Optical fiber chromatic dispersion is caused by a variation of the propagation speed with changes in optical frequency and is one of the major factors limiting the performance of high-speed fiber-optic communication systems. For ≥10 Gbit/s data that are transmitted over ≥100 km, it is essential that chromatic dispersion be well managed by using some type of dispersion compensation. However, fixed dispersion compensation is inadequate in reconfigurable optical networks, and in ≥40-Gbit/s systems where very strict limits are placed on the accumulated dispersion. Dynamic dispersion compensation will require dynamic monitoring of the accumulated chromatic dispersion in the signal. Monitoring that is simple, sensitive, and robust would facilitate proper system performance.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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