Abstract

Spontaneous emission noise limits the capacity and range of photonic communications systems that use linear optical amplifiers. We consider here the question of phase detection in such systems. Amplitude-to-phase-noise conversion occurs owing to the nonlinear Kerr effect in the transmission fiber, resulting in optimal phase noise performance when the nonlinear phase shift of the system is approximately 1 rad. Error-free state-of-the-art systems that use phase detection at multigigabit rates are thereby limited to a range of a few thousand kilometers.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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