Abstract

A novel scheme for high-capacity optical transmission is studied. The proposed system is based on a multilevel modulation technique that uses solitons. The basic idea relies on the property of solitons that the evolution of the state of polarization during propagation can be represented with a good degree of approximation with a rigid rotation of the Poincaré sphere. Therefore, besides the rigid rotation that can be compensated for at the receiver, the state of polarization of the signal can be used to carry information. Here the limits of the rigid rotation that are due to polarization mode dispersion and amplified spontaneous emission noise are envisaged. Results show how this scheme permits the transmission-distance limit to be overcome for single-channel intensity-modulated direct-detection soliton systems. As an example we show how a 2.5-Gsymbol/s system with 24 polarization levels leads to a total capacity of 10 Gbits/s over distances up to 3000 km in links encompassing standard dispersion fibers.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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