Characterization of Wavelength Tunable Lasers for Future Optical Communication Systems

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The use of Tunable Lasers (TL) in Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexed (DWDM) networks for optical switching, routing and networking has gained a lot of interest in recent years. Employment of such TLs as tunable transmitters in Wavelength Packet Switched (WPS) networks is one of the possible applications of these devices. In such systems, the information to be transmitted could be encoded onto a destination dependent wavelength and the routing of traffic could be performed on a packet-by-packet basis. The authors investigate the possibility of using TLs in DWDM WPS networks by focusing on the characterisation of the instantaneous frequency drift of a TL due to wavelength tuning and direct modulation.