Dispersion aspects of periodically amplified soliton transmission systems
This thesis presents improvements to optical transmission systems through the use of optical solitons as a digital transmission format, both theoretically and experimentally. An introduction to the main concepts and impairments of optical fibre on pulse transmission is included before introducing the concept of solitons in optically amplified communications and the problems of soliton system design. The theoretical work studies two fibre dispersion profiling schemes and a soliton launch improvement. The first provides superior pulse transmission by optimally tailoring the fibre dispersion to better follow the power, and hence nonlinearity, decay and thus allow soliton transmission for longer amplifier spacings and shorter pulse widths than normally possible. The second profiling scheme examines the use of dispersion compensating fibre in the context of soliton transmission over existing, standard fibre systems. The limits for solitons in uncompensated standard fibre are assessed, before the potential benefits of dispersion compensating fibre included as part of each amplifier are shown. The third theoretical investigation provides a simple improvement to the propagation of solitons in a highly perturbed system. By introducing a section of fibre of the correct length prior to the first system amplifier span, the soliton shape can be better coupled into the system thus providing an improved "average soliton" propagation model. The experimental work covers two areas. An important issue for soliton systems is pulse sources. Three potential lasers are studied, two ring laser configurations and one semiconductor device with external pulse shaping. The second area studies soliton transmission using a recalculating loop, reviewing the advantages and draw-backs of such an experiment in system testing and design.