Optical solitons propagating in media exhibiting saturable nonlinearit
y offer advantages over Kerr-medium solitons for transmission over lar
ge distances through optical fibers with loss. Soliton pulses in satur
able media offer greater energy for a given peak power, and upper-bran
ch solitons decrease in width with distance traveled. These properties
result in pulses that remain distinct and detectable for greater dist
ances than Kerr-medium solitons do with the same peak power. (C) 1996
Optical Society of America.