We review work on self-homodyne detection (SHD) for optical communication systems. SHD uses a transmitted pilot-tone (PT), originating from the transmitter laser, to exploit phase noise cancellation at a coherent receiver and to enable transmitter linewidth tolerance and potential energy savings. We give an overview of SHD performance, outlining the key contributors to the optical signal-to-noise ratio penalty compared to equivalent intradyne systems, and summarize the advantages, differences and similarities between schemes using polarization-division multiplexed PTs (PDM-SHD) and those using space-division multiplexed PTs (SDM-SHD). For PDM-SHD, we review the extensive work on the transmission of advanced modulation formats and techniques to minimize the trade-offwith spectral efficiency, as well as recent work on digital SHD, where the SHD receiver is combined with an polarization-diversity ID front-end receiver to provide both polarization and modulation format alignment. We then focus on SDM-SHD systems, describing experimental results using multi-core fibers (MCFs) with up to 19 cores, including high capacity transmission with broad-linewidth lasers and experiments incorporating SDM-SHD in networking. Additionally, we discuss the requirement for polarization tracking of the PTs at the receiver and path length alignment and review some variants of SHD before outlining the future challenges of self-homodyne optical transmission and gaps in current knowledge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas