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Optimum Gain Equalization for WDM In-line Multistage Amplifier Systems

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Optical wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) is attractive to realize large capacity optical communication systems and networks [1]-[3], Er3+-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) will play a major role in such systems. The EDFAs are required to have wide and flat gain bandwidth to simultaneously amplify several WDM channels. If a small gain imbalance exists, it accumulates across the amplifier stages and seriously degrades the optical signal to noise ratio (OSNR). As a result, the transmission distance is restricted. Optimization of optical amplifiers for WDM systems has been studied [4]-[6]. However, it is impossible to obtain completely flat gain over the entire wavelength region occupied by WDM channels. Therefore, optical gain equalizers (GEQ) are indispensable to compensate for the gain imbalance in cascaded amplifier systems. This paper proposes a simple method to obtain optimum optical gain equalization for multistage in-line amplifier systems that employ the GEQs and confirms its effectiveness with a numerical simulation.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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