Flatness-based pre-compensation of laser diodes .\thanksreffootnoteinfo

Flatness-based pre-compensation of laser diodes


A physical nonlinear dynamical model of a laser diode is considered. We propose a feed-forward control scheme based on differential flatness for the design of input-current modulations to compensate diode distortions. The goal is to transform without distortion a radio-frequency current modulation into a light modulation leaving the laser-diode and entering an optic fiber. We prove that standard physical dynamical models based on dynamical electron and photons balance are flat systems when the current is considered as control input, the flat output being the photon number (proportional to the light power). We prove that input-current is an affine map of the flat output, its logarithm and their time-derivatives up to order two. When the flat output is an almost harmonic signal with slowly varying amplitude and phase, these derivatives admit precise analytic approximations. It is then possible to design simple analogue electronic circuits to code approximations of the nonlinear computations required by our flatness-based approach. Simulations with the parameters of a commercial diode illustrate the practical interest of this pre-compensation scheme and its robustness versus modelling and analogue implementation errors.


footnoteinfo]This work has been supported by the projet INRIA STIC-Tunisie (2006/2007).

First]A. Abichou Second]S. El Asmi Third]P. Rouchon

onlinear systems, flatness, laser diode, pre-compensation, inversion.

1 Introduction

Radio-over-Fiber is a very attractive technique for wireless access network infrastructure, because it can transmit microwaves and millimeter-waves through optical fibers for a long distance. Therefore, the distribution of radio signals over optical fiber, which is of great interest for many applications such as broad-band wireless access networks, sensor networks, radar and satellite communications, has been intensively studied. And there have been rapid advances in the techniques to generate and transport radio signals over optical fiber in recent years (see, e.g., [2]). When the wireless channel is in series with the optical link, nonlinear distortion due to the electrical/optical conversion is the biggest concern (see, e.g., [7]). This makes nonlinearity compensation an attractive solution to improve link performance.

The focus of this work is to investigate the standard physical model used for describing commercial laser diodes. This model is based on rate equation for the electron and photon populations. This allows us to propose a pre-compensation based on differential flatness for the design of the input current in order to cancel diode distortions. Simulations corresponding to a commercial laser diode illustrate the pre-compensation scheme. When the distortion due to the optic fiber is negligible, our flatness-based pre-compensation scheme can be interesting to increase the bandwidth and transmission rate.

This paper is organized as follows. In section 2 we recall the standard diode model and show that it is structurally flat, with the photon number being the flat output . We show via elementary computations that the input current is a linear combination of , , , and with coefficients depending via explicit formula on the physical parameters (equation (3)). This relation is the starting point of the flatness based pre-compensation scheme addressed in section 3. In Section 4, we propose natural approximations when is quasi-harmonic with slowly varying amplitude and phase. These approximations simplify considerably the computation burden in such a way that a nonlinear analogue circuit can be easily design to realize our flatness-based pre-compensation scheme. In conclusion, we propose some hint to deal with phase influence that becomes important when fiber distortions cannot be negligible.

2 The flat physical nonlinear model

A standard nonlinear model relating the input-current to the power of the emitted light is recalled in [5] where this model is used to analyze the nonlinear ”transfer” between input-current modulation and the resulting output ) (see also [1] for a simple exposure on such basic models):



  • and are photon and carrier lifetimes;

  • is the normalized carrier density;

  • is the threshold current and is the constant related to other physical parameters, .

  • is the net rate of stimulated emission. Following [5] we use

    where , , are physical parameters .

Since the input-current appears only in the second differential equation of (1) (the electron balance equation), the first state, , is a flat output. More precisely, this means that, if we consider (1) as a control system with input and output , we have a nonlinear input/output system such that its inverse admits no dynamics. This system is differentially flat (see [3, 4, 6, 8]) with as flat output: the input is a nonlinear function of , , . Notice that this property is independent of the precise form of when it depends effectively on . This is always the case for physical reasons.

Let us detail now the computations with the precise form of given here above. The first equation of (1) yields

where and are constant parameters. Thus we can derive this expression versus to get as a function of , and :

A linear combination of the two equations of (1) gives explicitly:

Thus we have the explicit formula relating to the derivatives of :

With the normalized input/ouput variables


we have the following simple but nonlinear input/output relationships that is equivalent to the physical model (1):


where the four parameters , , and are positive time-scales. Remember that the normalized electron density is a combination of and :

3 Flatness-based pre-compensation

We can now use (3) for deriving feed-forward strategy in order to compensate the non-linear distortion due to the diode. Assume that our goal is to transfer the amplitude and phase modulated signal from the current to the light leaving the diode. Here is the carriage pulsation, typically around a few Ghz for radio frequencies, and and are slowly varying amplitude and phase where the bits are encoded. This means that and . Without lost a generality, we can assume that . Assume finally that this modulated signal has to be converted in photons according to where is some positive constant. This means that our goal is to find the current leading to such . If one knows the diode parameters we can use (3) to compute .

We have tested in simulation this simple pre-compensation scheme for the commercial diode considered in [5]. For this diode, we have

We choose a modulation frequency of  Ghz (), and


The average normalized light power is corresponds physically to  mW since  mW. The simulations of figure 1 illustrate the interest of taking into account the derivative terms in (3) to modulate the input current .

Figure 1: Input current modulations with given by (4): the solid curve corresponds to the response of the diode when is related to via (3); dashed line corresponds to the response of the diode when (static model).

4 Analogue implementation issues

For such high carrier frequency  GHz, it is difficult and almost impossible to use real-time numerical computations. Let us now propose two approximations such that the above pre-compensation scheme can be applied in real-time via a specific electronic circuit.

The first approximation is relative to the computation of derivative of . Since we are looking for such that with and slowly varying quantities, we have


The second approximation is relative to the nonlinearity attached to the -terms in (3). Now we will use and propose an approximation up to second order terms:


Plugging these approximations into (3) shows that can be expressed approximatively as a polynomial of degree in and . Such polynomial computations can be easily done by a nonlinear analogue circuit. Figure 2 shows that the diode response remains almost the same when such polynomial approximations are used. Other simulations displayed on figure 3 show that such pre-compensation scheme are also robust to parameters uncertainties.

Figure 2: Input current modulations with given by (4): the solid curve corresponds to the response of the diode when is perfectly related to via (3); dashed line corresponds to the response of the diode when approximations (5) and (6) are used in (3).
Figure 3: Input current modulations with given by (4): as for figure 2, the solid curve corresponds to the response of the diode when is perfectly related to via (3); dashed line corresponds to approximations (5) and (6) plugged in (3) but, contrarily to figure 2, the carrier lifetime used for the computations of the diode response is multiplied by in order to test robustness versus large parametric errors.

5 Conclusion

We have shown that it is possible to compute, via flatness-based motion planing techniques, adapted input current modulations in order to generate, in real-time and via analogue nonlinear circuits, a given modulation of the light entering the optic fiber. If the distortion along the fiber is not negligible (long fiber and/or refractive index strongly dependent versus optic frequency), we have to consider also the phase dynamic of the light emitted by the diode (see, e.g., [1] for more details about the spectrum widening due to phase/amplitude variations). Following [5] we have to complete (1) by

where is the phase of the emitted light and a positive constant. Thus the emitted light entering the optic fiber is represented by the classical electric field (complex notations)

where is the optical frequency (around  Hz). It is interesting to notice that the diode dynamics (described by three states ) and one input ) is still flat with being the new flat output. This results from . This structural property could certainly be exploited in other pre-compensation schemes taking into account such additional phase effect.


  1. thanks: [


  1. G.P. Agrawal. Fiber-Optic Communication Systems. John Wiley and Sons, 1997.
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  3. M. Fliess, J. Lévine, Ph. Martin, and P. Rouchon. Sur les systèmes non linéaires différentiellement plats. C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris, I–315:619–624, 1992.
  4. M. Fliess, J. Lévine, Ph. Martin, and P. Rouchon. Flatness and defect of nonlinear systems: introductory theory and examples. Int. J. Control, 61(6):1327–1361, 1995.
  5. K.-H. Lee, H.-Y. Choi, and W.-Y. Choi. Analysis of chromatic dispersion-induced second-harmonic distortions including laser dynamics to the second order. IEEE J. of Qauntum Electronics, 39(5), 2003.
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  8. H. Sira-Ramirez and S.K. Agarwal. Differentially flat systems. CRC, 2004.
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