Skip to Main Content
A theoretical approach is proposed that allows one to quantify the impact of fiber polarization mode dispersion (PMD) on optical binary transmission taking into account not only first-order polarization mode dispersion, but also signal distortion induced by second-order PMD. Using this approach the impact of the spectral signal width on PMD-induced system outage probability could be studied for the first time. An analysis of 10-Gb/s transmission exhibits that, as long as the mean PMD remains below the commonly accepted limit (about 10 ps) for negligible outage, a linear chirp of up to 30 GHz does not lead to an additional increase of the system outage. This result confirms that low bandwidth modulation schemes (external modulator, low chirp laser) do not suffer from additional outage degradation due to second-order PMD.