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Rayleigh backscatter effects on 1550-nm CATV distribution systems employing optical amplifiers

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3 Author(s)
Atlas, D.A. ; Broadband Commun. Group, Scientific-Atlanta Inc., Norcross, GA, USA ; Pidgeon, R. ; Little, F.

We analyzed the applicability of externally modulated 1550-nm laser transmitters for trunking and distribution of AM CATV channels using power and in-line EDFA's. The distribution of multiple AM CATV channels over long fiber spans is degraded by the presence of Rayleigh backscatter-induced low-frequency interferometric noise. When the laser source is modulated externally, the low-frequency interferometric noise is mixed and translated around the AM carriers. Furthermore, when isolators are not used with the optical amplifiers, the low end of the broadcast channels could be severely degraded due to doubly amplified Rayleigh backscatter. Employing narrow-linewidth semiconductor or Nd:YAG laser sources at the transmitter will lower the tail of the low-frequency interferometric noise level but will increase the translated noise peak level at each AM carrier. Therefore, the standard CNR measurement techniques, which assumes the noise spectrum is flat, may not reveal the correct video picture quality seen at the customer premises. In this analysis, we compared NCTA RF CNR and baseband video SNR results using CCIR recommended unified weighting filter. We determined that for laser linewidth less than 1 MHz and with long fiber spans, baseband video SNR as opposed to RF CNR measurements should be used to characterize the performance of AM-VSB CATV broadcast distribution systems. Finally, an experimental 78-channel AM-VSB CATV distribution system is constructed employing two EDFA's simulating head-end and hub sites and we compared RF CNR and baseband video SNR measurements using a 700-kHz linewidth externally modulated 1550-nm DFB transmitter

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Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 5 )