Spatial-division multiplexing (SDM) techniques have been purposed to increase the capacity of optical fiber transmission links by utilizing multicore fibers or few-mode fibers (FMF). The most challenging impairments of SDMbased long-haul optical links mainly include modal dispersion and mode-dependent loss (MDL), whereas MDL arises from inline component imperfections, and breaks modal orthogonality thus degrading the capacity of multiple-inputmultiple- output (MIMO) receivers. To reduce MDL, optical approaches include mode scramblers and specialty fiber designs, yet these methods were burdened with high cost, yet cannot completely remove the accumulated MDL in the link. Besides, space-time trellis codes (STTC) were purposed to lessen MDL, but suffered from high complexity. In this work, we investigated the performance of space-time block-coding (STBC) scheme to mitigate MDL in SDM-based optical communication by exploiting space and delay diversity, whereas weight matrices of frequency-domain equalization (FDE) were updated heuristically using decision-directed recursive-least-squares (RLS) algorithm for convergence and channel estimation. The STBC was evaluated in a six-mode multiplexed system over 30-km FMF via 6×6 MIMO FDE, with modal gain offset 3 dB, core refractive index 1.49, numerical aperture 0.5. Results show that optical-signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) tolerance can be improved via STBC by approximately 3.1, 4.9, 7.8 dB for QPSK, 16- and 64-QAM with respective bit-error-rates (BER) and minimum-mean-square-error (MMSE). Besides, we also evaluate the complexity optimization of STBC decoding scheme with zero-forcing decision feedback (ZFDF) equalizer by shortening the coding slot length, which is robust to frequency-selective fading channels, and can be scaled up for SDM systems with more dynamic channels.
Yi Weng, Xuan He, Junyi Wang, and Zhongqi Pan, "Rigorous study of low-complexity adaptive space-time block-coded MIMO receivers in high-speed mode multiplexed fiber-optic transmission links using few-mode fibers," Proc. SPIE 10130, Next-Generation Optical Communication: Components, Sub-Systems, and Systems VI, 101300H (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 01, 2017; Published: 28 January 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251690.
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