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A Photonics-Based Superheterodyne RF Reception Approach


A novel photonics-based RF reception approach is proposed as a competitive solution to meet the current challenges of photonics-based approaches and to realize high performances at the same time. The proposed approach adopts the superheterodyne configuration by a combination manner of electronic techniques and photonic techniques, including the ultra-wideband generation of optical LO, the two-stage photonic superheterodyne frequency conversion and the real-time IF compensation. An engineering prototype has been developed and its performance has been evaluated in the laboratory environment. The experiment results preliminarily verify the feasibility of the proposed approach and its engineering potential. The typical performances are as follows: 0.1 GHz ~ 45 GHz operation spectrum range (> 40 GHz), 900 MHz instantaneous bandwidth, 101 dB·Hz2/3 SFDR and 130 dB·Hz LDR, image rejections of ~ 80 dB for 1st frequency conversion and > 90 dB for 2nd frequency conversion.

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This work was partially supported by Independent Innovation Fund of Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, and Independent research and development projects of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

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Correspondence to Naijin Liu.

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Gao, G., Liang, Q., Liu, Z. et al. A Photonics-Based Superheterodyne RF Reception Approach. Adv. Astronaut. Sci. Technol. 4, 121–131 (2021).

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  • Superheterodyne
  • Optical LO
  • IF compensation
  • RF reception
  • Image rejection