Mode-dependent loss (MDL) is known to be a major issue in space-division multiplexed (SMD) systems. Its effect on performance is complex as it affects both the data carrying signal and the accumulated amplification noise. In this paper we propose a procedure for characterizing the MDL of SDM systems by means of standard measurements that are routinely performed on SDM setups. The figure of merit that we present for quantifying MDL incorporates the effect on the transmitted signal and the noise and is directly related to the spectral efficiency reduction.
- fiber nonlinear optics
- optical communication
- optical fibers
- spatial division multiplexing