Multiwavelength laser sources for broadband optical access networks

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Vasseur, Jerome
Chang, Gee-Kung
Barry, John R.
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The objective of the proposed research is to develop multiwavelength lasers as cost-efficient sources for broadband optical access networks. Todays telecommunications networks have widely adopted optical fiber as the backbone transmission medium. Optical fiber systems are promising candidates for the broadband access networks to offer high-speed and future-proof services. To harness the available bandwidth in fiber and to meet the ever-growing bandwidth demand, wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) techniques have been investigated. There have been intense research activities for the creation of new low-cost laser sources for such emerging applications. In this context, multiwavelength fiber ring lasers have been significantly investigated as they present many advantages, including simple structure, low-cost, and selectable multiwavelength operation. We propose a new laser system architecture that emits alternate multiwavelength picosecond pulses operating at room temperature. Optical signal generation is based on a single active component, an unbalanced Mach-Zehnder interferometer, inserted in an actively mode-locked erbium-doped fiber ring laser to provide both intensity modulation and wavelength-selective filtering. Time and frequency controls of the light emission are reached by inserting an additional modulator and a periodic filter in the cavity. This approach focuses on the application of multiwavelength lasers as sources for WDM passive optical networks.
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