Joint Iterative Carrier Synchronization and Signal Detection Employing Expectation Maximization

Darko Zibar, Luis Henrique Hecker de Carvalho, Jose Manuel Estaran Tolosa, Edson Silva, Carolina Franciscangelis, Vitor Ribeiro, Robert Borkowski, Ole Winther, Mikkel Nørgaard Schmidt, Julio Oliveira, Idelfonso Tafur Monroy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, joint estimation of carrier frequency, phase, signal means and noise variance, in a maximum likelihood sense, is performed iteratively by employing expectation maximization. The parameter estimation is soft decision driven and allows joint carrier synchronization and data detection. The algorithm is tested in a mixed line rate optical transmission scenario employing dual polarization 448 Gb/s 16-QAM signal surrounded by eight on-off keying channels in a 50 GHz grid. It is shown that joint carrier synchronization and data detection are more robust towards optical transmitter impairments and nonlinear phase noise, compared to digital phase-locked loop (PLL) followed by hard decisions. Additionally, soft decision driven joint carrier synchronization and detection offers an improvement of 0.5 dB in terms of input power compared to hard decision digital PLL based carrier synchronization and demodulation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1608-1615
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Advanced modulation formats
  • Coherent detection
  • Digital signal processing (DSP)
  • Expectation maximization (EM)
  • Maximum likelihood


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