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Proceedings Paper

Millimeter-wave photonic downconvertors: theory and demonstrations
Author(s): Ronald T. Logan Jr.; Eitan Gertel
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, theoretical and experimental results for wideband photonic downconversion systems operating from microwave frequencies through millimeter-wave frequencies are presented. The system consists of a low phase-noise optical heterodyne local oscillator (LO) generator derived froma two-frequency diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser, a millimeter-wave Mach-Zehnder modulator, and a high-speed photodiode. The sum and difference frequency products between the optical LO and the input RF signal are generated upon photodetection. An analysis of photonic heterodyne downconversion is presented, and preliminary experimental downconversion results at Ka-band are presented that are in good agreement with the theoretical prediction of 6 dB conversion loss. Due to the high degree of correlation between the phase fluctuations of the laser modes, the phase noise is much lower than that of previous heterodyne sources, which were typically too noisy for many applications. The free- running optical LO has measured phase noise better than L(1 kHz) equals -90 dBc/Hz at X-band, limited by the measuring system. Finally, novel microwave and millimeter-wave system architectures with enhanced performance and flexibility are discussed, and compared to conventional downlink systems employing electronic mixers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1995
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2560, Optical Technology for Microwave Applications VII, (1 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.218510
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald T. Logan Jr., AEL Industries (United States)
Eitan Gertel, AEL Industries (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2560:
Optical Technology for Microwave Applications VII
Anastasios P. Goutzoulis, Editor(s)

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