We numerically simulated long-distance, high-bit-rate, wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) transmission in dispersion-managed systems. We investigated return-to-zero (RZ) and nonreturn-to-zero (NRZ) modulation formats with amplitude and phase modulation. Consistent with earlier experiments,we find that the chirped return-to-zero (CRZ) modulation format has significant advantages over the NRZ modulation format in WDM systems. We elucidate the physical reasons for these advantages. We then discuss, in detail, the dynamics of the CRZ systems, carefully distinguishing noise effects, single-channel nonlinear effects, and multichannel nonlinear effects. In this way, we provide a physical basis for understanding CRZ systems that should prove useful for future system design. In particular, we find that the pulse evolution is dominated by linear dispersion and that the spread in the eye diagrams is dominated by signal-spontaneous beat noise, just like in linear systems. However, we also find that symmetric dispersion compensation performs better than asymmetric dispersion compensation, due to the effects of nonlinearity. Additionally,we find that interchannel nonlinearities spread the eye diagrams without changing the dynamical behavior. Thus, the system is quasilinear in the sense that its properties resemble those of linear systems, but nonlinearity plays an important role.
R.-M. Mu, T. Yu, V. S. Grigoryan, and C. R. Menyuk, "Dynamics of the Chirped Return-to-Zero Modulation Format," J. Lightwave Technol. 20, 47- (2002)