, Volume 30, Issue 11-12, pp 1005-1019

Multi-functional fibre-optic microwave links

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Abstract

The multi-functionality of microwave links based on remote heterodyne detection of signals from a dual-frequency laser transmitter is discussed and experimentally demonstrated in this paper. Typically, direct detection in conjunction with optical intensity modulation is used to implement fibre-optic microwave links. The resulting links are inherently transparent and mainly used for signal transmission. As opposed to direct detection links, remote heterodyne detection links can directly perform functionalities such as modulation, frequency conversion, and transparent signal recovery in addition to signal transmission. All three functionalities are presented and experimentally demonstrated with a remote heterodyne detection link based on a dual-frequency laser transmitter with two offset phase locked semiconductor lasers. In the modulating link a 1Gbit/s baseband signal is QPSK modulated onto a 9GHz RF carrier. The frequency converting link demonstrates up-conversion of a 100Mbit/s PSK signal from a 2GHz carrier to a 9GHz carrier with penalty-free transmission over 25km of optical fibre. Finally, the transparent signal recovering link transmits a standard FM video 7.6GHz radio-link signal over 25km of optical fibre without measurable distortion.