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Polarization instability and performance of free-space optical links based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers

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3 Author(s)
Kuksenkov, D.V. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO, USA ; Temkin, H. ; Swirhun, S.

The consequences of polarization instability on the performance of polarization sensitive free-space optical links based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers are evaluated experimentally. We show that the signal-to-noise ratio decreases to unacceptably low values when the bit rate of the link exceeds 300 Mb/s, resulting in bit error rate floors. The amplitude noise resulting from the polarization instability is modeled in terms of a cyclostationary random process. It is shown that for any bit rate the signal-to-noise ratio can be accurately estimated from the measurement of the relative intensity noise spectrum.

Published in:

Photonics Technology Letters, IEEE  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 5 )