Direct Modulation Lasers (DMLs) have attracted increased attention during the past few years because of their intrinsic simplicity and cost-effectiveness, especially when applied to WDM metro and access networks. However, the output power waveform from a directly modulated laser is not an exact replica of the modulation current and its instantaneous optical frequency varies with time depending on the changes in optical power and the extinction ratio (ER) (an effect also known as frequency chirp). In this work, using an Optical Communication System Design Software, we have studied a directly modulated WDM 10 Gb/s system which transmission performance depends strongly on DML characteristics; simulation results have provided supplementary details about the effects of DML type (adiabatic or transient chirp dominated) as well as the effects of the optical output power. These details can provide useful design guidelines for constructing a WDM metro network. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
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