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Pulse time modulation (PTM) techniques have drawn considerable attention over the years as suitable schemes for transmission of information over optical fibres. PTM schemes are known to utilise the vast optical bandwidth to provide efficient transmission characteristics. Pulse code modulation is one such modulation scheme that has been used widely in various communication systems.\ud \ud
In this thesis digital pulse interval modulation (DPIM), a form of PTM, is proposed as a suitable modulation scheme for optical communication systems. In this scheme the information is represented by means of varying the anisochronous frame interval between two successive pulses. Each pulse fulfils the dual role of representing the frame boundaries and initiation of the next sampling event within the modulator or sample reconstruction in the demodulator. In this study DPIM frame structure is proposed and sampling criteria, information capacity, bandwidth requirements are discussed in depth.\ud \ud
The spectral behaviour of the scheme is investigated and a mathematical model is developed to represent the spectra. The model was numerically evaluated and verified with the practical measurements to prove its validity. Spectral predictions were made for random as well as periodic information signals showing the existence of the distinct slot frequency component, which is used for slot synchronisation. Frame synchronisation is not required as DPIM has self synchronised frame structure. For random signals, slot component is found to be about 15 dB and for periodic single tone sinusoidal signal this was at about 5 dB. Dependency of this component on the various system parameters such as bit resolution, pulse width, pulse shape are discussed.\ud \ud
A detailed account of the receiver performance is given. Receiver analysis was carried out for narrow band as well as for wide band channels. Possible error sources are presented and the system performance degradation with these error sources is discussed and a comparison is made with isochronous DPPM and PCM. For performance evaluation of analogue systems, signal-to-noise ratio was mathematically modelled and compared with PCM. This analysis showed that DPIM SNRs shows three important regions as compared to PCM. That is when the SNR is inferior, superior and identical to PCM performance. Threshold levels corresponding to the above regions vary depending on the system bit resolution.\ud \ud
A prototype DPIM system was designed and implemented to transmit low speed analogue signal (≈15 kHz) at bit resolutions of 4, 5 and 6 where the slot frequencies are at 510, 990 and 1950 kHz, respectively. Measurements were carried out in order to verify the predicted performance. This results showed close agreement with the predicted. Receiver sensitivity of the prototype at bit error rate of 10-9 was found to be about -45.5 dBm at all three cases with transmitted average power of -28.8 dBm allowing high optical power budget. The signal-to-noise ratio threshold level of the system was at -47 dBm. Finally, linearity measurements of the overall system were made at the above bit resolutions and the quantitative and qualitative results are presented.
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