Receiver Performance for Heterodyne Optical Communication Academic Article uri icon


  • A model for the heterodyne optical channel that is consistent with experimental observations is introduced, and a general maximum-likelihood sequence estimation receiver that accounts for laser phase instabilities is proposed using the generalized log-likelihood functional. The performance of various suboptimal “estimator-correlator” receivers, obtained from optimal, nonimplementable receiver equations, is studied by simulation and compared to that of an incoherent receiver for practical parameter values. It is observed that, for hard decisions, the proposed receiver performs significantly better than an incoherent receiver for bit intervals larger than about half the coherence time of the laser oscillators, with larger gains to be expected when soft decisions on long sequences are made. A way of reducing the complexity of the soft-decisions receiver for long sequences is discussed. Copyright © 1986 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

author list (cited authors)

  • Georghiades, C., & Snyder, D.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • January 1986