An SCM system for simultaneously reducing the concomitant problems of receiver complexity and dispersion penalty and without requiring the use of an expensive, high-bandwidth optical detector. The system provides both a dispersion reduction and a direct detection to the receiver, with microwave mixers and lithium niobate external modulators that produce sidebands that are only separated by a few gigahertz from a principal laser optical carrier. Digital data streams are independently impressed upon these sidebands for transmission over an ordinary single-mode fiber. Independent high-speed data streams are upconverted to microwave frequencies. These subcarriers are then combined with a microwave power combiner and amplified with a microwave amplifier. A solid-state 1550-nm laser carrier is modulated by the microwave subcarriers. An erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) is used just prior to long-distance transmission over ordinary single-mode fiber. The transmitted optical signal may then traverse multiple EDFAs to compensate for long-haul optical fiber losses prior to detection. At a receiving end, the optical signal is split into multiple paths. The subcarrier channels are optically pre-selected using a narrowband optical filter, such as a fiber Fabry-Perot (FFP) filter. An optical detector converts the selected optical signal into a baseband electrical data stream.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.