Self-homodyne detection in optical communication systems

Benjamin J. Puttnam*, Ruben S. Luís, José Manuel Delgado Mendinueta, Jun Sakaguchi, Werner Klaus, Yukiyoshi Kamio, Moriya Nakamura, Naoya Wada, Yoshinari Awaji, Atsushi Kanno, Tetsuya Kawanishi, Tetsuya Miyazaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


We review work on self-homodyne detection (SHD) for optical communication systems. SHD uses a transmitted pilot-tone (PT), originating from the transmitter laser, to exploit phase noise cancellation at a coherent receiver and to enable transmitter linewidth tolerance and potential energy savings. We give an overview of SHD performance, outlining the key contributors to the optical signal-to-noise ratio penalty compared to equivalent intradyne systems, and summarize the advantages, differences and similarities between schemes using polarization-division multiplexed PTs (PDM-SHD) and those using space-division multiplexed PTs (SDM-SHD). For PDM-SHD, we review the extensive work on the transmission of advanced modulation formats and techniques to minimize the trade-offwith spectral efficiency, as well as recent work on digital SHD, where the SHD receiver is combined with an polarization-diversity ID front-end receiver to provide both polarization and modulation format alignment. We then focus on SDM-SHD systems, describing experimental results using multi-core fibers (MCFs) with up to 19 cores, including high capacity transmission with broad-linewidth lasers and experiments incorporating SDM-SHD in networking. Additionally, we discuss the requirement for polarization tracking of the PTs at the receiver and path length alignment and review some variants of SHD before outlining the future challenges of self-homodyne optical transmission and gaps in current knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-130
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherent optical systems
  • Multi-core fiber
  • Self-homodyne coherent detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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