Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA) are emerging as useful components for various lightwave-communication systems. EDFAs, especially for subcarrier multiplexing systems, are becoming extremely important elements for boosting the system power budget.1,2 Semiconductor amplifiers have been shown to produce a large nonlinear distortion (NLD) and compression of optical modulation indices (OMI).3 The primary reason for these impairments is the very short carrier lifetime in semiconductor amplifiers. In this paper we present expressions for computing the NLD and OMI of EDFA for subcarrier applications and show that both impairments disappear for EDFA.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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