31 October 2013

PhD Thesis Defense: Characterization and Design of Coherent Optical OFDM Transmission Systems based on Hartley Transform

In the context of this PhD thesis defense, Marcin Chochol presents his work realized at CTTC .


Nowadays, due to huge deployment of optical transport networks, a continuous increase towards higher data rates up to 100 Gb/s and beyond is observed. Furthermore, an evolution of the current optical networks is forecasted, acquiring new functionalities, e.g. elastic spectrum assignment for the optical signals. The target for these new challenges in transmission is to find techniques ready to deal with a growth of demand for bandwidth continuously asked by network operators, for whom the standard systems do not meet the new functionalities while higher rates are being set up. A solution for covering all of those needs is to adapt techniques capable to deal with such enormous data rates, and ensuring the same high efficiency for long distances and mitigate the optical impairments accumulated along the transmission path. Additionally, these transmission techniques are expected to provide some degree of flexibility, in order to enhance the network flexibility.

A promising technology that can fully cope with those requires is the coherent optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (CO-OFDM). CO-OFDM provides several advantages, namely high sensitivity and spectral efficiency, simple integration and possibility to fully recover a signal in phase, amplitude and polarization. These systems are composed by digital signal processing (DSP) blocks that easily process data and can equalize and compensate the main impairments, providing high tolerance for dispersion effects. However, CO-OFDM systems are not free from drawbacks. Their high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) reduce their tolerance to nonlinearities. Furthermore, CO-OFDM systems are sensitive to any frequency shift and phase offset.

Hence, a constant envelope optical OFDM (CE-OFDM) is proposed for significantly reducing the PAPR and solving high sensitivity to nonlinear impairments. It consists in a phase modulated discrete multi-tone signal, which is coherently detected at the receiver side. An alternative transform, the discrete Hartley transform, is proposed to speed up calculations in the DSP and eliminate the need to have a Hermitian symmetry. The optical CE-OFDM by its unique flexibility and rate scalability turns out as a great technology applicable to different configurations, ranging from access to core networks. In case of access solutions, several cases are investigated. First, the optical CE-OFDM is applied for radio access network signals delivery by means of a wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) overlay in deployed access architecture. A decomposed radio access network is deployed over an existing standard passive optical network (PON), capable to avoid interference and cross talks with access signals between network clients. The system exhibited narrow channel spacing, while reducing losses fed into the access equipment path. Next, a full duplex 10 Gb/s bidirectional PON transmission over a single wavelength with RSOA based ONU is investigated. The key point of that system is the upstream transmission, which is achieved re-modulating the phase of a downstream intensity modulated signal after proper saturation. The reported sensitivity performances show a power budget matching the PON standards and an OSNR easy to reach on non-amplified PON. Next, a flexible metropolitan area network of up to 100km with traffic add/drop using WDM is investigated. There the narrowing effect of the optical filters is studied. Finally, an elastic upgrade of the existing Telefonica model of the Spanish national core network is proposed. For that, the transceiver architecture is proposed to be operated featuring polarization multiplexing. Respect to the existing fixed grid, the flexible approach (enabled by the CE-OFDM transceiver) results into reduced bandwidth occupancy and low OSNR requirement.