DWDM transmission is the enabling technology currently pushing the transmission bandwidths in core networks towards the multi-Tb/s regime with unregenerated transmission distances of several thousand km. Such systems represent the basic platform for transparent DWDM networks enabling both the transport of client signals with different data formats and bit rates (e.g. SDH/SONET, IP over WDM, Gigabit Ethernet, etc.) and dynamic provisioning of optical wavelength channels. Optical Performance Monitoring (OPM) will be one of the key elements for providing the capabilities of link set-up/control, fault localization, protection/restoration and path supervisioning for stable network operation becoming the major differentiator in next-generation networks.
Currently, signal quality is usually characterized by DWDM power levels, spectrum-interpolated Optical Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (OSNR), and channel wavelengths. On the other hand there is urgent need for new OPM technologies and strategies providing solutions for in-channel OSNR, signal quality measurement, fault localization and fault identification. Innovative research and product activities include polarization nulling, electrical and optical amplitude sampling, BER estimation, electrical spectrum analysis, and pilot tone technologies.
This presentation focuses on reviewing the requirements and solution concepts in current and next-generation networks with respect to Optical Performance Monitoring.