Investigation of wavelength tunable laser modules for use in future optically switched dense wavelength division multiplexed networks
Connolly, Eoin M. (2008) Investigation of wavelength tunable laser modules for use in future optically switched dense wavelength division multiplexed networks. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This thesis investigates the use of fast wavelength tunable laser modules in future optically switched dense wavelength division multiplexed networks (DWDM). The worldwide demand for increasingly greater broadband access has thus far been
satisfied by the use of DWDM networks, enabled by the development of the erbium doped amplifier. However as this demand continues to grow electronic switching at network nodes will become a limiting factor, creating a potential bandwidth mismatch between the fibre capacities and switching capacity. Optical switching has been proposed to overcome this electronic bottleneck and fully utilize the
enormous bandwidth offered by fibre. Fast tunable lasers (TLs) are a key technology in this area, enabling fast wavelength switching.
Experimental work involving the fast wavelength switching of sampled grating distributed Bragg reflector TL modules is presented. Spurious mode generation during wavelength tuning is shown to cause severe cross-channel interference on
other data channels in a DWDM test bed. Bit error rate (BER) results demonstrate that a integrated semiconductor optical amplifier can greatly reduce system degradation caused by asynchronous switching of multiple TLs. This is achieved by
optically blanking the laser output during channel transition for a period of 60 ns. Immediately after the blanking period a wavelength drift due to the TL module
wavelength locking is found to cause cross channel interference and introduce an error floor >1 e-4 on the BER performance characteristic of an adjacent channel in a 12.5 GHz spaced DWDM network. This drift is characterised, using a selfheterodyne and a filter based approach – Error free performance is subsequently demonstrated by using an extended blanking period of 260 ns or by using subcarrier
multiplexing transmission and phase selective demodulation before detection.
A DWDM optical label switching system, utilizing 40 Gbit/s payload data with low data rate labels placed on a 40 GHz sub-carrier and using TL transmitters is presented. Channel performance is monitored on a static channel as a second data channel is tuned into an adjacent channel on a 100 GHz spaced grid. Error free performance is demonstrated only for the channel payload – Time resolved BER results in agreement with the TL wavelength drift are measured and demonstrate a
detrimental influence of the drift on the sub-carrier label performance.
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