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Photonics-based microwave frequency measurement using a double-sideband suppressed-carrier modulation and an InP integrated ring-assisted Mach–Zehnder interferometer filter

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Abstract

A photonic system capable of estimating the unknown frequency of a CW microwave tone is presented. The core of the system is a complementary optical filter monolithically integrated in InP, consisting of a ring-assisted Mach–Zehnder interferometer with a second-order elliptic response. By simultaneously measuring the different optical powers produced by a double-sideband suppressed-carrier modulation at the outputs of the photonic integrated circuit, an amplitude comparison function that depends on the input tone frequency is obtained. Using this technique, a frequency measurement range of 10 GHz (5–15 GHz) with a root mean square value of frequency error lower than 200 MHz is experimentally demonstrated. Moreover, simulations showing the impact of a residual optical carrier on system performance are also provided.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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