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16 November 2004 Polarization evolution and periodic power oscillation in recirculating loops
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For the last decade, recirculating loops have been a useful tool in the research and development of long haul transmission links. A loop experiment can emulate the transmission of an optical signal over thousands of kilometers by using a relatively short link of a few hundred kilometers and recirculating the signal several times. Although recirculating loops accurately replicate most physical effects encountered in point-to-point links (loss, noise, chromatic dispersion, nonlinear effects, etc), the statistics of polarization effects (polarization mode dispersion (PMD) and polarization-dependent loss (PDL)) may not be properly emulated. In an optical link, PDL can induce statistical fluctuations of the optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) and consequently of the bit-error-rate (BER). Due to environmental changes, the effects of PDL vary stochastically in time. The periodic nature of fiber loop may artificially produce an unrealistic PDL distribution and the statistical distribution of PDL effect may be significantly different from that in a installed link. We report the analysis and observation of a power oscillation effect caused by PDL due to the periodic nature of the polarization evolution in a recirculating loop. The oscillation is expected to affect the OSNR and consequently the BER as a function of recirculation.
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Yannick Keith Lize, Nicolas Godbout, and Suzanne Lacroix "Polarization evolution and periodic power oscillation in recirculating loops", Proc. SPIE 5579, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Telecommunications, Sensors, Software, and Lasers, (16 November 2004);

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