Low-cost, high-capacity optical transmission systems are required for metropolitan area networks. Direct-detected multi-carrier systems are attractive candidates, but polarization mode dispersion (PMD) is one of the major impairments that limits their performance. In this paper, we report the first experimental analysis of the PMD tolerance of a 288Gbit/s NRZ-OOK Coherent Wavelength Division Multiplexing system. The results show that this impairment is determined primarily by the subcarrier baud rate. We confirm the robustness of the system to PMD by demonstrating error-free performance over an unrepeatered 124km field-installed single-mode fiber with a negligible penalty of 0.3dB compared to the back-to-back measurements. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America
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