously and independently monitor the carrier frequency offset between transmitter and receiver laser, laser linewidth, number of spans, fiber nonlinearity parameters as well as optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) of a transmission link. Analytical predictions are verified by simulation results for systems with full chromatic dispersion (CD) compensation per span and 10% CD under-compensation per span. In addition, we show that by monitoring the changes in the statistics of the received pilot symbols during network operation, one can locate faults or OSNR degradations along a transmission link without additional monitoring equipments at intermediate nodes, which may be useful for more efficient dynamic routing and network management.
© 2010 OSA
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