Dispersion and Nonlinearity Identification for Single-Mode Fibers Using the Nonlinear Fourier Transform

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Efficient fiber-optic communication requires precise knowledge of the fiber coefficients, but these often change over time due to factors such as aging or bending. We propose a novel algorithm that identifies the average second-order dispersion and Kerr nonlinearity coefficient of a fiber, without employing any special training signals. Instead, ordinary input and output data recorded during normal operation is used. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such algorithm. The algorithm is based on the nonlinear Fourier spectrum of the signal, which is known to evolve trivially as the signal propagates through an idealized model of the fiber. The algorithm varies the values of the fiber coefficients until the corresponding nonlinear Fourier spectrum at transmitter and receiver match optimally. We test the algorithm on simulated transmission data over a 1600 km link, and accurately identify the fiber coefficients. The identification algorithm is in particular well suited for providing a fiber model for nonlinear Fourier transform-based communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3252-3260
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Chromatic dispersion
  • digital signal processing
  • fiber identification
  • fiber-optic communications
  • Kerr nonlinear effect
  • nonlinear Fourier transform

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