Reconfigureable WDM networks are attractive to provide cost effective, flexible capacity growth in response to increased demands; increased network survivability against fiber cuts and node failures; and transparency to signal format, bit-rate, and protocol. WDM networking suggests a new optical layer on which many services can be integrated dynamically [1]. In a WDM network, an optical signal may pass through many nodes en route to the final destination. Signal degradation can occur at each node due to finite filter passbands and filter misalignment [2], added crosstalk signals, added EDFA ASE noise, and wavelength dependent gain. The purpose of this work is to investigate the accumulation of these optical degradations in an 8-node 8־wavelength WDM ring network with data rates of 2.5 and 10 Gb/s per channel.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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