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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

III-V on silicon micro-photonic circuits for frequency downconversion of RF signals
Author(s): G. Roelkens; S. Keyvaninia; M. Tassaert; S. Latkowski; E. Bente; J. Mariën; L. Thomassen; R. Baets

Paper Abstract

RF frequency downconverters are of key importance in communication satellites. Classically, this is implemented using an electronic mixer. In this paper we explore the use of photonic technology to realize the same functionality. The potential advantages of such an approach compared to the classical microwave solutions are that it is lighter weight, has lower power consumption and can be made smaller if photonic technology is used. An additional advantage is the fact that the optical local oscillator (LO) reference can easily be transported over longer distances than the equivalent LO signal in the microwave domain due to the large bandwidth and low loss and dispersion of optical fiber. Another big advantage is that one can envision the use of short pulse trains as the LO – starting off from a sinusoidal RF reference – in order to exploit subsampling. Subsampling avoids the need for high frequency LO references, which is especially valuable if a downconversion over several 10s of GHz is required. In this paper we present the operation principle of such a photonic frequency downconverter and describe the performance of the developed micro-photonic building blocks required for this functionality. These micro-photonic building blocks are implemented on a III-V semiconductor-on-silicon photonic platform. The components include a micro-photonic hybridly modelocked laser, a 30GHz electroabsorption modulator and an intermediate frequency (1.5GHz) photodetector.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2017
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 10563, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014, 105633P (17 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2304216
Show Author Affiliations
G. Roelkens, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
S. Keyvaninia, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
M. Tassaert, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
S. Latkowski, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
E. Bente, Eindhoven Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
J. Mariën, Antwerp Space (Belgium)
L. Thomassen, Antwerp Space (Belgium)
R. Baets, Univ. Gent (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10563:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2014
Zoran Sodnik; Bruno Cugny; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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