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Modeling of Single-Channel Optical

Transmission Systems with High-Order ASK and

PSK Modulation Formats
Daniel Benedikovi*, Jn Litvk* and Milan Dado*
*Universityof ilina/Faculty of Electrical Engineering/Telecommunication and Multimedia, ilina, Slovakia,


AbstractThis paper is focused on numerical where A0 is normalized amplitude, C is initial chirp of

investigation of optical signal propagation in the single- optical pulse, Ts is temporal pulse width related to the
channel transmission systems, which employ novel types of symbol rate Rs = 1/Ts, ms is shape parameter of pulse.
high-order modulation formats. In the paper we present Phase modulated optical pulse can be described by
comparison of two types of high-order modulation formats,
namely Amplitude Shift Keying (M-ASK) and Phase Shift Am ( t ) = A ( t ) H M PSK exp ( j 2 f c t ) , (2)
Keying (M-PSK). The investigation is based on solving the and HM-PSK is M-th order modulation function given by
nonlinear Schrodinger equation (NLSE) through Split-Step
Fourier Method (SSFM). The using of high-order 2 ( m 1)
modulation format is one of the key solutions for future H M PSK = exp j . (3)
optical networks and systems. Our aim is to describe the
behavior of modulated pulses and show the suitability of where m = 1, 2, M is actual state of modulation, M is
using the investigated modulation formats, when their maximal states of phase modulated information [2], [7].
transmission is influenced by various kinds of optical Various constellation diagrams are shown in fig. 1.
channel impairments.


Generally, the implementation of high-order
modulation formats in fiber optic transmission systems is Fig. 1. Constellation diagrams for M-PSK modulation formats.
very significant goal for the next generation of
communication systems. Different impairments cause M-ASK modulation format can be described as follows
problems in transmission of these kinds of modulation Am ( t ) = A ( t ) H M ASK exp ( j 2 f c t ) , (4)
formats. The numerical modeling is one of the best ways,
how to investigate the optical pulse propagation. The where HM-ASK is modulation function given by
results obtained from simulations can bring novel H M ASK = 2m 1 M , (5)
approach to the practical implementation and total where m = 1, 2, M is state of modulation, M is required
improvement of optical systems. This paper supports this number of amplitude states [2], [6].
way of investigation and provides an insight into this
rapidly developing area [3], [6], [7].
A. High-Order Modulation Formats
The most commonly used modulation format in fiber
optic systems was on-off keying (OOK) over years. High-
order modulations represent next step in the improvement Fig. 2. Constellation diagrams for M-ASK modulation formats.
of transmission system. There exist several types of high-
order modulation formats, M-PSK, M-ASK and M-QAM, B. Propagation of Modulated Optical Pulses
respectively. Our investigation is oriented on amplitude In general, optical fiber is nonlinear dispersive medium.
and phase modulation formats. The properties of medium, wavelength and value of input
The modulating pulse from source can be described by power have significant influence on signal behavior. The
Gaussian function as follows basic parameter of optical fiber, index of refraction n,
2 ms
depends not only on wavelength, but also on the value of
1 + jC t input power
A ( t ) = A0 exp , (1) Pin
2 T n ( , Pin ) = n ( ) + n = n ( ) + n2 , (6)
s Aeff

978-1-4673-1179-3/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE 22

where n() is linear index of refraction, n2 is nonlinear III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
index of refraction, Pin is input power and Aeff is effective The using of high-order modulation formats brings
area of fibers core. novel issues in the pulses propagation. After modulation
The fundamental equation governing the pulse evolution process, optical pulses obtained new properties according
in single-mode fiber is NLSE given by [1] to the type and actual state of modulation. Propagation of
A A i 2 A optical pulses with high-order modulation formats is very
= i A A + 1 2 2 A,
(7) different in comparison with the (OOK), where only the
z t 2 t 2
where A = A(z,t) is complex envelope of optical field,  is amplitude is changing according to the data sequence. The
attenuation, 1, 2 are first-, second-order dispersion transmitted pulses with OOK format are especially
parameters related to the group velocity vg and dispersion influenced by parameters of system and properties of
parameter D through these relations optical fiber. On the other hand has to be said that
transmitted optical pulses with high-order modulation
d d2 2
1 = = vg1 , 2 = = D. (8) formats are not only influenced by system and fiber, but
d d 2
2 c the actual state of modulation plays key role. Each
The nonlinear parameter  is given transmitted symbol has different initial properties at the
2 n2 input of fiber, so the propagation of all pulses is also
= , (9)
Aeff different.
The first term in eq. (7) is responsible for the nonlinear The influence of both relevant degradation mechanisms
effect of Self-phase modulation (SPM). Next terms (dispersion and nonlinearities) on transmitted pulses
descried the impact of linear effects [1], [3]. caused that two fundamental characteristic of pulses are
distorted, namely amplitude and phase. In fig. 4 is shown
C. Numerical Model an example, how the envelopes of corresponding
The numerical model is based on SSFM and it is transmitted symbols are degraded at the output of optical
implemented in Matlab environment. The NLSE is solved fiber for ASK modulation formats, 2-ASK (a.), 4-ASK
in time and spectral domain simultaneously. Eq. (2) can be (b.), 8-ASK (c.), respectively. The simulation parameters
rewritten into the form were: Conventional fiber (G.652) [4], Pin = 1 mW, L = 60
A   km, Rs = 10 GBd,  = 1550 nm,  = 0.2 dB/km, D = 16.6
= L + N A, ( ) (10) ps/kmnm and training sequence was 100 input pulses for
where linear and nonlinear operators are given purpose of investigation.

 A i 2 A 
LA = 1 2 2 A, NA = i A A
t 2 t 2
The solution of NLSE is found in small step h.
The solution for linear operator is given in spectral
domain using Fourier Transform (FT)
A ( , z ) = A ( , 0 ) exp z + 1 + 2 2 , (12)
2 2
where A ( , 0 ) = Y { A ( t , 0 )}. a.)

The solution for nonlinear operator is found in time

domain using
A ( t , z ) = A ( t , 0 ) exp z i A ( t , 0 )(( 2
)) . (13)
In fig. 3 is shown the simplified scheme of numerical
method, which was used for simulations [3], [5].


A ( , 0 ) = Y { A ( t ,0 )}

A (, z ) = A (,0) exp h + 1 + 22
2 2

A (t, h ) = Y 1
{ A ( , h )}
Fig. 4. Envelopes of transmitted and received symbols with M-ASK
A ( t , z ) = A ( t , h ) exp h i A ( t , h )
)) modulation format.

It is obvious from fig. 4 that transmitted symbols with

high-order amplitudes are distorted much more in
Fig. 3. Simplified scheme of numerical model using SSFM. comparison with 2-ASK. According to the used

modulation, each transmitted symbol has different From the fig. 5 can be seen that the transmitted pulse
amplitude level, which has significant influence for pulse distortion is very low. For M-PSK modulation format, the
distortion. Higher amplitude level causes that the impact information is modulated into the different phase levels. In
of SPM is the most dominant factor influencing pulse general, the fiber impairments such as dispersion and SPM
propagation. The dispersion properties of optical fiber cause problems during optical pulse propagation, where
cannot balance this nonlinear influence and impact of the phase of transmitted symbol is changing. In the C-
dispersion increases total distortion of transmitted optical band, where the dispersion parameter D has
symbols. The 2-ASK modulation format seems to be the positive sign (2 is negative anomalous dispersion
best choice for long-haul transmission systems. The regime), what leads to the fact that phase changes caused
higher types of M-ASK format show that they are not by dispersion has also negative sign. On the other hand,
suitable for this kind of transmission, because they are the influence of SPM causes positive changes in the phase
highly sensitive to linear and nonlinear impairments, so during transmission. The result is that the phase changes
the using of these formats will be unsatisfactory. The caused by linear and nonlinear effects can be very well
impact of various kinds of fiber impairments is higher for balanced and they compensate each other. That means that
higher modulation state. With increasing system each transmitted symbol is not degraded for long distance
parameter such as length of system or input power, the compare to the case of transmission of M-ASK modulated
distortion also increases, what is unacceptable and using symbols. The level of M-PSK modulation does not have
high-order formats for required small input power levels influence for signal distortion. This means that 2-PSK
and short lengths of optical fiber. From this point of view modulation format have nearly the same degradation like
we can say that using and practical implementation of M- 4-, 8- or 16-PSK. This is very good result and higher order
ASK modulation formats is not suitable for long-haul PSK formats are much more preferred in optical signal
telecommunications purposes. The using of high-order transmission. The M-PSK modulation formats are more
ASK formats can be suitable for short distances (to 20 resistant to the impairments in optical transmission
km), for example in Passive Optical Networks (PONs), channel. The choice of transmission optical band is very
where the demands for capacity are lager and transmission important issues, because the dispersion properties of
of more than one bits for short distance could solve the optical fiber are different. For conventional optical fiber,
problems with capacity. the using of C and L optical band is very good for
The different situation is for M-PSK modulation. In fig. transmission of M-PSK modulated signals. The higher
5 are shown examples of transmitted symbols, 2-PSK (a.), value of dispersion can be very well suppressed by
4-PSK (b.) and 8-PSK (c.), respectively. The simulation increasing the input power.
parameters were: Conventional fiber (G.652) [4], Pin = 1 In fig. 6 are shown the dependences of average time
mW, L = 60 km, Rs = 10 GBd,  = 1550 nm,  = 0.2 broadening factor ave on length of fiber L for different
dB/km, D = 16.6 ps/kmnm and training sequence was the values of input power Pin.
same such as in case of investigation of M-ASK.


Fig. 6. Dependence of time broadening factor on length of fiber for

different values of input power for PSK modulation format.

The parameter ave we defined as follows

ave = out ( m) in ( m) / M , (14)
where out is full width at half maximum at the output of
optical fiber, in is full width at half maximum at the input
of optical fiber, m is actual modulation state and M is total
number of modulation states.
From fig. 6 we can see that high-order PSK modulation
formats are very good choice for using in fiber
transmission systems. For low value of input power Pin =
0.01 mW and Pin = 0.1 mW, the transmission of PSK
modulated symbols are influenced by dispersion. From
this point of view, we are talking about linear regime of
c.) propagation. The influence of dispersion can be
Fig. 5. Envelopes of transmitted and received symbols with M-PSK compensated by using different type of optical fiber with
modulation format. negative sign of dispersion parameter D. The time

broadening caused by dispersion is about 5 ps at 100 km formats very good candidates for practical
of fiber length, what is very good result. The impact of implementation in the next generation fiber optics
SPM is very low, what ensures that transmitted symbols systems.
are not very distorted. For higher values of Pin = 1 mW
and more, we can observe that the time broadening factor ACKNOWLEDGMENT
ave has negative sign. This fact is caused by the This work was supported by the Slovak Research and
domination of SPM effect against the dispersion influence Development Agency under the project APVT-20-022404
and optical pulses are compressed. The pulse compression (Technologies for optical signal processing for next
can be useful, but for higher values of Pin as can be seen generation optical digital networks), APVV COST-0041-
from fig. 6, the value of ave is very high and the 06 (Towards Digital Optical Networks) and Slovak
dominance of SPM causes significant distortion of Grant Agency VEGA 1/1271/ (Studying the influence of
transmitted optical pulses. For input power to 5 mW we degradation effects in physical layer on transmission
could be able to ensure suitable pulse propagation without mechanisms in high-speed optical networks).
dramatic pulse degradation.
[1] G. P. Agrawal, Lightwave Technology Telecommunication
In this paper, we were focused on investigation of optical Systems, Wiley - Interscience, New Jersey, 3rd. ed., ISBN 0-471-
pulse propagation that employ new types of high-order 21572-4, USA, 2005, pp. 63-67.
modulation formats, namely M-ASK and M-PSK. From [2] J. G. Proakis, Digital Communications , McGraw-Hill, New
York, 3rd. ed., ISBN 0-07-232111-3, USA, 2008, pp. 101-103.
simulations we can said that using of high-order ASK
[3] S. Pachnicke, Fiber-Optic Transmission Networks, Springer-
modulation formats is not suitable for todays Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, ISBN 978-3-642-21054-9, Germany,
communication purposes, because their signal properties 2012, pp. 15-45.
are very sensitive for fiber length and input power. On the [4] ITU-T, Recommendation G. 652, Characteristics of a single-
other hand, they do not provide any useful advantages for mode optical fiber and cable.
their practical implementation for long-haul fiber [5] D. Benedikovi, Numerical modeling of Kerrs nonlinear effects
in Matlab, Master thesis, University of ilina 2011.
systems. Only the 2-ASK modulation format show
[6] J. Yu et al., 17 Tb/s (161114 Gb/s) PolMux-RZ-8PSK
optimal resistance against fiber impairments, but we can transmissionover 662 km of ultra-low loss fiber using C-band
omit it, because this format does not bring new approach EDFA amplification and digital coherent detection, in Proc. 34th
into the fiber optic systems. Eur. Conf. Optical Communication (ECOC 2008), Brussels,
Belgium, 2008, Paper Th.3.E.2.
The M-PSK modulation formats showed that they are
[7] M. Yoshida, H. Goto, K. Kasai, and M. Nakazawa, 64 and 128
very good and suitable choice for using it in todays coherent QAM optical transmission over 150 km using frequency-
transmission systems. The sensitivity of phase changes stabilized laser and heterodyne PLL detection, Opt. Express, vol.
can be balanced through suitable combination of linear 16, pp. 829840, 2008.
and nonlinear effects, what makes from these modulation