All-optical processing using cross-phase modulation
The following thesis presents results obtained from both numerical simulation and laboratory experimentation (both of which were carried out by the author). When data is propagated along an optical transmission line some timing irregularities can occur such as timing jitter and phase wander. Traditionally these timing problems would have been corrected by converting the optical signal into the electrical domain and then compensating for the timing irregularity before converting the signal back into the optical domain. However, this thesis posses a potential solution to the problem by remaining completely in the optical domain, eliminating the need for electronics. This is desirable as not only does optical processing reduce the latency effect that their electronic counterpart have, it also holds the possibility of an increase in overall speed. A scheme was proposed which utilises the principle of wavelength conversion to dynamically convert timing irregularities (timing jitter and phase wander) into a change in wavelength (this occurs on a bit-by-bit level and so timing jitter and phase wander can be compensated for simultaneously). This was achieved by optically sampling a linearly chirped, locally generated clock source (the sampling function was achieved using a nonlinear optical loop mirror). The data, now with each bit or code word having a unique wavelength, is then propagated through a dispersion compensation module. The dispersion compensation effectively re-aligns the data in time and so thus, the timing irregularities are removed. The principle of operation was tested using computer simulation before being re-tested in a laboratory environment. A second stage was added to the device to create 3R regeneration. The second stage is used to simply convert the timing suppressed data back into a single wavelength. By controlling the relative timing displacement between stage one and stage two, the wavelength that is finally produced can be controlled.