Photonic Filtering for Applications in Microwave Generation and Metrology

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Bagnell, Marcus
Microwave oscillators; multi heterodyne detection; millimeter wave generation
thesis / dissertation description
This work uses the photonic filtering properties of Fabry-Perot etalons to show improvements in the electrical signals created upon photodetection of the optical signal. First, a method of delay measurement is described which uses multi-heterodyne detection to find correlations in white light signals at 20 km of delay to sub millimeter resolution. By filtering incoming white light with a Fabry-Perot etalon, the pseudo periodic signal is suitable for measurement by combining and photodetecting it with an optical frequency comb. In this way, optical data from a large bandwidth can be downconverted and sampled on low frequency electronics. Second, a high finesse etalon is used as a photonic filter inside an optoelectronic oscillator (OEO). The etalon's narrow filter function allows the OEO loop length to be extremely long for a high oscillator quality factor while still suppressing unwanted modes below the noise floor. The periodic nature of the etalon allows it to be used to generate a wide range of microwave and millimeter wave tones without degradation of the RF signal.