Spectrally dispersed light from a fine resolution waveguide grating router (WGR) of 25 GHz free spectral range (FSR) that radiates to free-space is spatially filtered at ~1 GHz resolution using a liquid crystal on Silicon (LCoS) spatial light modulator (SLM). Fabrication imperfections leading to phase errors on the 32 waveguide arms of the WGR are measured by the pair-wise far-field interference of adjacent waveguide pairs. The phase errors are then corrected using a UV pulsed laser to inscribe permanent optical path changes to the waveguides. WGR phase errors are permanently trimmed waveguide-by-waveguide with an excimer laser by inducing stress in the glass cladding above the waveguide for coarse setting and using the photosensitivity effect for fine setting. The WGR was then mated with an LCoS SLM located at the Fourier plane to form a photonic spectral processor (PSP), for arbitrary spectral amplitude and phase manipulations.
The idea behind flexible optical transmission is to optimize the use of fiber capacity by flexibly assigning spectrum and data rate adapted to the needs of end-to-end connection requests. Several techniques have been proposed to this end. One such technique is based on the utilization of Nyquist-shaping filters with the aim of reducing the required channel spacing in flexible single-carrier and super-channel optical transmission systems. Nonetheless, the imperfect shape of the filters used at the bandwidth-variable transceivers and wavelength-selective switches compels the necessity to allocate a certain spectral guard band between (sub-)channels. Bearing this is mind, in this paper, we focus on the evaluation of the network-level performance, in terms of the filter characteristics and the WDM frequency-grid granularity, of flexible Nyquist-WDM-based transmission. We demonstrate that a granularity of 6.25 GHz offers a good compromise between network performance and filter requirements for spectrum assignment to single-carrier and super-channel signals. However, for subchannel allocation within a super-channel, granularities as fine as 3.125 GHz are required to take advantage of filters with resolutions in the region of 1-1.2 GHz. Finer filter resolutions and frequency slot granularities provide negligible performance improvement.
We propose a novel architecture for all-optical add-drop multiplexing of OFDM signals. Sub-channel extraction is achieved by means of waveform replication and coherent subtraction from the OFDM super-channel. Numerical simulations have been carried out to benchmark the performance of the architecture against critical design parameters.
Efficient mode division multiplexing using the spatial aperture sampled concept from single-modefibers to a few-mode fiber is extended to circular step index fibers supporting up to ten spatial modes and to annular refractive index profile fibers supporting nine optical orbital angular momentum modes (mode counts double when considering polarization states for each case). Each sampling beam aperture is spatially shaped for lower average coupling losses and mode dependent losses or a balance thereof. The optimization demonstrates the scalability and consistent low losses for the aperture-sampled mode multiplexer for increasing mode counts, as opposed to the phase hologram-based mode conversion technique. The aperture-sampling approach is also found to be robust to small input fiber alignment errors and fiber geometrical distortions.
Over the last few decades, network traffic has consistently grown at an exponential rate and was efficiently satisfied using WDM and more efficient coding schemes requiring coherent detection. There is no indication that the network traffic growth trend will cease anytime soon, and we are nearing the day when the capacity of the ubiquitous single-mode fiber will be fully exploited. Space-domain multiplexing (SDM) for high-capacity transmission is the promising solution with the scaling potential to meet future capacity demands. However, there is still a large technological gap between current WDM optical communication system designs and SDM network implementations. In this article we lay the foundation of switching node designs for future WDM-SDM optical networks.
The first realization of a wavelength-selective switch (WSS) with direct integration of few mode fibers (FMF) is fully described. The free-space optics FMF-WSS dynamically steers spectral information-bearing beams containing three spatial modes from an input port to one of nine output ports using a phase spatial light modulator. Sources of mode dependent losses (MDL) are identified, analytically analyzed and experimentally confirmed on account of different modal sensitivities to fiber coupling in imperfect imaging and at spectral channel edges due to mode clipping. These performance impacting effects can be reduced by adhering to provided design guidelines, which scale in support of higher spatial mode counts. The effect on data transmission of cascaded passband filtering and MDL build-up is experimentally investigated in detail.