Proceedings PaperAdvances In Lightwave Systems Research
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Twenty years have passed since the first serious proposal was made to employ a glass fiber waveguide as a telecommunications transmission medium. Vigorous research and development efforts have led to widespread applications of optical-fiber communication throughout the telecommunications industry. Current lightwave systems research is motivated to explore the vast potential bandwidth of low-loss single-mode fibers for long-haul and local-networking applications. Laboratory systems employing experimental single-frequency lasers and low-noise avalanche photodiodes have attained high-speed transmission at multigigabit-per-second data rates in single-mode fibers well over 100-km long. Coherent technology promises high receiver sensitivity and offers an efficient means for channel selection in a densely-packed wavelength-multiplexed system. First coherent systems experiments have confirmed theoretical expectations but many challenges lie ahead. Other novel systems for local distribution and networking are also under study. This paper will consider the limits imposed by the single-mode fiber, discuss the requirements of the relevant devices, and report the results of the latest systems experiments.