We study the dependence on fiber birefringence of the bit-error rate (BER) caused by amplifier noise in a linear optical fiber telecommunication system. We show that the probability-distribution function of the BER obtained by averaging over many realizations of birefringent disorder has an extended tail that corresponds to anomalously large values of BER. We specifically discuss the dependence of the tail on such details of pulse detection at the fiber output as setting the clock and filtering procedures.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Vladimir Chernyak, Michael Chertkov, Igor Kolokolov, and Vladimir Lebedev, "Extreme outages caused by polarization mode dispersion," Opt. Lett. 28, 2159-2161 (2003)