This paper describes a continuously variable and independently addressable channelized dispersion compensator. The optical system is a free-space grating-based system used in a four-pass configuration to ensure flat passbands. The variable dispersion is produced by an array of thermally adaptable curvature micromechanical mirrors. A per-channel variable dispersion greater than +/-400 ps/nm has been demonstrated, with 58 GHz +/-0.4 dB flat passband on 85 GHz spacing. The group delay ripple is less than 7 ps and the penalty with 40 Gb/s CSRZ is 0.7 dB.
We introduce a general concept for the design of all-optical wavelength converters with pulse reformatting functionality. The novel wavelength converters are based on a single semiconductor optical amplifier followed by an optical filter. A microelectromechanical system-based realization is shown and simultaneous 40 Gb/s wavelength conversion, switching and signal format conversion is demonstrated. The new pulse reformatting optical filter device outperforms current schemes with respect to input-power requirements, input-power dynamic range and signal quality.
Free-space-based channelized dynamic spectral equalizers are theoretically investigated by solving the temporal-frequency-dependent power-coupling integral for commonly used active device technologies: liquid-crystal modulators, tilting micromirror arrays, and deformable gratings. Channel-filter characteristics, such as bandwidth and interchannel transition, are found to depend on the different attenuation mechanisms provided by the active devices. Such information is required for choosing the proper device parameters in designing channel equalizers and similar free-space spatially dispersed subsystems.